Wednesday, Dec. 29 - Christchurch
This is our last full day in NZ. We checked out of our hotel and drove south of Christrchurch to Mount Pleasant, a relatively tall mountain over the town of Lyttelton. We took the "gondola" (i.e. cable car) up the mountain. The ride was much longer than the one we took in Queenstown, and as it was a windy day, our car swung to and fro in the wind almost all the way up. The sheep on the mountain-side seemed indifferent, both to us and to the wind.
I wanted to try paragliding (as I didn't get a chance to do so in Queenstown), but due to the strong winds there was no paragliding today. We went out to the observation deck and the wind literally swept us off our feet; it was very hard to walk up to the end of the railing. A. braved the winds and managed to get all the way to the fence, screaming against the howling winds.
Back down from the mountain, we drove about 100 kilometres to Wakaora. This village was the place that the first explorers from France arrived at, and until today the village retains a certain French flair: the street names are in French, as are some of the restaurants. French or not French, there was a packed fish & chips shop here as well... We took a walk along the sea promenade (the Pacific) and then had a quick lunch before heading back to Christchurch, for our flight back up to Auckland.
After an eventless flight, we checked in to a hotel near the airport for a short night's sleep, to get up at 6am to catch our flight to Hong Kong, on our way to Tel Aviv. This post, written at Hong Kong airport, is the final one from this travelogue.