Akaroa and Christchurch, New Zealand
Akaroa is a tender port, so I was relieved as I watched the beautiful sunrise. We had signed up for an excursion that morning, but Carol was too sick to go, and she decided to visit the ship’s doctor since she didn’t seem to be getting better. His diagnosis was acute respiratory issues (in other words, bronchitis). He gave her cough medicine and an antibiotic and signed her excursion ticket so she could get a refund. I wished her a good rest and went to meet my tour group and make our way to the tender.
Our first stop was Manderly, a 750-acre sheep farm located on the shore of Lake Forsyth. Ross, the owner, gave an interesting demonstration with the sheep dogs and his wife, Mary, served homemade lamb sausage rolls and shortbread cookies with tea and coffee from stoneware (no Styrofoam from this classy pair) in their lovely garden. After a leisurely break, we boarded our bus for the trip to Christchurch.
Our driver, Joe, was a “jolly curmudgeon” who entertained us with lively commentary during the long drive over the mountains. He drove us around Christchurch pointing out the areas damaged by the earthquake. He pointed out the cathedral walls being held up by shipping containers until repair work could begin. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to visit the botanical gardens, museums, etc…we barely had time for a brief stop at the art museum for a short break before we had to return to Akaroa. We were all disappointed that the tour had so little time in Christchurch. We made it back to the tender and boarded the ship with minutes to spare. Other tours were delayed and our tablemates, Ray, Vanessa, and Tillie, missed dinner. Carol’s medicine was working and she didn’t feel up to going to dinner.