Christchurch after the earthquake – The ghost town

Christchurch Park

It’s Easter and I had completely forgotten. I reluctantly leave Fiji which, despite the bad weather, was a place of entertainment and where I met very interesting people with whom I shared joys and sorrows.
The days of captivity are a distant memory and the idea of ​​abandoning the clothing I’ve had for more than a few weeks, bikinis and shorts, and the freedom to walk without shoes doesn’t really appeal to me.
Knowing then that I will go from 30 degrees to 15 I like it even less.
I admit. I tried to change the flight by diverting it to Hawaii and skipping New Zealand, but fate and the travel agent said no.

After an evening in the company of friends and swimming in the pool in the evening I fall asleep for the 4 hours that I am allowed. At 5 the annoying alarm rings and, not understanding much, I manage to be ready at 5.30. Flight on time, the sun shines again after 10 days. It seems like a joke to me. At 11.30 in the morning I land at Christchurch.
I booked the hostel the night before at the last minute. Christchurch was destroyed by an earthquake in February 2011 and some hostels are still uninhabitable. The choice is not that vast and with this advance which wasn’t that far in advance, I found everything was booked. I managed to find a bed for $NZ25 a night when I was desperate and thought I would have to sleep at the airport. Kiwi House. A good price compared to the average and decent quality, nothing exceptional but for one night everything would have been fine.

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In theory the hostel wouldn’t even be that far from the centre, I think that on balance it could be a 15 minute walk away. But since this is destroyed it must be circumnavigated and walk for about 40 minutes. A long walk among ruins, deserted streets and signs that invite you not to pass through a certain street as it is dangerous.
I take a wrong turn about 3 times and find myself in dead ends. A post-war scenario around me.

It’s 3pm, the sky is blue. This Easter gave me a fairly mild day. I’m in jeans and a short-sleeved t-shirt.
I feel like I’m alone in the city. Not a soul on the streets, a few cars every now and then.

terrmoto christchurch

I head towards the City Mall, that is, the pedestrian area with shops and bars and free wifi. Yes, free wifi on the street and for everyone. The city really impresses me. Collapsed buildings, barriers everywhere and once I arrived in this pedestrian street where there are some tourists taking photographs I didn’t quite understand what it seems to me that the style of the structures is perfectly in keeping with the disaster that the city has suffered. There are no buildings but rather containers. The shops and bars are all in one colorful box after another.

That the New Zeland I knew it was dormant, but there isn’t a bar or shop open. Some tourists take pictures of the ruins, I don’t feel inspired so I sit down, check my email and think about how to get away from this city or what activity to organize so I don’t have to spend another day walking among ruins.
Not much to do here, especially after the earthquake. A city that can be easily avoided at the moment but an excellent base (where to stay for a day or less in fact) if you want to go to Kaikoura you can see whales or swim with dolphins and excellent bus connections to the main attractions of New Zealand’s South Island.

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