In Christchurch the business to be in would be The Motel business. 100's of them virtually all of them with their No Vacancy signs illuminated. We had booked ours when we arrived as the hotel we had intended to stay in was fully booked and had trouble finding accommodation. Yet again booking.com sorted things.Bags dropped off at the Aalton Motel incidentally owned by a Suzuki Hyabusa owning UK couple we set off for one last ride. We had been advised to take a look at the suburb of Sumner
. Over in the east of the city high on the hills it was obvious that this was the premium end of the property market. As we approached the reality of the devastation wreaked slowly dawned as we crossed a temporary bridge past the boarded up yacht club that had subsided.High on the cliff side were many badly damaged multi million dollar homes. Some had partially collapsed over the cliff side. We watched one house being ripped apart by a demolition team. The debris bucket full of masonry and the ex occupants personal possessions. The price of cargo containers round here must have gone through the roof as there are hundreds of them stacked in pairs and filled with concrete. ( plenty of that about) being used to protect roads from falling cliffs and to hold up building facades. So much repair work has been done but so much more to do and to demolish. Very thought provoking to say the least.Things went nice and smoothly when we dropped the bike back with the laid back folks at Te Waipounamu Motorcycles a company we happily recommend.Another company we recommend is Apple. Up the road from our Motel just a 10 minute walk away is a Westfield Shopping Centre with an Apple Store. They just happened to have the model iPad mini we wanted in stock and quick and as seamless as can be the new device was fully loaded and after the little accident to the original iPad only two days pictures were lost. One happy lady but one sore pocket. Wally's bruises are also now subsiding! We rounded off the New Zealand leg of our trip with a bus tour within the red zone. The area that is out of bounds to the general public as it one huge demolition and reconstruction site. It is what we both imagine a war zone would look like.Food for thought though 20 churches destroyed but the Casino in the middle of it all survived intact.Following the trip we popped into Christchurch museum and had settled down to watch an AV presentation on exploration to the South Pole when Wally felt the earth move, a glance at Madam and she felt it too. Nothing to worry about but a definite shake. No one else seemed concerned but when we checked the GeoMet info site there it is 13.2.13 @ 16.39 Nz time 3.6 magnitude moderate tremor 8km deep and 15km from Christchurch!That certainly reminded us why all the motels are full.
It felt a bit strange loading up the GS for the last time in Nz and we headed off down Highway 1 for Christchurch. Our last ride on superb roads lasted right up until the outskirts of the city where we found......A motorway. Well that's what they call it but in reality it's a short section of dual carriageway that can't be much more than 10km long. That was empty too.Then we came across a strange set of lights that we hadn't seen for 10 days. Traffic lights!!!