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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!

Monday, 5 November 2012


I am now in Christchurch in a city devastated by the earthquakes of Sept 2010 and Feb 2011 and subsequent smaller quakes. I am staying at a hotel at the airport as I was told there is no point in staying in the city as many areas are still in a no-go red zone as it is still unsafe. I was keen to see what progress was being made so took a local bus into the city. My first impressions were of a much larger city than anticipated with some beautiful houses lining the roads and the wonderful large trees seemingly unaffected in Hagley Park as we entered the centre. It was only when we entered the centre of the city that the full horror of what happened here begins to hit home. No matter how much you see on TV or read in newspapers and magazines nothing can prepare you for the reality of situations. The centre has been devastated. I had expected to see large gaps where buildings have been cleared. I expected to see lots of new building and repairs going on. I did not expect to see buildings which as yet have not been made safe.

The Odeon Theatre

The front of the High Street

The back of the High Street

However there was a lively side to Christchurch. The shopping area has re-emerged from shipping containers which have been used to create a colourful centre.

There was also a large group of people watching a couple of street entertainers and another area which seemed to be an outdoor dancing/listening to music area.

Containers were also being used to prop up the facades of buildings.

Hopefully Christchurch can emerge again before too long as a vibrant and beautiful city.


  1. Humanity is resilient and will rebuild. I had been following a blogger from Christchurch so these scenes are familiar to me and now remind me of images of the eastern US caused by another act of Mother Nature. No doubt seeing such devastation in person holds much more of a punch than seeing it from the comforts of a couch.

  2. With all the damage done by the Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast it is just so devastating for people to have to deal with, but humanity is resilient indeed and all of these places will rebuild! Great post for the day!!

  3. I had no idea things were still this bad. You hear of it on the news at the time then tend to imagine things have moved on....but not quite so. Must be rather difficult and stressful for those living in the midst of it all.

  4. Oh dear ~ sad ~ but great photos ~ (A Creative Harbor) ^_^

  5. Yes I had read about the circumstances. It seems the ground has become a kind of shifting sands where no houses can be built anymore. It is a great tragedy, people who want to go away can't sell there houses and have no money to move to another city. That's why they don't rebuilt the innercity. They still have earth shocks all the time and the prognoses for the city are very bad.

  6. This is so sad. Humans: they will find a way out. It will be a vibrant city once more.

  7. That is so terrible that the town faced such devastation but uplifting to see it coming back to life.

  8. It is just so devastating when such calamities happen. It takes time to heal too.

  9. Oh my!!! I had no idea things were still this bad! It's been over a year and a half... I definitely would have expected buildings to be secured and rubble cleared away! :o(

    I was there in January 2011, just a month before the 2nd quake, and some of the buildings were already behind support scaffolding (stores on High Street etc.). I was also lucky that my sister had a friend there at whose house I spent the night since lodging was already a problem... most of the Backpackers (hostels) were located in the centre in older buildings, so quite a few had to close down after the September 2010 quake. If things are looking like that now I imagine even more Backpackers are closed!

    How was the Cathedral? Did you see it? I read the bell tower collapsed in the Feburary quake... :o(

    The more I think about it, the more I realise how lucky I was to only have lived through a couple "minor" quakes the 7 years I was in Mexico City (minor for there, high for other places). The unpredicatbility of Earthquakes scares me!!!

  10. It is amazing how they have made a shopping centre out of containers. I believe they are building a new city a bit further away rather than rebuild in the same place.

  11. How sad ! I had no idea that it was so much damaged !


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