Sunday, July 30, 2017

Kairaki Beach + To Hanmer Springs

We walked for six miles today, along the apparently endless Kairaki Beach near our campground. The Waimakariri River below flows into the ocean here.

It's a beautiful shoreline too, a protected area with a thick swatch of pines and gently rolling dunes.

Here's the route we'll take tomorrow (click here to view map if reading in email) from Kairaki to Hanmer Springs. Note Kaikoura north of our current location and then Blenheim farther to the north. That would be the ideal route for getting back to the top of the South Island (not having to go west across the mountains via Murchison), but the road between Kaikoura and Blenheim is closed for repairs due to extreme damage from the 7.8 earthquake last November.

Here's just one example of what the massive quake did to the roads and why they say repairs might be finished by this Christmas. The economy of Kaikoura is suffering as a result.
All truck traffic that formerly breezed down from Blenheim south to Christchurch (and vice versa) now must take the tortuous route (adding hundreds of miles to the trip) that we'll be taking, across Lewis Pass and through Murchison and north from there. When we visited Murchison, there was real concern over what all that traffic was doing to their roads, which were never built to take the beating being caused by all the extra trucks and cars.

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