Sunday, 13 April 2014

Rain in Akaroa (and a possum!)

Kinda like that, yeah. It's been raining horizontally of late. At least there were no floodings or jetskiing on the streets this time around. Went on a trip to Akaroa, with the intention of going on a boat trip and hopefully seeing dolphins. But the weather was too stormy for that, so we spent some hours investigating the area around the harbour on land instead. Learned that the British were as notorious as ever regarding the conquering of the place, raising their flag pretty much in the face of the French settlers and the Maori. More interestingly, I also learned that the whole Banks peninsula once was a volcanic island, which rose from the bottom of the sea some 12 million years ago. Rising land made it into the peninsula it is today, and the two harbours of Akaroa and Lyttleton are remnants of the volcano's two giant craters. A beautiful and interesting place, the Banks peninsula! Apparently it has a microclimate which is considerably warmer than its surroundings, so that olive trees and other mediterranean things can grow there. Although it was covered by woods when the first humans came there, it has since been mostly transformed into farmlands, and in typical New Zealand fashion sheep are grazing most of the hillsides.

Some trees were left though, so a walk among them was had. We saw fantails! And pukekos! And lots of terns by the shore. And during a walk in central Christchurch, a possum climbing a tree and then looking down at us with its large, round, black eyes. To think that such an adorable, fuzzy little creature can wreak so much havoc in the ecosystem. I heard that they stem from a population of just about a hundred, which were brought here from Australia for their fur, but when that proved unprofitable they were let loose. Now there's more than 30 million of them, and they've pretty much got a price on their heads what with all the damage they do to indigenous plant-life.

So yeah, an interesting and pleasant weekend overall, even though it didn't turn out exactly as expected. But then again, few things in life do. Now I have a wonderful thing called an Easter break for three weeks, and I'm heading off to Auckland and then Queenstown. Such a fantastic concept, why don't we have breaks in the middle of the semester in Sweden?

Enjoying the wind at Birdling beach. Notice the terns in the background.

Love and rain,

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