East of Christchurch are two extinct volcanos (at least the locals hope they are extinct) which form massive beautiful bays which are accessed by climbing up and over the rim. An interesting experience in a 7.4m camper van. Keith is cool with this sort of driving though – he does something similar every Wednesday on his Lake Vyrnwy dial-a-ride run. 

First stop en route was Lyttleton a working logging harbour also full of trawlers and working cargo ships. Made me think of how Scotland ‘used to be’. 

This was a town reminiscent of the d mining towns in the outback. Saloons, small shops, a great cafe with my favourite accoutrement: 

Whoops! Bad photo but there was a complimentary water pistol for discouraging the sparrows. 

This town also had funny notices:

Thought provoking graffiti (currently I’d choose cake):

Beautiful graffiti:

Better than ‘nobby woz ere’ at any rate….

The Canterbury area round Christchurch is rich in market gardening. One such gardener was Christopher: 

He was selling freshly picked and bunched asparagus. Note the high tech instrument in his right hand – a notched stick to measure his crop.  He’s currently negotiating supplying a top hotel in Fiji  and bemoans whilst also celebrating the parlours state of Rhodesia (or whatever it’s called now). If they weren’t fighting, New Zealand would be bankrupt. 

We, or should I say ‘I’ opted to eat this shortly afterwards for lunch. Out came a table. A chair. No need for another says K. I’ll stand. Not exactly the leisurely French style spread by the river I’d anticipated. But we did sit. And looked through our new telescope. And used our new equipment to take photos with the iPhone. 

I wasn’t v successful: 

So Keith tried: 

Not much better. 

Then this, unintentionally:

And finally….

There’s work to be done! 

Stopping on the scenic route at Little River, a town with Maori and whaling connections our eyes were accosted by this imaginative scheme for living: old grain silos complete with New Zealand sheep wool insulation, and bio processing of sewerage: and we were accosted by schoolchildren Aaron Ricardo and the blond one who needed a picture of tourists for their school project. I told them I needed pictures of locals for mine: 

And so to Okains Bay, an isolated bay on the Banks Peninsula with a great Maori history, and a wonderful Maori and colonial museum telling stories of the early settlers, their trials tribulations and successes and their interaction with the ‘indigenous’ population (who had settled around 1000 years previously).

One story told of a man who had 10 children. His wife and 5 children died. He married a new SEVENTEEN YEAR-OLD BRIDE: she cared for his 5 surviving children and bore 15 of her own. 

The museum had many Maori artefacts. Here without comment are some:


And finally down the volcanic road to okains bay where we ‘freedom camped’ by the river, by the sea. 

Another great day. 

No more endangered species at increased risk. 

No tantrums (to speak of)

New birds: Australasian shoveler, white faced heron, Australasian quail, harrier, pied stilt. 

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