Thursday 12 March
A day in Akaroa, a small and pretty settlement not far from Christchurch which has a French influence as a result of some earlier pre British settlers.
We are told it will be an hour from when we get tender ticket to when we leave Aurora but in the end, only about 50 mins. The journey is about 20 minutes from the ship which is moored well into the bay.
We didn’t take a tour but walked around the pretty village built at head of an inlet to a French style so a considerable French influence in evidence with some colonial style buildings interspersed with a few modern ones.
Some IKEA style wooden churches, a few French establishments and street names, lots of backpacking hostels in evidence as this is a popular starting point for many a backpacking walks and tours.
Find cafe for internet connection, an ATM to get cash from my NZ prepaid card left over form 2013 and find some Doris Plums in a tin which, because we are not flying home, we can take home.
John even finds a Doris Plum ice cream. Whoppee.
Doris Plums were discovered by us when we last went to NZ 2 years ago (see http://www.thereadrovers.wordpress.com) and although you can get them in the UK, they are of course very expensive.
Back to ship and to the self service restaurant only to have to be served by crew due to health scare.
Find the NZ couple who joined the cruise at Sydney en route for San Francisco: they live in Akaroa so went home, did some washing and came back to the cruise ship. How bizarre!
Back on board Aurora, the Italian Captain announces that the health scare is getting better but Cyclone Pam is heading NZ’s way so we are going around the west of NZ after Wellington rather than the East.
Really good performance by Maori, Ben Makisi tonight with especially his rendition of Nesim Dorma. Comic, Geoff Stevenson good but perhaps not as good as his last performance.
Tomorrow it is Wellington