Christchurch hasn’t recovered from the big earthquake of 2011. Jo and I remember the beautiful square in front of Christchurch Cathedral vibrant with life from our last visit that was pre-earthquake. Now the square is dominated by the fence that surrounds the damaged and partially demolished cathedral. Downtown or CBD as they call it still has a lot of buildings are boarded up and there are many empty lots where buildings once stood before the quake. One afternoon we walked along the shores of a volcanic crater that opens out into the sea near the town of Lyttelton. We tried to rent kayaks but they weren’t any rentals anywhere close. It was the weekend and families were coming in with grills and coolers and watermelons, ready to spend some quality outdoor time.

Utsa flew back to Wellington. We enjoyed her short visit. In a few days we will go to Bangkok, and onwards to Cambodia, Vietnam, and Japan from there. We are excited but we will miss so many things about New Zealand. Of all the places we’ve visited I think the Long White Cloud may be the hardest to say good bye to.

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