After Picton we drove down south towards Christchurch but made a few stops. One of them was an Alpine village called Hamner Springs, situated at the foothills of the Southern Alps. This little village is actually very touristy, which means that everything is geared towards attracting tourists. The houses are very picturesque looking , some replicas of Queen Anne cottages, some looking like Swiss cottages. We made a lunch stop here and Repin and I walked around the little town admiring the beautiful views of the mountains in the background and the trees in their fall glory.
For lunch we stopped at this delightful cafe and had the most sumptuous seafood chowder eaten with freshly baked bread. Topped with a mug of steaming hot coffee, we felt fresh and able to tackle whatever came next.
The drive to Christchurch was long but full of wonderous sights. At one stage we passed deep dark forests which reminded me so much of Lord Of The Rings! Looking at the tall trees and forest paths one can imagine Gandalf riding through with the forest people.
From Hanmer Springs we drive through Lewis Pass and down towards the Murchison river before we reach the upper reaches of the Canterbury Plains. Here again dotted all over the landscape are sheep, and sheep and more sheep! No wonder they say you see more sheep than people here.
We arrived in Christchurch rather late in the evening and didn't have any time for a city tour. Since the next day we would be traveling fairly early in the morning we decided to give the city tour a pass and opted for an early night. Dinner was at the hotel and was baked trout with potatoes in coriander gravy. I would say that it was all delicious! Hmm , after this trip I really have to go on a diet and trim away my waist!
|The Canterbury plains|