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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Monday, 13 February 2017

A Cathedral of cardboard.

Since we have been on South Island 2 quakes that we know about has been in the news. A website found shows exactly where and when they all happened. Neither one had been felt by us. The last one was near Amberley, Canterbury measuring 4.9 at a depth of 18km. Pretty certain we will leave New Zealand without mishap, but a snippet of information, there has been 218 quakes in the past 365 days. Frightening isn't it! I mention this because of a comment left by Jennie Nb Tentatrice
I found a website Recent earthquakes New Zealand which shows exactly where and when they all occurred.

So back to today. Yes, we did the Gondola at Heathcote Valley. Beautiful start to the day and expected to see wonderful views. We were there for the opening at 10 am but hadn't reckoned on the wind getting stronger and bringing the low cloud with it. Made for an interesting trip up the side of the hill, I can tell you, confined in that small gondola swaying from side to side. So the views were not great from the top but Ian, having checked the weather radar app for this area, assured me that it would all clear up by 1pm.

So we waited, 3 hours of drinking tea, walking along the very windy paths and taking a 'Time Tunnel' ride exhibit that chronicles Christchurch's history from early settlement to the present time, just so we could get some decent views. Sure enough, the weather radar was correct and the cloud and mist lifted to show the Canterbury Plains stretching on forever and over on the other side, Lyttleton and Diamond harbour with views across to Mt Herbert.

Having mentioned the Cardboard Cathedral in yesterday's post we had to go see it. Here are a few facts on the construction from Wiki

The building rises 21 metres (69 ft) above the alter. Materials used include 60-centimetre (24 in)-diameter cardboard tubes, timber and steel. The roof is of polycarbon with eight shipping containers forming the walls. The foundation is concrete slab. The architect wanted the cardboard tubes to be the structural elements, but local manufacturers could not produce tubes thick enough and importing the cardboard was rejected. The 96 tubes, reinforced with laminated wood beams, are "coated with waterproof polyurethane and flame retardants" with two-inch gaps between them so that light can filter inside.

One last walk along the River Avon to find the massive Trout that inhabit the water. Not just trout but Eels and a very bored puntsman waiting for a fare.

Last day tomorrow. Lots of sorting out to be done, washing and trying to cram all those extra souvenirs into our small case. Could be a challenge so I'm leaving that to the 'master packer'. Ian is a dab hand at fitting things into impossible places.

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