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Saturday 8 March 2003


Christchurch - Sydney

Hereford St Bridge over the Avon, Christchurch

My last day in NZ. Getting up somewhat late, I went to the lounge area and spent a while chucking out anything I wouldnít need or couldnít take on the plane, cleaning the food off containers, and burning off my stove fuel. I stored my pack at the hostel for a while whilst I went to the Christchurch Museum across the road. It was quite a good museum. I mainly liked the sections on the Maori and early Maori people. There were many other sections, but most were very similar to museums at home. I thought it was worth the $5 donation they asked.

After picking up my pack, I wandered into town, and re-checked the airport bus time. Whilst looking for a bakery for lunch / late breakfast, I heard the sound of a bagpipe marching band. I followed the sound up the street, and found a huge throng of people lining the streets where there was a parade of many marching bands going past. I saw about three bands went by, then the NZ police marching band brought up the rear of the parade. After it was all over, I walked to the city mall and ate an early lunch of a gourmet sandwich and muffin at a food hall.

I had wandered for quite a while before seeing the bands, including sitting by the Avon for a while watching the ducks. After leaving the food hall, though, I went straight to the bus, and hence to the airport. The departures area of the airport was quite a lot larger than arrivals. I checked in (again 19kg with a 20kg limit!) then paid my departure tax at the bank branch there. Whilst waiting for the plane, I spent the last of my cash on some food and some souvenirs (coasters and a NZ flag patch). I also got a Paua shell necklace for my Mum. After this I went to the gate and waited to board.

Iíd been feeling a bit wistful all day because I really didnít want to leave. The flight home went quite smoothly. I was in almost the same seat, but the views were not quite as good though, since I was now on the northern side, and couldnít see the Mount Cook area. There was also heavy cloud of about 80-90% cover over large areas and haze beyond that. At customs in Sydney I realised Iíd again packed my tent at the bottom (a bit of a pain trying to get it out). The inspector was only interested in the pegs, and washed them in something. I was surprised I didnít go through a metal detector or put my hand luggage through an x-ray!

Catching the train home, it was kinda nice seeing the harbour bridge and the opera house again. I walked home from the station since my parents had told me that there would be no-one at home, since they would be on holiday, but it turned out they were home, since Adam (my brother) had gotten a 9 month job in Canberra whilst they were away, and they had to return early. It was rather nice at home, being able to just go to the cupboard and get some food out to eat, or just going to bed without making it first, or having a shower, without needing to find clothes and toiletries.