Wed Feb 23 – Martinborough NZ – North Island
We arrived at our hotel yesterday afternoon to discover the small town quite distressed by the earthquake in Christchurch several hundred km to our south.
We are currently near the south end of the North Island. Christchurch is somewhat near the north end of the South Island, and really not that far away, however we did not feel the earthquake. Needless to say we have been affected by how much this event has had on a small country of 4 million. Most people here seem really deeply impacted.
From the press here, we have gathered that Christchurch is not the place to be and they will need a lot more time to fix things up. I assume the press there has all the details so I won’t elaborate – but the City does seem to be very heavily damaged. Had the quake happened a few weeks later, we would have been right in heavy damage zone, since we planned on staying directly across from the church that was so heavily damaged.
People here are quite kind; yet they are stoic and life goes on.
We will be proceeding south to Wellington, crossing over to the South Island in a few days, going past Christchurch which is on the east side of the island while we plan to head down the west side. So, initially we will not be directly impacted by the quake but Christchurch was our intended departure point back to Auckland in mid March so likely will need to make changes as the trip progresses.
As for our vacation, the country is beautiful and we are enjoying it a lot. Chris and I have both caught colds and that has slowed us down a bit. Perhaps we are just getting on, but today – after a wine tour and a tour of olive groves, we just read the papers and stayed in our room which is really quite lovely, as is the town of Marinborough.
The next week will be spent in the wine districts – soaking up the various Sauvignon blanc which have been our NZ wines of choice. The weather continues to be good, the windows of our hotel are all open and we have a gentle warm breeze and we are in a farming valley surrounded by brown and green mountains. The town is small and sleepy and a dog barks in the distance.
I have hit the 2000 mark on photo shots and have been slowed down by the weight of the equipment, my cold and the fact that we are moving a lot every other day or so. Since this is not a photo trip, a lot of shots have passed us by while we just enjoyed looking the country side – and that’s ok.
Hope all is well with everyone back home
Jeff and Chris