New Zealand Trip days 12-14

If you’d like to start again at the beginning, I have updated the previous posts on the trip with more photos and links. (Navigation to the next post in order is down the right side.)

Christchurch – Sydney

Sunday started off clear and sunny and I headed into the city to the Arts Centre for the Sunday Markets. They were not as busy as the Nelson Markets had been. As well as the market stalls, there are many shops, galleries and studios. The Christchurch Guild of Weavers and Spinners have their guild rooms here. I am jealous.

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At Wool, Yarn and Fibres (downstairs in the same building as the guild) there was an awesome range of fibres and yarns as well as made garments. Two lovely ladies were in charge of the shop and I had a chat to them as I decided on what to buy.

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They had some lovely merino fibre, but I have so much Aussie merino… I came away with some natural grey alpaca blended with silk and merino. I browsed at a lot of jewellery and woodworking shops, but nothing ‘must have’ came my way. I had two hours on a parking meter, and when that was up there was little parking nearby to be had, and a parking ranger was busy booking cars. A cold change with possible hail was forecast, so I decided to grab some lunch and head back to the hotel. I spent a lazy afternoon doing little and watching the weather become wild outside.

On Monday the weather was fine, but it was windy and cold. It looked like it could be 20 degrees outside, but it was nine! I drove to Hands Ashford for a look around the shop. They had a good range of yarns, though it was still small. Lots of other crafts were also represented. By this point I feared being able to get everything in my suitcase and wasn’t willing to buy anything much.

I took a bus into the city and returned to the Arts Centre to finish off seeing some places I hadn’t had time for on Sunday. I visited the exhibits on Sir Ernest Rutherford in Rutherford’s Den, then made my way across to Canterbury Museum. There were many families at the museum since the school holidays had started and the Great Museum Santa Search was underway. Various toy Santas, big and small, had been hidden among the exhibits, and the children needed to locate all of them. One, among the bird exhibits, was quite obvious, as was the one over the North Pole (I think it had a sled too) on a globe of the Earth. I spotted another within an environmental education exhibit that was a bit more tricky, but I wasn’t really seeking them out.

NZT6-3By lunchtime the weather outside was a little more pleasant and I ate my lunch by a pond in the Botanic Gardens. I then strolled across the city (actually further than I thought it would be) to get to Knit World, a knitting chain store (I also visited the one in Dunedin). This place was large and had the biggest range of yarns of all the places I had visited. I nearly bought some Zealana merino/possum/cotton lace weight yarn, but the possum content put me off (I don’t like possum fibre much). I took a bus back to the hotel and set about packing my suitcase and finishing off the last of my cherries.

Tuesday was a nice day and having squashed all my things into my suitcase and backpack (it would have been very hard to have got more in), I checked out of the hotel. My flight home was not until the afternoon, so I went to Riccarton House and Bush to kill some time. The fragment of bushland here is surrounded by a fence to exclude predators of the native birds and animals and you had to pass through an elaborate double-doored enclosure to enter and leave. Having almost always lived close to bushland in Sydney, I find it bizarre that the tiny remnant of bush at Riccarton is the only native vegetation left in all of Christchurch.

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The Kahikatea trees are impressive and the bird life was prolific. After the short walk around the bush I spent some time with the ducks by the river. They were very hopeful that I was going to feed them.

After some lunch I headed to the airport and returned the rental car. I was very pleased to learn that as I’d paid the extra excess-reduction amount for the car, the damage to the windscreen would not result in any charge.

The flight home was much smoother than the flight over. And I finally got to see those pesky mountain peaks that had been hiding in cloud for so much of my stay.

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The flight landed early and Customs and Quarantine were both almost empty. Quarantine didn’t even want to see all the fibre I declared.

Some Statistics
The total distance I covered by car was 2680 km.
Total number of ‘stash enhancement opportunities’: 28.
Total stash enhancement: 6 skeins of yarn: 900 grams; 4 bundles of fibre: c. 1.56 kg.
Miscellaneous purchases: assorted beads/jewellery, silk skirt, hat; chocolate fish; DVD box set (and yet my suitcase was supposedly only 2 kg heavier, which is not possible).
Photographs taken: 258 stills, 4 videos on Sony camera; 93 stills, 2 videos on Apple iPhone.

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