New Zealand to Japan
February through April 2007
 
Page 4 - Christchurch, New Zealand

Our ship docked -- not in Christchurch, as advertised, but in a charming little town named Lyttleton, about a 20 minute non-stop bus ride from downtown Christchurch.
 
They were getting ready for a street party; (Left) we didn't do anything else in Lyttleton except catch a bus to downtown Christchurch.
 
In Christchurch we had a dilemma in reading the map (Right). Nobody that I remember ever warned me about the sun direction in the southern hemisphere. We wanted to go South. I looked at the sun, which I estimated to be in the Southeast and said "we gotta go that way". A city block later we realized we were going in the wrong direction. Puzzled, I scratched my head (far right) and then suddenly it dawned on me: South of the Equator, the sun is directly North at noon -- opposite to what we're used to in the Northern half of the globe.
But soon we found the city center -- and a Starbucks!I had my usual Grande coffee and Lynda savored a Caramel flavored Frappuchino.
While sipping our drinks in the Starbucks outdoor cafe, we were entertained by a local musician (right). We also got a glimpse of some interesting (touristy?) vehicles passing by (far right).
Some other scenery around the Christchurch city center (left) -- and then it was time to go Punting in the Park!
Punting is a form of cruising in a flat-bottom boat propelled by a person wielding a pole -- often dressed in a 19th century garb -- as pictured at left above. A crew member of the punting organization took a photo of us and we even managed to take a self-portrait of us sitting in the boat.
Below are some of the sights we saw on our ride on the Avon River.
On the way back from the punting Lynda stopped to use the local phone booth (left).
Back at the city square we were entertained by a guru (center left) who had the answer to all the world's problem: Women, the root of all evil, according to him. He said that all the world's wars have been fought to enable women to go shopping! Oh well, it takes all kinds -- or There's nuts in every nation, including New Zealand!
Then it was time for our bicycle tour (center right). We picked up our bikes (and helmets) then followed Adrian, our guide, (right) for the rest of the afternoon. (below)
Not all of our bicycle tour was riding. We also took a short hike on a footpath (left) in the Riccarton Bush, a natural forest preserve in the city of Christchurch. The area is completely fenced off to keep predators and foreign animal life from entering; i.e., it has its totally own ecosystem.
 
And then we were back on our cycles (right).
Soon we entered a rose garden, one of the largest and most beautiful we've ever seen. After taking the mandatory posed photo of us with Adrian, Lynda took the camera and disappeared among the rose bushes until it was time to leave. Some of the results of her efforts are shown below.