Saturday, June 6, 2009

A New Zealand break

At the beginning of the year, when I was still down and out, morose, upset, and struggling with total hearing loss, Air New Zealand Grab-a-Seat advertised flights to Christchurch for $10 each way. I grabbed them, and was booked to go to Christchurch 21st May, coming back on 2nd June. You can't sneeze at these prices.

I emailed my step-sister Liz and asked if I could come and stay. The trip just happened to co-incide with her 30th birthday so that was all good. At the time I was still waiting to see if I would have a cochlear implant by then, so warned her that I could still be totally deaf. It didn't seem to faze her at all. Luckily for all, I was well and truly up and running with my new implant by the time I got onto that flight which was meant the holiday was very smooth communication wise. Made it much less tiring for me too.

Naturally, as it always happens, (ie Minus 31 in Montreal, and 40C in Sacramento), I happened to go south just as a polar blast blew up from the Antarctica in a roaring southerly, leaving bad weather and snow for me to arrive in. I'm not so worried about the snow - I love snow and I'm a good shot when it comes to snowballs.

Liz picked me up from the airport, and then after lunch I suggested we go up the road to the snow, seeing the Port Hills were covered. We then spent the afternoon driving around the Port Hills with Liz being a wonderful tour guide, and me getting my snowball throwing arm back into practise....



There wasn't a huge amount of snow - but just enough to satisfly the Aucklander who lives where it never snows. The views were breathtaking... this is looking over to Lyttelton Harbour...



then turn 180 degrees and you look across Christchurch and over to the Southern Alps where Mt Hutt is (great skiing place which I have yet to visit one day).



This was the only photograph I got of the alps, as the southerly then took over again and gave me rain and low cloud for the rest of the time I was in Christchurch. It blanketed everything so not many photos were actually taken in Christchurch.

We kept on following this road up on the Port Hills..



And came to this memorial which is very old that commemorates the early settlers arriving in Lyttelton harbour and trekking over the hill to settle in Christchurch...



Here's Lyttelton harbour showing the actual Port...



Up the road a bit and we got extensive views over Christchurch and the lovely long but cold beach. I'm not sure how anyone swims in that water in summer - it's mighty cold to me :)



Then around some more to sweeping views of Godley Head...



Eventually the road ended around the entrance of Lyttelton Harbour...



And those hardy enough to have a picnic, had a perfect picnic spot with beautiful views. I guess it would be slightly warmer in summer!!



By this time the late afternoon sun was coming out giving everything a golden look, the perfect time of the day for taking photos.



Especailly when the sun hits the tussock grass...



On our way home now, and a last parting shot of Lyttelton Harbour from the top, while it was still in the sun...



And when that tussock grass is lit up by the late afternoon golden light, AND it's surrounded in white sparkly snow - well - that's just magic to this snowless Aucklander!

5 comments:

kim said...

Breathtakingly beautiful!! Um-- so let's see so your early June is like my early December. SNOW. We've been hovering around 32C all week, but today was a more pleasant 23. (I converted for your benefit.) :-)

Henry Kisor said...

As always, terrific pictures, Robyn. And I'm so delighted that the CI works this time. Total deafness sucks, doesn't it?

Robyn said...

I put these pics up to tempt the likes of Kim and Henry to visit :)

Henry - yes - total deafness definitely sucks. Although I was starting to get very very good at lipreading again :)

cnkatz said...

Henry,

Yes, total deafness sucks if the communication articulators of our bodies goes only aural. Deafness doesn't sucks if the body does not limit itself to aural means. It is how deafnheososd is dealt with. By the way, another book coming up from you? Enjoy your writings, I did.

Lovely photos, Robyn.

Morgan said...

The colours in those photos are amazing Robyn. What a great way to tempt people to NZ.