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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Back to Christchurch

March 25th, 2010 · No Comments

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The little New Zealand town of Fairlie, where I stayed two nights ago, could not be more different from Christchurch, where I stayed last night and where I am now. Christchurch is by far the biggest city on the country’s South Island with a population of almost 400,000 people.

But I have friends in both Fairlie and Christchurch. I am at the home of Robyn Askin, the good friend of Graeme McIver. Robyn’s home is an ultramodern townhouse on a quiet street that is nevertheless within walking distance of the city. Graeme is a retired Methodist pastor and a good friend of John Dodson, the pastor of St. John’s United Methodist Church in Anchorage, Alaska, and my best friend. Friends do help friends.

I could have driven the busy coastal route from Fairlie to Christchurch. But I had already gone that way twice. Instead, I took the inland scenic route through the Canterbury Plains for Geraldine, near Fairlie. This route has some pretty scenery of farm and ranch land with mountains forming the background.

A Scene of the Canterbury Plains

A Scene of the Canterbury Plains

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Since I had a good map and had gone to dinner at Robyn’s home the day I arrived in New Zealand five weeks ago, I had no trouble finding her place.

Robyn and Graeme Welcomed Me Back to Christchurch

Robyn and Graeme Welcomed Me Back to Christchurch

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Then I took them out to dinner. This was “my shout” — the New Zealand colloquialism for my treat — in partial thanks for all that they did to make my vacation such a great success.

Graeme and Robyn at the Restaurant Where Each of Us Enjoyed Butterfish

Graeme and Robyn at the Restaurant Where Each of Us Enjoyed Butterfish

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For Desert, Graeme Admired this Artistic Chocolate

For Desert, Graeme Admired this Artistic Chocolate

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My visit with Graeme and Robyn at both the beginning and end of my New Zealand visit formed appropriate bookends to my trip. They greatly helped to make the longest vacation that I ever had to be the best.

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