Sunday, February 20, 2011

Our first day trip - Akaroa

The crazy bunch on a day trip.
The decision to go on our first day trip did not initially come about as a desire to explore but to send our kids to sleep.  After many late nights, the girls were extremely grumpy and tired and the only thing that would end the foul moods was enforced rest.  So strapping them into their car seats we set off.  How grateful we were to the kids because it was a beautiful day and a wonderful drive.

We left home and wound our way through the leafy suburbs of Cashmere and Westmorland, lovely areas that hug the hills.  It was a stunning day and as always, locals escape outside and it was busy with cyclists, walkers and kids playing in local parks.  From our house all the way to Akaroa - 1.5 hour drive, 94 kms - there is not one traffic light!  I just realised this and it amazed me.  Sorry for the diversion.

We left the suburbs and hit true country through Tai Tapu and down through the Banks Peninsula.  The road runs directly under the craggy cliffs of the hills and rises next to the car on one side while on the other is the flat Canterbury Plains that stretch into the distance.  By now true animal spotting was happening from the back seat, the joy of seeing cows, sheep and horses has not worn off yet.  However the lure of an ice-cream for girls who sleep sees Amy close her eyes and nod off - one down, one to go.

The countryside changes dramatically as you turn a corner and you head into the lush mountains that circle the ancient volcano.  The road gently winds its way up and over the mountains and brings you into the sheltered harbour of Akaroa.  It is so beautiful and best seen on a clear, sunny day, so we were very lucky.  The village of Akaroa is small and is influenced by the original French settlement of 1840. The street signs are mainly French and the buildings are quaint and tiny, it is like visiting an old world village except that the shops sell beautiful arts and crafts and the restaurants serve the best of modern NZ cuisine.

We had a wonderful lunch at a cafe, that served the best BLAT sandwich I have ever had, yum!  A gentle walk along the main street and down to the wharf ending with the promised ice-cream concluded our trip to Akaroa.  It was a great day and ended with both girls sleeping all the way back home.  A perfect end to a great day.  I think there will be many more day trips in store for us over the coming weeks and months.
Slightly more composed.

Coming down into Akaroa Harbour.

The crater surrounding the harbour

Amy fast asleep with her favourite book.

The beautiful countryside.

1 comment:

  1. I've been meaning to catch up for a while now, and oddly chose this morning, just as you were hit by another whammy from mother nature.

    I love the way you write, and the things you write about. I hope the shakes stop soon.

    Love from here.