Another day in Christchurch! After lying in my cool little bedroom that is separate from the house and looking out the window early in the morning I wrote a few too many emails to people and at last went into the main house and brewed myself a large coffee. Then I quietly went back to bed and scanned the internet, read and generally waited until a respectable hour for my wonderful hosts to get up and into action. A txt asking if I wanted breakfast and then we were off for a big hill climb in the hills of Christchurch. This was really good for the soul and I needed this outing. The wind was really brisk, the trees and the hills were great protection from the cold cold southerly. Up we climbed, there were mountain bikes and others walking with their dogs. This was like the mountain bike parks of the north but far less people and the tracks, I was even keen to maybe get a bike onto them. We went to the top point, looked out over a very hazy and stormy coastline, I did sigh a little, what will it take for this wind to drop? This was becoming a challenge. Off we went to the city for a coffee, I looked at a tandem road bike outside and nearly choked as Gerard mentioned that he and Donna would like to ride on of these. Tandem anything makes my blood pressure rise, so doubt I would last long sharing a bike with another without a slight intense discussion! I take my hat off to the people who can pedal together or paddle together, I need some of your special inter personal skills for this.
Then a tour for me of the inner city parts of Christchurch. We went to a brand new enormous kids playground, the Margaret Mahy Childrens Playground. Now every city should take note, this is amazing. I went and joined the kids on this amazing slide they had, it was far better as an adult I reckon. There were climbing frames and ropes, I could not get near the flying fox, there were far too many kids queuing for this. They also had the best water feature with water guns! Gerard and I both jumped in there and soaked each other with them, with a few helpers and kids showing us how to make the damn things work! We are big kids at heart, we had so much fun. With wet leggings and shoes I headed to look at the sad Cathedral and wonder what is going to happen to this once majestic building, should it be saved or just let collapse? I actually do not know the answer to this. There are so many fun little things to do, I climbed in a massive green astro turf couch that has been built on the side of the road, feeling like Alice in Wonderland and waiting for the rabbit to jump past at any moment. We wandered into the art gallery and looked around, the Colin McCahon paintings reminded me of my time working for Dawsons Catering as Grahame was such a fan.
We then headed back to Sydney St as there were still things to do in Cuzzie and get sorted for a early morning paddle out of Little Akaloa. I made sure everything that I had removed and used in the house went back into her and after over three hours Cuzzie was cleaned inside and polished. She is gleaming and dust free for a day or so, her water tank is re filled, her diesel tank is full, her fridge is restocked and I think I am ready! I can paddle tomorrow, fingers and toes are crossed for a quick and early 'gap' out of the bay first thing.
Tricia is on her way back from Hamilton, via Auckland. Air NZ why and how can you do this? A Flight from Hamilton to Christchurch cancelled so you bus her to Auckland and then fly her down to Christchurch. Logistically this makes me frown, but I am sure there are really good reasons for this, maybe a flight to Auckland would have been less stressful and tiring on the passengers.
I chatted to a few people today, most do think I am crazy. Enough chatting, I need to get going again real soon. My mind is switching back to my journey, I had an email from a friend today saying, "Will you be back before the winter?" That put a bit of a fire in my belly! I am hoping to be back, I will be back, sometime, well maybe...or I could just stay a kayaking gypsy.
My smiles today:
You "run like a girl" and a huge chortle from Gerard as I was heading down the hill from them both. You will keep Gerard, you will keep.
Probably the biggest smile, the play ground! This water feature needs to be re made in my back garden.
Enjoying Sunday as it is meant to be enjoyed, not in shops but being outside and just having fun, with not a laptop, iphone or PS in sight. Kids and adults enjoying the outdoors. now that is a positive thing.
I struggled for a while with my early morning thoughts, I have had many. Some sad and some deep and some more light hearted moments, and then a very simple message from a new friend, "Our struggles in life...determine our successes...so choose your struggles wisely my friend."
Good night. Tea and more macaroons. Tricia has just landed and on her way back to me, we are up at 3 am for a drive and a launch into hopefully a sunrise to make us all catch our breath, more of the amazing Cape still to pass.