Friday, March 22, 2013

Day 4 - Akaroa

It was now that we were starting to realise that we were now on our own. With Katrina doing things with Callum and getting her place organised Harry and I went off for a drive.

Neither of us had ever been out Banks Peninsula so we decided although the day was overcast and could almost rain we would go for a drive.

We set the GPS and left Christchurch, not before still driving down roads that were worse for wear after the earthquake, and buildings still condemned. It just seemed to be everywhere and I really don’t know how the people of Christchurch can cope with it all this time

The land was just as dry as the rest of New Zealand we had seen on our trip. The views would have been far more spectacular if the sun was shining the grass lush and green but we still were able to take in the views of the land and the Akaroa harbour as we came over the French Peak.

Before we reached the Akaroa harbour Harry wanted to check out a bit of off-roading. When the sign says “Four Wheel Drive Vehicles Only” that is like a red rag to a bull. However after a while it looked like we were just driving down someone’s farm back road or driveway so when we found a spot we could turn around in we made our way back onto the main road.

We stopped down in Barry’s Bay for a cuppa before making our way to Akaroa.

It’s hard to take photos of the town showing its character but it has a French heritage and still has many of the original buildings from the early settlement.

It was Ash Wednesday which is the beginning of the season of Lent for Easter and St Patricks the Catholic Church was open with the ashes in a bowl form the morning service. I went inside and applied them to my forehead as a sign of Christ in my life. 

After a walk around we went on up into the hills and down Light House Road.

We could see a cruise ship in the harbour. Since the earthquakes and the closure of Lyttelton Harbour these cruise ships come into Akaroa and take busloads of passengers in to Christchurch for day trips.

We took a left down Flea Bay Road and wound our way down another four wheel drive track to the bay. I'm not so used to going on Four wheel drive trips with Harry and the Club but these were really just like driving out the back of a farmers farm. Except with this you had no idea who else was out on the track and if you were going to meet someone coming up the other way and there seemed no where to pass!!

Flea Bay fortunately didn't live up to its name but It is supposed to be where little blue penguins can be seen but we didn’t see any. We did see a family in a van slowly make their way down the track as well.
Harry was really concerned as to whether they would be able to make their way back up again.

We made our way back up the road then we continued down Lighthouse Road as I was keen to see the lighthouse. We had to walk down the last part of the road as it was closed to traffic and I hadn't brought my walking shoes so it was a bit of a slow walk for me.

To our left we could look down into Haylocks Bay and the interesting show of waves pointing onto the rocks and a tunnel through the out-cliff that would take you around to Amphitheater Bay.

I was disappointed to find the light house just a light on a concrete tank. We could see the foundations of where the original lighthouse keepers house would have been and  on a day like this it would have seemed a lonely exsistance back in the day with no internet and probably no phone.

The views were exciting and the edge was pretty daunting as Harry and I both investigated. Google Maps
If you click on the above link and then copy and paste
 Lighthouse Road, Akaroa
into the search box on Google maps you can see the area and “zoom in” to where the light house is and see the cliff.

The weather seemed to be closing in and like all good things they must come to an end so we headed back to Akaroa and on to Christchurch where we met up with Katrina and Callum, having tea at McDonald's and visited Callum’s Dad and his family

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