Journal of a visit to New Zealand, via Singapore

The Land of the Long White Cloud
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Photographs by Gerald England
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This page last updated: 4th April 2008.
Day 4: New Zealand Customs Map

Day 4 It is early afternoon, local time, when we touch down at Christchurch Airport. First stop after alighting is the rest-rooms in order to freshen up before collecting our luggage and going through Immigration and on to Customs.

We are directed from the Green channel into the Red. In view of the foot-and-mouth just breaking out back home, everyone arriving from Europe are having their bags searched. They don't bother about the footwear we've just bought in Singapore but they take our old shoes out and wash them! By the time we get outside it is almost two hours since the plane landed. Here we are, finally, in Christchurch.

We get the first waiting taxi to the Heritage Hotel. He charges us $30. We later learn that the fare should have been between $16 and $23. We are warmly greeted on arrival and our luggage loaded on to a trolley. We check in, collect some messages that await us, follow our luggage up to the room, make a cup of tea and soon go to sleep in the lovely, comfortable bed.

On waking up, I venture out, just before 7 p.m., to get my bearings before it gets dark. The hotel is situated just behind the Cathedral. The older part of the hotel was originally the Old Government Building. We are in the modern part. I cross the tramlines and look at a number of shops mainly selling souvenirs and clothing. Although I don't buy anything, the staff are friendly and recommended somewhere simple and not too pricey where we can eat.

Christine is up when I return and we both venture out shortly after 8. We go to the Chancery Tavern on Gloucester Street. Although we have to climb steps up to the restaurant, it is worth doing. We both have the roast lamb which the chef carves in front of us. It is served with vegetables including pumpkin which is something new for us, but most congenial. The waitress hasn't a clue what a "bitter shandy" is so Christine settles for a coke. We top the delicious meal off with some gorgeous ice-cream.

After that it is all we can do but walk very slowly back to the hotel and so to bed.

Journal - Day 5 Photographs - Day 4