Saturday 8th March – my birthday!!!!

The most random birthday ever!

For a start we had to wake up at 6:45am to walk back up the hill to the lodge where the others were staying to get breakfast, but before that I was allowed to open my cards and pressies. I got cards from my bf, his parents and mine, a bottle of wine from a vineyard called Roaring Meg (named after a prostitute from the gold mining days!) and some lovely earrings from bf parents.

After breakfast we walked back to the pub to finish packing and were treated to a beautiful sunrise, but red sky in the morning……
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The bus came down to pick us up and I discovered a red sparkly birthday hat sitting on my seat! Needless to say this stayed on my head for the entire day both on and off the bus.
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Pretty much as soon as we started heading towards Christchurch it started to rain and was really misty/foggy. Didn’t make it ideal weather for stopping at Moeraki Boulders, weird rocks worn away by the sea into sci fi looking boulders on the shore.
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We giggled at the craziness of getting out in the wind and rain, walking across a beach that was both sandy and muddy to see some rocks, but they were pretty cool. And after washing my flip flopped feet in the sink at the toilets I was treated to a birthday hot chocolate and there was free wifi and I got to read lots of birthday messages on FB (thanks again guys x)

We continued on to Timura where we stopped in town for lunch (another Subway….) and then headed out of town to do a supermarket shop and I got to help Snowflake shop for breakfast box – we were v efficient until he got to the checkout and remembered he was meant to get me a cake!

We had an afternoon wee stop somewhere that had a big fish (Oamaru I think). As we pulled in here Snowflake woke the bus up with ‘Wakey wakey, hands off snakey’ cue much sniggering!
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Arrived in Christchurch around 4pm, staying in old jail – only closed down in 1999.
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We all took a walk into the city centre to see earthquake damage, Snowflake had given us a little drive through and he was shocked how it had changed since he was last here. The CBD now looks a lot like a ghost town with buildings condemned or simply no longer there. But things are changing, they’ve created a shopping/dining area using shipping containers which actually looks really cool. We walked through to see the old cathedral, it’s been deconsecrated and apparently now condemed, very sad as its a beautiful building. We walked in a loop back following the tramline and then past the botanical gardens, Hagley park and back to the jail.
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Well, almost back, we walked past Snowflake and Steph in a Chinese takeaway right by the hostel so popped in to pick up some dinner – amazing chicken chow mein. Took it back to the hostel to eat – so much food!!
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We had just enough time for birthday cake, but was a bit sad as not everyone was back from town and there was no singing…… I was back in the birthday spirit as Dany gave me some German chocolate she’d found in Queenstown (she’s German!) and Beth gave me her gift of a birthday haiku, all beautifully written out ready to go in a frame when I’m home.

Finally everyone was back, changed into something red/black – Crusaders colours – and we headed to the match. The stadium was only a 10minute walk away and we were soon there, through security and drawn by the sight of people handing out free Crusaders flags – we were there, 1 each and into the stadium in time to see the teams warming up, the ladies with swords and v short skirts come on and dance around followed by men on horseback and then it was time for the teams to come out properly.

They were preceded by a lady camera person on a segway! Then it was time for the opposition – South African team the Stormers closely followed by much flag waving and our adopted team the Crusaders!

They didn’t play that well on the first half, were so close to getting a try at our end, but it wasn’t until the 2nd half when they were at the other end of the field that their point scoring went on. The Crusaders won by 16 points to 14, it was a close run thing but we won!!!!
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A happy band of people walked back to the hostel and we celebrated in the best way possible – a nice cup of tea!!!!

First teatotal birthday in at least 21 years!!

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