The other rally tour days included a trip to,
1), Mount Lyford, a ski resort in the winter and camping, tramping, rivers and mountains in the summer. This was quite a long drive out through the town of Rangiora and the back roads of north Canterbury to finish at Lyford Lodge for lunch.
2), Akaroa, a harbour settlement on Banks Peninsula. This run took us through Christchurch, then over the Port Hills and around the back of Littleton Harbour. After a stop at Little River we headed into the hills of Banks Peninsula, where we stopper at the Hill top Tavern for lunch. Nice food and fabulous view down on Akaroa Harbour.
Then instead of taking the main road, the rally instructions took us even higher into the hills to give us the most magnificent views of the area, and then descend in to the town. The cars all parked on the cricket oval and every one wandered off for a good look around.
Back in Chch on the lay days we had time to have a good look around the city at the changes since the earthquakes. In the CBD there were a lot of buildings that had completely gone and it was just level ground.
There were still a lot of large buildings in the process of coming down and a lot fenced off, some of which may get repaired.
One area we went to was thriving with markets under tents, and shipping containers had been used to create Banks, Shops and Cafe's.
Despite their troubles there was a positive attitude.
The sad part was driving through the suburbs and seeing all the abandoned homes. Christchurch is known as "The Garden City" and instead of seeing all the wonderful gardens in front of the houses, they were behind mesh security fences, knee deep in weeds and long grass. It is heart breaking for the owners.
Another use they have put the containers to, is along the side of the road below the cliffs to stop the falling rubble getting on to the road.
The Red Cliffs area, at the top of the cliff, was one of the areas badly effected with houses left hanging over the edge.
The issues in some of the lower lying areas is liquefaction, where every time they get a bit of a shake, a grey silt comes up from the ground and covers it all over. In other parts of the city there is not a sign that anything has ever happened, apart from the odd missing chimney.
One evening a BBQ was put on at the Ruapuna Raceway, and we were given the opportunity to take our cars out for a few laps of the circuit. What petrol head could resist that!!!
Friday night was the final dinner and prize giving. Having won the event twice before and just missing out at the previous one, I had told my wife that it would be great if we could bring home the trophy from the final Rally.
Saturday was a public display of the cars at the local Hot Rod club grounds. Then it was time to say goodbye to the friends from all over the country that we had got to know over the last 17 years.
For more photos of the trip http://www.tnttt.com/gallery/album.php?album_id=3720
This is the group that had travelled down from Whangarei to Christchurch for the rally.