We arrived in Christchurch in time for sundowners at the beautiful Stuart Manor Bed and Breakfast where we spent the night; we chose to stay outside the city centre as it is still mostly closed following the earthquakes a year ago. We met our hosts and the other guests and chatted about our travels - a very pleasant way to start the evening. We had dinner at a local Indian Restaurant and turned in early.
About an hour later the first of the ten earthquakes that night hit Christchurch. It registered 5.1 and although it was quite a distance away, the house shook and crockery clinked. A second quake hit at about 6am and registered 5.5. We don't know how Christchurch folks live in a place where tremours are a regular occurance. While we didn't feel any danger, but it was disconcerting to feel the house literally shake on its foundations.
We headed off the next morning in our Chariot - a 12+ year old Honda! Not as comfy as the V6 Aldis we have become accustomed to but allows us extra spending money for handbags - sorry, I mean gliding!
The drive to Omarama took about 4 hours, and we stopped in the seaside town of Timaru for a coffee on the way. We also stopped at Lake Benmore and saw the Upper Waitaki Hydro development. These power stations supply about 1/3 of New Zealand's hydro power and the view is very pretty. Lake Benmore is a popular fishing spot and we passed many camping grounds along the lake.