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Tuesday 3rd March
The day was wet and the cloudbase was very low so there was little point in hanging around as we made our way from Geraldine to Christchurch. We arrived soon after midday and ate our lunch in the Hagley Park before walking through the beautiful gardens which are in the park. The conservatories there house a huge variety of native and other plants and there was also an amazing display of Begonias.

We met up with Barry and Frances after this and went for a ride to the south of the city to Taylors Mistake for a view of Christchurch. Later on we joined their son Steven and his girlfriend Michelle and her parents for an evening meal and chat.


Wednesday 4th March
A gloriously sunny day to finish with - there was not a cloud in the sky. We started by visiting the Willowbank Wildlife Park where they keep a large range of animals which are to be found in NZ. There are special sections for those animals which have been introduced by settlers, those which are native, domesticated animals etc etc. We were able to get much closer to some birds such as the heron and the white stork. It was our last day and we finally managed to see some live Kiwi even if they were in captivity. They had a special area which was kept in the dark and they didn't seem frightened of us. Photos not allowed unfortunately.

After lunch in the Hagley Park we dropped off the hire car in the centre of town and visited the Cathedral and then the new Art Gallery 'Te Puna o Waiwhetu'. The best entries of the Flower Festival photo competition were on display in the Cathedral and in the art gallery there was a variety of exhibitions to see.


Wednesday 4th March Again!!!
We left Auckland at 11pm on 'the first' Wednesday 4th March and within 2 hours had crossed the International Date Line and Wednesday 4th March began all over again! Touched down at LA at 1.30pm their time and are now at the hotel. We have a 24hrs break here so will probably take it easy for the rest of the day and do some sightseeing tomorrow.

ps - Forgot to mention the saga of the tomato. LA agricultural policy is such that we were not allowed to bring any fruit/veg into the country. We realised that we had one uneaten tomato in our possession so we decided to declare it before it was found by the sniffer dogs. We were dispatched to the agricultural security desk for it to be examined and 'disposed of' if necessary. The security officer called in his superior to refer to the rule book and Tony's passport was taken away to be checked. 10 mins later we were allowed to continue minus one tomato. We wished we had just eaten it!

Thursday 5th March
We slept pretty well last night - stayed awake long enough to have an evening meal at 5.30pm and by 7 we were tucked up in bed. Slept through to 6.30am. After breakfast took the 'Trolley' to Manhatten Beach and walked along the front watching waders (birds) and surfers. Then jumped on the Trolley again to get to the Manhatten shopping mall. Tony decided not to buy a casual shirt when he looked at the price tag - $168 (US$). Now at LA Airport waiting for the plane.


Friday 6th March
We're home! What a great holiday.


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Page updated 7th March 2009