The drive to Christchurch was long, and took us through the middle of the South Island, away from the mountains of the west to the summery east. The wind whipped up an enormous swell on the light, milky-blue waters of Lake Pukaki. The colour comes from the tiny particles of rock (rock flour) suspended in the water. We ate something resembling a picnic lunch at Lake Tekapo (the bakery there sells excellent pies), a little way to the east.

I can’t report anything much from my visit to Christchurch, because I only spent one night there. I wandered the streets around Cathedral Square the night I arrived, and also the next morning, but I didn’t really see anything. I parted company with my new friends from the Kiwi bus, the night before at Queenstown, then en route to Christchurch, and finally as I left the hostel for the airport.

My final act in New Zealand was to spill a large cup of soft drink all over the floor and around the cash register at a dodgy fast food outlet inside the airport. I immediately regretted even thinking about eating there, and I enjoyed the pre-packaged in-flight meals considerably more.