Well lots has happened in a short time, here is a quick recap!
Brian and I took the Transalpine train from Greymouth to Christchurch and it was stunning! It was also Brian's birthday so we had a nice lunch and bottle of wine with us for the beautiful journey. There were these great observation decks where you could stand out in the open air and watch scenery roll past, and drink your wine!
We arrived in Christchurch and the gardens and parks reminded me much of London. So beautifully manicured, colorful and sweet smelling. The following morning we felt our first earthquake! We were at a little cafe, and felt this intense rumbling. When the waitress came back we asked her if it was indeed one. She said, oh yeah they get a few each morning! This one was a bit larger then normal though she said. After the large quake that happened here last September, they have been getting regular small quakes almost daily. In general, New Zealand gets around 4,000 earthquakes a year, though they are quite small. The magnitude of the one we felt was about 4.0
We are at a new wwoofing location in North Beach about 1 block away from the beach. It is so soothing to hear the roar of the surf so close by.
I've noticed in New Zealand that there seems to be less restrictions on slightly dangerous activities, that the country lets people take more responsibility for themselves instead of placing so many limits on the public. I've never seen an outdoor observation deck like this on a U.S. train, there could be one I'm not aware of though! We see that in a lot of playgrounds there are these cool ziplines, and we went to this local waterpark the other day and there were no lifeguards or staff at the top of the water slides, just a red or green light to let you know when to go down....
The world buskers festival has been going on here in Christchurch and we have been enjoying a number of acts. Particularly the burlesque act and the circus act. There is a college here where you can receive a degree in circus arts, and a number of performers graduated from there with pretty incredible talents. I love watching the aerial dancing in particular. Seeing the strength and grace of these young performers is quite inspiring.
A few more days here and then we are off to Akaroa where I am hoping to swim with some dolphins :) We shall see!