Day Forty Nine: Sign of the Kiwi walk

While I knew there was no way in heck I was going to even think about doing a lot of walking today, I did realize that it would do me good to get out and about eventually. After a s-l-o-w start to the day, I finally picked a direction– in this case it was UP to Summit Road and the Sign of the Kiwi.

Sign of the Kiwi road sign

Sign of the Kiwi wooden sign

I was really bummed to see that the Sign of the Kiwi building itself was closed to the public due to damage it sustained in the earthquake. That didn’t stop the view from the tiny parking lot there from being just as good as I remember from my last trip– you can see out over Christchurch and the Canterbury Plains.

Summit Canterbury Plains view

Summit Road view

I learned pretty quickly that there are both bike and walking trails, and I happily climbed up to start the walking trail knowing that I was not in any danger of getting flattened by any of the MANY mountain and road bikers that were zipping hither and yon on both the roads and some of the bike trails that I could see.

Crater Rim Walkway sign

The trail climbed and dipped and mostly followed the road around the Port Hills. I figured that I’d keep walking until either I got tired or it started to rain, which it was looking like it was going to do at some point. I did get a very nice walk in before it let fly, and at one point the sun burst out and it looked like it was just going to blow over without me getting wet. Not the case as it turned out…

grassy path

trailside ferns

bees are BIG here

bees are BIG here

narrow and winding path

A bit of weather. Looking a bit left of Christchurch, but not toward the water.

A bit of weather. Looking a bit left of Christchurch, but not toward the water.

trail steps

Hoon Hay Scenic Reserve

water and flowers

Banks Peninsula toward I think it's Governor's Bay.

Banks Peninsula toward I think it’s Governor’s Bay.

Only people, no sheep allowed out of the paddock!

Only people, no sheep allowed out of the paddock!

After I finished walking I decided to drive down the road toward the water to see the port town of Lyttelton. It was heavily damaged in parts by the earthquake, and I figured that as long as I was close I should stop by and see how they were recovering. There are, as with ALL towns that have lost buildings due to the earthquake(s), many public art projects in spaces that used to be occupied by buildings. Lyttelton is a hilly town, and the main shopping street is a couple of blocks up the hill from the port/harbor (American spelling, NZ spelling = harbour) itself. I was happy to discover a good coffee place for lunch and also a small health food store that had a couple of things I wanted to get.

Lyttelton harbor 1

Lyttelton harbor 2

Lyttelton harbor 3

hopscotch anyone?

hopscotch anyone?

Bench reminds me of two of my favorite mosaic artists: Antoni Gaudi and Niki de Saint Phalle.

Bench reminds me of two of my favorite mosaic artists: Antoni Gaudi and Niki de Saint Phalle.

Lyttelton mural

Hey Brother Peter, check it out: Petanque Boules available!

Hey Brother Peter, check it out: Petanque Boules available!

Creative use of shipping containers!

Creative use of shipping containers!

Lyttelton Port Hole 2

Yes, this street is STEEP, and yes, that building is propped up.

Yes, this street is STEEP, and yes, that building is propped up.

Lyttelton shopping street

Hey look! San Francisco is on their list!

Hey look! San Francisco is on their list!

Lyttelton star

Lyttelton totems

flying fish and person

On the way back I took a shorter route, and went through the long Lyttelton Tunnel to get back to Christchurch. It’s the kind of thing that I never used to think twice about, going through a long tunnel like that, and yet now when I do I think about being in a place that has earthquakes and wonder, just for a second, if I’m going to be unlucky enough to be in it when a large one happens. And as most of you know, I drive through a tunnel (a very short one) every day when I’m going to work. Once I was back in Christchurch I wrapped up the day by going to go see the movie version of Marcus Zusak’s book, The Book Thief. And even though it was late by the time the movie was over and I was back at my friend Darryl’s where I’ve been staying I discovered (much to my horror) that I was about 500 steps short of my goal of 10k a day. Which meant that is was time for a late-night pep-step, unfortunately for both Darryl and I as his chivalrous self was not about to let me out the door by myself at that hour!!

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