New Zealand’s Emergency Services – Thank you

Last week was pretty rough as Adam and I were involved in a car accident. The roads surrounding Christchurch are mainly high-speed back roads (similar to UK B-roads) and there are plenty of warnings about the high number of crashes that take place on them. Unfortunately, it was us involved this time.

Both cars involved were written off but thankfully everyone walked away from the accident with nothing more than bruises.

Being involved in this meant being supported by New Zealand’s Emergency Services and they were absolutely outstanding. The ambulance crew were calm, kind and very thorough in their checks. The police officer who dealt with the accident was amazingly helpful and called us in the days following the accident to check we were alright. I couldn’t see the fire service (I was in the ambulance when they arrived) but am told they cleared the road and got traffic moving again really quickly.

Once in the hospital, the staff there were also very thorough and every possible injury was checked for, scanned and double checked. A few days later our local doctor received the information from the hospital and called us to check we were doing alright and to offer further medical assistance should we need it.

We were both really impressed by how everyone in the emergency services helped us. I’ve been unfortunate enough to be involved in accidents in two other foreign countries and the level of care was rather different.

So, a huge, heartfelt thank you to the Kiwi Emergency Services – professional, efficient, kind and really helpful. Thanks to you guys, we will soon be out climbing and biking again!

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Auckland

Adam and I recently took a long weekend trip to the city of Auckland. Auckland is on New Zealand’s North Island and although not the capital of New Zealand, it is the most populous with over 1.6 million people living there.

We stayed at the Grand Millennium hotel which is a short walk from the city centre and has a pool, cafe, bar and restaurant.

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We only had a short time in Auckland so we headed out into the bustling streets (so much busier than Christchurch!) to see the sights and do some shopping. We enjoyed walking around the parks and streets, and found the cafes and restaurants to be reasonably priced and of excellent quality.

In the evening we headed to an underground Thai restaurant which was wonderful and then headed out to see the famous sky tower.

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It cost us about $30 each to go up into the sky tower and as a one off ‘touristy’ activity, I’d say it was worth it. The views of the city are great and you can enjoy a drink and some gelato whilst up there too. We went up at dusk so that we could view the city as it began to light up.

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The main event and the original reason for our trip was to go and see Mumford and Sons play live in concert. We’d missed them whilst living in The Netherlands and were delighted to see they would be touring near us in New Zealand so booked tickets as soon as they went up. They played at a festival style gig at the Outer Fields of Western Springs Stadium.

We spent the day eating and drinking and enjoying several support artists before the main event began.

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The gig was excellent and finished off a really lovely weekend in Auckland.

Wherever you are in the world, have a wonderful week ahead.

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Lyttelton Coastal Path

Lyttelton is a small port town close to Christchurch. It has a nice farmers’ market each week and is a pretty place to look around. Adam and I heard it had a nice coastal path as well so we went to have a look.

This coastal path is easy walking and takes in a handful of little coves and beaches along the way.

The water looked very inviting and if the weather had been a little warmer, we’d have probably gone for a swim.

The walk goes via Magazine Bay, Corsair Bay and Cass Bay.

The scenery is really lovely on this walk: forest, hills, beaches, sea – beautiful! It takes less than two hours to complete (there and back) and you can create a loop at the far end by circling around Pony Point Scenic Reserve.

Afterwards we headed back into Lyttelton and went to a cute cafe which had more lovely views overlooking the harbour.

Wherever you are in the world, have a lovely week!

The Arrival of Freight!

Last week, after six months of waiting, our freight container finally arrived. It was like getting an early Christmas present and we were very pleased to see all our things again!

The cats were certainly very happy to rediscover the sofa and after many months without one, so were we.

At the weekend we headed into the city to see the ‘Carpark Cannonball’ event which involved pairs of crazy cyclists racing to the top of a fourteen story carpark. 

There seemed to be rather a lot of crashes and it was really good fun to watch the action. Plus the junk food at the top was very tasty!

We signed up to ‘My Food Bag’ this week which is one of the companies where you get a load of ingredients and recipe cards at the start of each week. We’re hoping it will make our diet a little healthier and seasonal and haven’t been disappointed so far.

It’s almost the weekend again and if the weather remains fine then we’re planning on a day tramp up Avalanche Peak in Arthur’s Pass. Hopefully it’ll be sunny and clear so we can enjoy the views and share some photos!


Wherever you are in the world, have a lovely end to your week.

Canterbury Show

This weekend was ‘Show Day Weekend’ which is a bit like a British Bank Holiday but with Friday off instead of Monday. Show day weekend incorporates the National Agricultural Show for New Zealand as well as Canterbury anniversary day.

We bought tickets for the show a few weeks ago and went along on the Friday to enjoy. The weather was blazing hot which is apparently the norm and there was lots to see and do. We enjoyed looking at all the animals, some were rare breeds being displayed and some were competing for prizes.

As well as the animals, there were lots of vehicles and agricultural machinery to look at and we enjoyed watching the motocross races – and having a go on a bike!

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The food hall was particularly good and between us we managed to taste Malaysian curry, BBQ brisket with a ‘Kiwi twist’ and some Thai food too – not bad! We watched a live cookery show, avoided the fair ground, saw an interesting talk on bees and I got to make my own charm bracelet.

There was plenty more to look at and explore and I haven’t covered half of it in this blog. There were clothing stands, kitchenware stands, health food stalls, cosmetic tables and then larger items like swimming pools and log cabins for sale – plus much much more. My absolute favourite part of the show was the wood chopping competition which, as the name suggests, involves people chopping through huge lumps of wood as quickly as possible. I’d never heard of this sport before going to the show but it’s hugely popular and we had a great time sitting in the sun watching the men and women hacking through the wood.

 

We thoroughly enjoyed the show and would definitely go again in future.

As well as attending the show we managed to squeeze in a little bit of climbing with the NZ Alpine Club and this time we went to a new location at the end of Albert Terrace in St Martins. This crag has a reputation as being one of the worst crags in Christchurch due to the high level of polish on the rocks and it’s true, they’re pretty slippy on the feet as you get started. The crag is also in a really pretty spot though and is sheltered from the wind and sun unlike the crags higher up where you get burnt to a crisp hot days. It was a nice spot to spend an evening – although we must remember the insect repellent next time!

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Wherever you are in the world, have a lovely week.

Arts Centre Mākete

The Arts Centre Mākete is an arts, crafts and local produce market which used to run in Christchurch every Sunday but came to an end after the earthquakes. They restarted the tradition last Sunday so we went along to support and see what was happening.

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There was a great range of different craft stalls to look around, some impressive local art pieces and plenty of food on offer from various stalls and stands.

On the whole we were really impressed and have plans to go again to buy some locally made jewellery and art.

The day before this was our local Park Run session which is now becoming a regular event for us. A large group of us from the running club (including Charlie the dog) turned up and both Adam and I got personal bests which we were really pleased with.

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This week has started well and as I found myself located in the east of the city on Monday, I took a trip out to the beach to have lunch which was very peaceful.

Wherever you are in the world, have a lovely week.

More Climbing with NZAC

Last weekend was a busy one for climbing and we were out with the New Zealand Alpine Club on Saturday and Monday practising and improving our lead climbing skills. As usual, the instructors were amazing and they’d even bought additional instructors along so that they could meet demand and invite more people. We climbed up at Cattlestop Crag which is in the hills above Christchurch and were blessed with excellent weather yet again.

On Monday evening, the weather was so nice that we stayed out until the sun went down – beautiful!

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Wherever you are in the world, have a lovely week.

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