Part 6

Mt. Cook, Christchurch, and back home

The summit of Mt. Cook. At least we saw it from here, because once we got closer in, we never saw the mountain again.The flat valley leading away from Mt. Cook.

Lots and lots of speargrass on our hike up the Hooker Valley. Unfortunately, not many views of the mountain.

Some lichen, plant and rock pictures that I enjoyed taking.

Mountain DaisyA close up of a glacier, taken through our binoculars.

There's a hut halfway up the trail.Lots of people have carved in their names and dates into the hut. So did we.

One of the two swinging bridges across the valley.More moss/lichen pictures.

You'll have to use your imagination here - Mt. Cook would be looming over us in the background if it were clear.

This is a famous tourist shot in New Zealand - the Church of the Good Shepard, on Lake Tekapo, with a view of Mt. Cook (in the rare instance that it's out!)We stopped at a sad little craft sale put on by touring motorhomes. They had cheesey things like glued together shells, etc.

An ostrich farm. They were very curious and trotted right up to us.We stopped for lunch in Geraldine. Tip Top is a brand of ice cream that's sold everywhere here. Good stuff.

Better pay attention at this intersection!In Christchurch, streets were pretty empty because of the rain (also, it was Sunday, and lots of places are closed).

Some of the houses we saw are really well kept and appealing looking.We had some bad timing with the weather in Christchurch!

We had so much rain that tons of mushrooms popped up everywhere in the motorcamp.In downtown Christchurch, a Japanese couple is getting married along the scenic Avon river.

Outside the Arts Center, some seagulls are squaring off over some scraps.At the Canterbury Museum, there's a great display on the Antarctic. These are some of the goggles that were used to prevent snow blindness. Notice the tiny slits to allow light in.

A primitive early snowmobile used in Antarctica.Eric imitating a dinosaur.

Playing chess in Cathedral Square.This is the "Wizard of Christchurch". He's an eccentric guy that gives very strange speeches in the square, weekdays regularly at 1 o'clock.

The wizard's car - looks like the front of 2 Volkswagen Bugs welded together.The town of New Brighton, north of Christchurch, has a great pier that extends far into the water.

Below the pier, a guy drew designs in the sand.He put a hat right below the pier so that people could give him tips. I thought it was clever - he set it up so that it was a challenge for people to toss the coins directly into the hat.

Rock formations close to the suburb of Sumner.Cave Rock in Sumner.

A view of Sumner from the rock.

Some Japanese students relaxing on the rock.New Brighton and Sumner from Godley Head, a windy, treeless peninsula with great views.

Some WWII military installations on Godley Head.Don't really know what the trenches in the floor were for...

A sailing ship off in the distance, through our binoculars.

On our way back to Christchurch, we saw this calf suckling its mother.We took a walk in the suburbs around the motor camp. This little boy showed us his kitten.

Our last day in New Zealand, we took a drive to Akaroa, a town that was originally a French settlement. They had just had serious flooding in town, and were cleaning up.

Eric and a street sculpture.More rain news

Just outside of town, a Toyota commercial was being filmed.Our last lunch in New Zealand!

Plenty of leftovers for the seagulls.

Bye bye campervan! We put 4148 kilometers (2592 miles) on this car (which was new when we got it).Great views of braided riverbeds and hedges on our flight out of Christchurch.

Coming back, we had superb views of Mt. Rainier.