Day Thirteen: Akaroa and Christchurch

First proper sleep in was had by all today!!! We made it to breakfast at 9am and I had some eggs and fruit. Jip and I joined Jips dad, Natalja and Layla to go to Akaroa. It would be a 1.5 hour drive.

It was looking like a nice sunny day until we got to the outskirts of Christchurch and it became heavy with fog. We were starting to doubt our decision to go to Akaroa.

We zig zagged our way along the country roads and before we knew it, it had become clear and sunny again! It was heavy cloud cover specifically between two mountain ranges, thank goodness!

In Akaroa, we parked the van and walked it's entire length. It is a very French town, even the street names Start with “Rue…". We wanted to find a place for lunch but being winter, a lot of places weren't open. We eventually came across a jetty where a few men were fishing and opposite it was a seafood restaurant that overlooked the water. We decided that this was a great spot and they even put two tables together to accommodate us. Just as we were about to order, the outside roof sprang a leak and started dribbling down onto our table! We ended up inside. I ordered grilled fish and chips and stuck with water. It was tasty and wasn't overfilling.

We then had to leave soon after lunch as Jip had an online workshop he had to attend to we drove back to Christchurch and through the foggy patch. Whilst Jip was doing his work, I hired one of the electronic scooters and zipped around town looking at some of the architecture. Since the 2011 earthquake, there has been phenomenal building of three storey townhouses, restaurant establishments and business blocks but it is a weird city. It is very much a concrete jungle with these stark, flat green “parks” with little to no trees. The problem is that they can't plant much as the ground is too muddy and it will eventually sink so lots of the CBD is empty or covered in gravel as a Wilson carparks.

When I went to finish my ride on the scooter, I was unable to complete the ride on the app on my phone. I tried the hotel wifi, I tried my own roaming but it still said I was riding (it is 38 cents per minute). I couldn't contact the help number either. The hotel employee assisted and soon enough I had gotten through to the call centre and was told the app had a meltdown and no one can use it. So, I basically paid for an hour when I only used it for 20 minutes. Hopefully I get my refund as promised.

I headed to the bar and started my evening drink earlier than usual. Bram joined me as he wanted to help with the whole scooter-saga too. We had a beer each before meeting the others and walking through the weird, concrete city. We found a place called Smash Palace. Weird place where out of one shipping container, people were riding in with motorcycles and getting tools to tinker with and on the other side was a bus converted into a bar. We all got a weird beer and sipped it before heading on to find dinner. My beer was called “Pils n Thrills”. Natalja had found a place close by that was also recommended within some of the traveling books we have. The Little High Eatery was a hipster food warehouse that had 6 to 7 small restaurants in it serving up tapas places and large meals. We all shared bits and pieces like jalapenos with cheese, bao buns, dumplings, pizza and deep fried cauliflower with maple syrup. All topped off with funny beers like “Secret Garden” and “Bullshit Bingo”. We were so full it was nice to have to walk 15 minutes back to the hotel before collapsing into bed!