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.

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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Climbing at Cattlestop Crag

We recently joined the New Zealand Alpine Club and signed up for a local outdoor top-roping course. It’s been over a year since we were last out climbing in Italy so we both felt pretty rusty and were looking forwards to refreshing our knowledge and skills. NZAC chose Cattlestop Crag as their course location and it was the perfect spot. Located just above Heathcote Valley in Christchurch, it has over 100+ climbing routes and is easy to access. There’s parking along the road above the crags and the views, as always, were brilliant.

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The entire city was laid out on display in front of us. In the distance we could see the snow-capped alps and over to the East we had views of New Brighton Beach and the ocean beyond – stunning.

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The ratio of instructors to students was really good at 1:3 and we started our day with a safety talk and a reminder of the basics; tying in safely, belaying and partner checks. As a girl with fairly long locks, keeping it tied up and out the way is important when I climb so I invested in a set of Dutch braids (from Hip Hop Trends) the day before. I’m glad I did – getting scalped as your hair gets caught in the belay device is no joke as one of our group unfortunately discovered. Ouch! Seriously girls – tie it up.

We spent the morning climbing and after lunch we learned the basics of abseiling; tying in safely and using a prusik and biner correctly to descend.

Our instructors were great and happy to adapt the course to cater to people’s specific interests and needs. A few of us were keen to learn how to set up the anchors for an abseiling spot so one of the instructors took us aside to teach this. Others in our group wanted to learn more about specific climbing techniques so another instructor spent time working on that. So, if you’re interested in rock climbing and happen to be in the Canterbury region, I can definitely recommend joining one of the NZAC climbing sessions or courses. We’re really looking forward to our next session where we can brush up on our lead-rope climbing skills!

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