Thursday, January 12, 2012

I'm Back!

 Well, I am back from my travels and ready to get back into routine once again.

Lake Wakatipu
Lake Pukaki

New Zealand was fabulous as always.  I had a more sedate trip compared to my previous visits but I still had time to enjoy the Victorian architecture in Oamaru and Invercargill.  I had a wonderful view of The Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu from my apartment in Queenstown and I gained a few grey hairs in Christchurch after experiencing some aftershock tremors due to the earthquakes off Akaroa.  I was ‘over it’ after just two days, yet the poor Cantabrians have been living with this for the past year.

Steam Punk HQ, Oamaru
Steam Punk, Oamaru

Seeing Christchurch as it is now is heartbreaking.  Both of the hotels that I have stayed in during past visits are in the red zone.  I had fond memories of canoeing on the River Avon, catching the tram, and climbing the Cathedral Tower, but now Christchurch looks like London after the blitz.  The whole city is still in lock down and cordoned off.  It was so quiet, with just the sound of banners flapping in the breeze and in places nature had already taken over with pavements being invaded by weeds.  You look at the city now and wonder if it can recover from this, expecially with the ongoing seismic activity.  It was a very sobering visit.  Such a contrast to the beauty that I had seen during the rest of my holiday.

A City in lockdown, one year on
Tasmania was a different sort of holiday to what I expected.  I had read that the roads were quiet and it was easy to drive around.  WRONG!  I was in Hobart and the roads were very windy and the drivers very aggressive.

Port Arthur
Hobart as seen from 
Mt Wellington
I did the obvious things - Huon Valley, Richmond, Port Arthur, Mt Wellington, MONA and the Cascades Brewery.  The highlight for me was dinner at the Point Revolving Restaurant on Wrest Point Casino’s 17th floor.  I can honestly say it was the best dining experience that I have ever had. The portions were reasonable and cooked to perfection.  The dessert I chose was Dark Chocolate Delice and for someone who does not eat dessert often I was blown away.  It was a taste sensation that I shall be dreaming of forever more!!  The only downside to my experience was that I was not expecting the restaurant to be ‘fine dining’ and so I did not have anything suitable to wear in my suitcase – jeans and sneakers were a bit out of place.

I did take a book with me – Billy Bathgate, and I read about 10 pages on the plane, but with long twilight hours in NZ and Tasmania you tend to maximise your days sightseeing with no time left for anything else.  I'll start on my 2012 reading list next week, and expect my next read will be either Billy Bathgate or Stephen King’s 22/11/63, I’m still deciding.

I’m on leave until Monday and have been commissioned by my daughter to make 15 capes for my Grandson’s Super Hero 4th birthday party in February, so I will sign off for now as the sewing machine beckons.......

Super Hero Capes (5 down, 10 to go!)
Until next time.



  1. Amazing sights, although those of Christchurch remind me of how neglected Nigerian roads and structures mostly are. Anyway, it seems you had enviably amazing Xmas and New Year. Welcome back. :-)

  2. Thanks Walter. I was of the understanding that Nigeria was very progressive, it's a shame when things become run down. I noticed that when I went back to Plymouth a couple of years ago, parts of it should be demolished!