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Christchurch or Bust


4:00 am. I didn’t even think it existed, but the new Timex knock-off wristwatch I picked up yesterday assured me — in beeps carefully tuned to the most annoying frequency known to science — that, yes, 4:00 am does indeed exist. And it sucks.

As I reached over and shut off the alarm, I considered that pre-trip me may have been a bit overzealous.

“If we’re going to be flying in the morning, we might as well take the early flight, right?” That was me a few weeks ago, talking to Dore as we planned our trip from the comfort of our living room.

“Sure,” Dore responded, “That sounds okay.”

Well, it sure didn’t feel okay. But, despite more than a few yawns, we made it to the airport, got breakfast, and made it onto our flight at 6:40 am. A quick and uneventful flight later, and we touched down in Christchurch at 8:00.

Dore and I made our way into the city on the bus. The city sits in the middle of a wide, flat plain, with mountains in the distance. There are lines of windbreak trees separating English Tudor and Victorian homes set in immaculate gardens. Even late in the summer, everything here is still green. The weather was beautiful, with clear blue skies and a nice, cool weather.

We walked to our hostel, a few blocks from the central city square, and dropped off our packs, then set out to walk around the city. By far the favorite thing we encountered was the slow-running, shallow Avon river, which winds its way through the city center along beautifully English-styled grassy banks. We walked along the river for a long ways, then headed to the library for a break and to take advantage of the free Internet access.

After a brief lunch of thoroughly unsatisfying kebabs (which tasted closer to a taco than anything of Turkish origin), we headed back to the hostel to check in and take a nap. By this time I was feeling a bit under the weather, with a slight sore throat. Dore, conversely, is feeling better, so with any luck my current malady will move on as quickly as hers did.

Rested, we set out again around 5:30 to find some dinner. We ended up walking along the Avon river again, seeing some more areas we hadn’t before. After perusing a number of options, we finally settled on a suggestion from our guide books, the Dux de Lux. It ended up being a great choice. Dore got some delicious corn fritters with a house ginger beer, and I had a spicy Malaysian fish stew with coconut sauce and a house ale. We ate in the beer garden out back with a number of locals. After dinner, we walked back to the hostel and went to bed.

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  1. March 27th, 2010 at 15:35 | #1

    Excellent work on this garden article. It makes for an interesting and easy read.

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