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Lyn & John Jarden’s Travel Diary

Friday, 31 Mar 2017

Location: Akaroa, New Zealand

MapWell I must confess to having been very slack with keeping you all up to date and causing a couple of extra gray hairs to those of you that were concerned that we had had a mishap, nothing like that just too busy and tired at the end of the day to update this, but I am onto it now.
Monday dawned cloudy, drizzly and quite cold. You know after the fact when you have been guided to do something and this was the case then. If we had not gone to Tekapo on the Sunday like we did we would not have seen any of the views as the clouds were right down to the lake levels and Mount John was invisible behind the low cloud.
We eventually arrived in Geraldine and set up camp, after lunch it was off to catch up with my Uncle Paul and Joanne. This was a really neat catch up and reminisce as we had not seen each other for about 20 years. He is now nearly 80 and is still working under contract to Shell international in Yokohama Japan. He has worked at this list of locations: Singapore, Laos, Brunei, Holland, Nigeria, Kuala Lumpur, Houston Texas and of course NZ. Not bad for someone that did not achieve School Certificate.

Later we went out for tea at one of the 22 eating establishments and would you believe it while we were eating, in walked Tony and Kathleen White, for those of you that don't know them they are friends of ours from Paraparaumu.
After this it was back to the Golf course and our bed on wheels. There were 3 of us parked there and in the morning one of the other campers wanted to talk about my bike rack and how it was mounted. While talking the subject of where home was came up and would you believe it they came from just around the block in Paraparaumu, very small world eh!
After this it was onto CHCH and the caravan outlet to see about getting our leak in the pipes fixed. The owner was a really nice guy and said if we had it there by 9.00am he could have it fixed the next day, great news. Off then to Judith and Paul Casey's for the next few days. After lunch it was into town to find the wall of remembrance and Christopher Homan's inscription. We contacted James Handcock, an old close friend of Stevens and arranged to visit him and his family that night. Judith and Paul had Judith's twin Sister staying as Wednesday was the first anniversary of her Husbands death.

The visit to James or Jimmy as he now likes to be called went really well and we all had a thoroughly enjoyable time. Back to our home and get ready for bed and a new day tomorrow. Wednesday saw us drop the van off to the repair man and then off to Mass with the Casey's for Judith's sisters husband. The priest was Filipino and it was his birthday and he made the comment to Mary that he and her Husband were both celebrating birthdays, he on earth and him his first in heaven.
Later it was in to town again and checking out what to do, the info centre was very good and we booked a tour to the Antartic Centre for the afternoon. This is out by the Operation Deep Freeze base and was absolutely top notch entertainment, there were all the normal static displays, a ride on a Hogland (an Artic type tractor) which can go over any and all terrains, it was both scary and thrilling at the same time, one of the obstacles caused us to get stuck and we all thought this was part of the experience, but not so the vehicle had thrown a track and we were lucky to get back!!!
Next it was little Blue Penguin viewing and to say their cute would be an understatement. We then experienced a a
ANTARTIC WINTER STORM in a blast freezer type room with the temp getting down to minus 17.5 and the wind only at 45km/hr, I would hate to have to experience the real thing. Then it was the 3D and 4D movie about going to Antartica, we got wet when the ship went through the big waves and snow fell on you as well as the seats bumping when the boat rammed icebergs, and yes Lyn did let out a few screams, this was possibly one of the best entertainments we have experienced.

Back into town and off to the caravan repair place, the van was all fixed and as good as new for only $80.00, a fantastic deal. Back to our little home and tea and off to bed. Next day it was off to Lincoln to catch up with Grant and Sarah Redman, née O'loughlin and some of her family, which was really nice. She has just had a new baby on Christophers birthday and of course Lyn got to have a cuddle of Gabriella Hope. Met to say we also that morning caught up with John and Carol Calman our neighbours from home met their English family and saw through their sons beautiful home and we enjoyed a lovely morning tea.

Back into town for a wander and try and find the seat Nan and Sam had dedicated to their Christopher, with no joy. We then walked through to the other side of the CBD to the cardboard Cathedral where we were told that the old Cathedral was to be restored at a cost of about $60mil, I wonder how else $60mil could have been used???
We continued on with our walk and caught up with Joe Daly for a cuppa and a bite to eat which was a nice thing to be able to do. Back to the truck and one last attempt at finding the seat in the Botanical gardens and would you believe it we were successful. Then it was off to the Westfield Shopping Plaza, this is huge and we only saw part of it. Back to the van and then a catch up with Paul and Judith before bed.
Today Friday it was a case of hitching the van and the bikes up again and on the road to Akaroa. The weather has once again been turned on just for us and some of the bays were just gorgeous on the way here. This is lovely quaint little seaside town,which we walked around. We are camped on the boat ramp site and while I was cooking pork chops for tea we were given some fresh Hapuka or you the unwise, Groper. It was lovely. Tomorrow there is a special free food fair on and so we will have a good look at that and a couple of other sights then head north again maybe in the afternoon.