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09:00

We’re on the move again today after two lovely nights staying up in the hills near Mt Lydon at this gorgeous Airbnb owned by Stephanie, who’s shared this wonderful space with us.

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Now we’re beginning the trip down to Christchurch, stopping off on the way, so expect some blogging and pictures later…

11:50

We’re talking a break in Cheviot, a small town on highway one after driving across some pretty rugged countryside to get here. There’s not much here apart from a few shops and cafe’s – although it does have a library and school. The place seems to make it’s living as a pit stop for travellers heading to/from Christchurch.

21:55

We’re now hunkered down in our new Airbnb in Christchurch, where we’ll be staying for the next couple of nights. It’s comfortable (and suburban, only 20 mins walk from the city centre) but it’s certainly not as amazing as where we’ve just come from. That said, Christchurch itself is a bit of an eye-opener. I’ve never ever been to a city where 80% of the city centre has been flattened by earthquakes before. I was here 20 years ago but there’s nothing I recognise apart from the shattered remains of the cathedral. Oh – and the trams. It’s a very sobering experience, looking around at all the new buildings, the few old ones that have been rebuilt, and others that are awaiting their turn. Then there’s all the open spaces that used to be buildings but are now parks – or car parks. Christchurch was hit twice, in September 2010 and again in February 2011, the latter earthquake killed a total of 185 people, which seems miraculous when you consider the scenes of destruction.

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Tram 1888 passes all the new buildings on Oxford Terrace, with the Avon river to the right. 

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The driver of tram 178 changes the points behind him as the vehicle prepares to head for the tramshed at the end of the day. The tramway runs through the ‘Cathedral Junction’ shopping centre.

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The remains of Christchurch cathedral, with the base of the spire in the foreground.

 

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