Felix and Nico had to run off to a dinner the day they drove me to Christchurch, so I met up with Lauren in town. Lauren and I met earlier on the trip at Castle Hill through Pia and Craig (who I travelled South with). Originally the plan was to stay in Christchurch and climb/travel the area for about a week. I ended up showing up two days early and we ended up getting along so well that I actually stayed there for the rest of my trip.
A lot of Christchurch rock has been entirely obliterated. What used to be columns of rock is now a pile of rubble from the 2011 earthquake (2 years ago!). Christchurch area was a huge climbing area, but now it barely has any.
We decided to check out Albert Terrace on the first day as it is supposed to be a good beginner/warm-up wall. We found the rock a bit dodgy as it sounded quite hollow. It was fine though, and we had fun on a route that in my book said was a 19 but then as more people came by to climb it kept upping a grade or two because people kept saying that it got re-graded a few times. Riiight.
I also got a driving on the left side lesson that day.
The next day Lauren had to work in the morning so I got to practice driving on the left side some more. I am good at it other than all right of way rules because they are backwards!! Fiji drives on the left, so I am used to sitting on the left, but Fiji also does not have any right of way rules so I am not used to that. There are a couple of big adventures I want to do in Fiji this year where you need to rent a car so I feel a lot more confident now than before.
We spent a few days in the Banks Peninsula area looking for things to climb. On the way we stopped at Lyttleton which had a nice Kiwi beach, which was good, but then a lady who was also there told us that it was one of the beaches where the water is hot. We sat in a hot pool/puddle for a while. So awesome. Nature’s hot tub.
We also stopped and inventoried our food because we both had no idea what we had with us. We found out that if the car broke down we could probably survive on baked beans for a week no problem.
My climbing book, South Island Rock, also know as the worst climbing guidebook I have ever seen, led us astray a few times. We did end up doing some trad climbing at Holmes Bay which was very smooth and crackular. My hands got torn to shreds quite a bit. But most of the time we just spend wandering/driving on dodgy roads (thank goodness for 4 by 4).
The next day we were so frustrated at trying to find the cliffs (you seriously need a machete!) so we gave up and ate fush and chups and drove back to Christchurch. Then we went to the climbing gym. At that point it had been a seriously long time since I had a shower, heh, so it probably was a good thing that we went to the gym.