Going out with a bang rumble…
Yes there was an earthquake, but yes we are both fine. Besides, it’s time for country number seven!
Day 174 – Sunday 13th November 2016
Today was our last full day in New Zealand, of which we spent most of our time on the road. We packed everything up early, had lunch around midday and then took a quick dip in the hot tub before heading back towards Tai Tapu.
It took over six hours to get as far as Christchurch which is where we jumped out at the Aotea Motel and said our goodbyes. We didn’t get to sleep until just before midnight, then woke up unexpectedly when an earthquake decided to hit. I’ll carry on with details below though, seeing as though it was technically Monday morning by that point.
Day 175 – Monday 14th November 2016
We obviously had to jump out of bed and couldn’t sleep after that, so turned on the radio and listened for details. The US Geological Survey said the 7.8 magnitude quake hit 59 miles (95km) from Christchurch, then at just gone 01:00 an official destructive tsunami warning was issued for all southern coastal areas by the New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defence. For us that’s what made the situation feel very very real!
Our taxi arrived at 02:00 to take us to the airport, which is when I realised that I’ve lost my wallet (again!) – hopefully it shows up at the farm and they can post it home for me or something though. We arrived at around 02:30, then found that the check-in desks don’t open until 03:30 so had to sit on the floor for an hour waiting. We passed time by letting the world know that we were safe via social media, then continued to the baggage drop area where we had issues and had to pay $30 each to have temporary visitor entry visas granted at the help desk because the online service wasn’t working. To our surprise the flight actually left on time, but was very bumpy and turbulent, with the seatbelt light turned on for the majority of the time. Upon arrival in Sydney we weren’t jet lagged, just absolutely shattered!
We took the train from the airport straight to Campbelltown Station where we met up with a lady who we’ll be volunteering with for the next three weeks or so. Both of us were ready for a nap but it was only 10:00, so we got to know our way around, met the family (and one other guy who’s also volunteering here) and then had something to eat.
I did plan on taking a few pictures to upload them and show you guys around, but that didn’t go quite to plan – we tidied our room, moved in properly, then went to bed straight after dinner!