Saturday, 30 November 2013

Cathedral Cliffs & Christchurch

It was still raining when we left Parnassus two days ago but by the time we got to Cheviot the weather was clearing. We filled up with diesel in Cheviot at this cool garage located around the back of the main street. This is what a good old country garage used to be like; flowerbeds in old tyres, worn wooden floors that would have seen (& heard) thousands of  feet pass over them, the smell of stale oil & grease, old wooden chairs & counter, a few vital items for sale & most importantly personal friendly service.

From Cheviot we took a scenic route detour via Gore Bay, we’d both heard that it was a lovely place & while I’m sure it is during the summer we found it a bit bleak & windswept and the road was very narrow, twisting & quite steep as we pulled out of the bay. 

We stopped near the beach toilets & reserve where this little lonesome rock made us both smile; made us wonder what we were being thanked for.....perhaps using the toilets instead of the bush? A random gesture by someone passing by.

Gore Bay is known for it’s “cathedral” cliffs & at first we thought it must have been the ones that rose from the shingle beach, which while grand didn’t look too spectacular. But when we got to the top of the road out of the bay, there was a non-descript  lookout for the “Cathedral” and wow, what a surprise when I looked over the fence. These could easily be missed if you only had a little amount of information on the area; I was expecting a lookout over the bay we had just left. “The Cathedrals" are eroded siltstone pillars, which are a typical example of what has come to be known as badlands landscape, after the famous American example.

Back on the main road we made good time heading south to Christchurch passing over the long one way bridge spanning the swollen Hurunui River. I thought for a main state highway they would have replaced this one awhile ago. But I know this is just the beginning of many one way bridges in the South Island.

On through Woodend we went , me grabbing this quick shot especially for Dad who was born here many (many) years ago! I wonder how fast the horse & carts were allowed to go......

Began feeling right at home when a coal train passed us just like the hundreds that passed by the bottom of our garden back in Tauranga.

On and around the outskirts of Christchurch for what seemed like forever before arriving at the NZMCA Weedons Park where we have been parked up for the last two nights. This is a large site & there are plenty of vans coming & going, along with quite a few semi-permanent residents who are living in their RVs while their homes are repaired or replaced after the disastrous Christchurch Earthquake three years ago. There’s also a storage area which is of interest to us as we will be able to leave the fifth-wheeler here when we fly back to the North Island sometime next year to catch up with family & friends.
While here we have been doing a few more errands & shopping including doing the laundry at a local Laundromat. I guess this is going to become a familiar scene while we’re on the road. At this stage we have no room for a small washing machine so it’s either do the washing by hand, at a camp ground or a laundromat. I HATE sitting around waiting at the laundromat so I’m going to have to get more organised & have something to do next time!

While driving around Christchurch we have certainly noticed how much activity there is with the re-build of the city. There are road works everywhere; this city will have enough orange cones to supply the rest of the country for the next ten years when they’re finished with them. There are vacant sections everywhere you look with cranes, trucks & building supplies spilling out onto footpaths & roads. Around the edge of the city there are a number of large dump sites where there are mountains of rubble that is slowly being broken down and reused in the rebuild. We were a little sad to see that our favourite restaurant Saggio di vino has gone (bottom right photo), well gone from its old building. It’s now a brand new place next door. All the character of their old place has been lost. We used to visit the restaurant every time we were in Christchurch when we had our factory here.

This afternoon the infamous Canterbury nor’wester  has been buffeting the van and weather reports say that it will increase in strength overnight so we are battening down the hatches, pulling in the side & getting prepared to be rocked to sleep. Not. I guess it can’t be as bad as the two storms we lived through at The Mount. Can it?

Signs the Nor'wester Arch is forming
Tomorrow we will be back on the road, I’m not sure how far we’ll get or where in fact we’ll stay. All part of the fun.

NB- It is in fact today now; I couldn't get access to my blog last night. We survived the night after some pretty big gusts & a lot of rocking although I think the Mount storm was a lot worse.


  1. Good Blog,

    Been following you since Sneddon (on line)

    Yes Chch will never be the same, my sister is in the red zone still waiting for a Geotec report.
    Your photo's are good and show an interest in Photography.

    Keep em coming

    Ps I used to race Go-karts through the streets of Cheviot about 40 years ago.

    1. Hi Jimu & thanks so much for leaving a comment, much appreciated & glad you are coming along for the ride! :)


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