This is my first visit to an internet place! Happy to discover that it isn't very difficult to figure out! Not sure about downloading photos but will try another day!
Anyway here I am in central Christchurch - arrived on Tuesday their time, having had a great flight direct from Vancouver. NZ airlines is excellent! I had a pretty good sleep and really haven't had any jet lag - just operating a day later and 3 hours earlier. I was met at the airport by this couple, Diane and Les, who I met on line through the Warm Showers organization. I have stayed with them and they have been helping me get oriented and making suggestions as well as letting me join their tramping group yeterday for a walk over some ridges on a farm 100 km north of here - it was a bit wet actually but lovely anyway and I got to meet some other kiwis and enjoyed my day - they have these amazing "prickly bushes" which one just pushes through - not to mention the barbed wire and electric fences to manoevre over/under/through!
My bike arrived safely even though I wasn't able to put it in a bag as I had planned - there were no bags at the airport - anyway everything including myself arrived safely -
I have just made arrangements to go to Akoroa tomorrow - its a national holiday - Waitangi Day - and there is a big celebration there - I shall take the bus and stay in a hostel and then on Sunday go on the Banks Peninsular tramp for 4 days - along the cliffs east of here - staying in little "huts" - I don't think any kiwiws do it but by all accounts it is very worthwhile - hopefully the weather is good -
Anyway I am feeling great about this whole experience and to think this is day 3 of 3 months here is wonderful! People super friendly and laid back -
I'm off to explore Christchurch on my bike and tonight there is a classical concert in the park followed by fireworks - retirement is excellent!