World Buskers Festival

Posted Feb 26 2014

We had fun attending numerous World Buskers Festival performances in January here in Christchurch. For eleven days jugglers, streets performers, comedians and cabaret artistes from 10 countries entertained crowds in the central business district and North Hagley Park. Lots of silliness, laughs and groans. Here’s a smattering:

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Quake anniversary

Posted Feb 23 2014

Yesterday marked the third anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake. One hundred and eighty-five white chairs memorialize those who died on February 22, 2011. Christchurch has come a long way and has a long way to go. The orange cones that line the city streets today had flowers placed in them. Stay strong, Christchurch.

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Hard yakka hike

Posted Feb 22 2014

We returned home yesterday afternoon from Mount Cook National Park. My thighs are on fire this morning. We hiked from Hooker Lake campground to Mueller Hut and then back down the next morning. I wasn’t looking forward to the hiking part- a straight up and straight down route- but views from Mueller Hut were touted […]

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Which mailbox is ours?

Posted Feb 18 2014

I like the mailboxes in New Zee- many of them look like birdhouses. Mail in Christchurch is delivered by postal employees riding bikes. A jar of Vegemite or a bottle of New Zealand wine (your choice!) upon our return home to the first person to correctly identify our mailbox!

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‘The finest walk in the world’

Posted Feb 15 2014

This is how many guide books describe the 54 km Milford Track. Prior to leaving for New Z, I challenged myself to do three backpacking trips. Our friend Bob had loaned me a backpack and I couldn’t return it unsullied. The Milford Track would be our second backpacker- a three night four day journey through […]

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New Z fur seals

Posted Feb 12 2014

Warning: Don’t startle seals. They’ll charge. This man took a risk and also disturbed a colony. We remember the story: fur seals were hunted by Europeans to the brink of extinction in the 1700’s and 1800’s. Luckily now the population of seals has mostly recovered. Kiwis are nonchalant about seeing these whiskered mammals but Forrest […]

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New Z’s only castle

Posted Feb 10 2014

While exploring Otago Peninsula, we saw signs to Larnach Castle. Intrigued, we followed the steep road up and around, through trees and mist. There it preened, New Zealand’s only castle, beckoning us to enter. Okay- so it’s not Biltmore or Buckingham but it had its own charm and a bathtub made from Herculaneum marble. It […]

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Meet Sara

Posted Feb 2 2014

Sara E. Johnson is a mystery writer who spent nine months exploring wondrous New Zealand. Everywhere she snooped, there was a mystery that needed writing. Molten Mud Murder, Sara’s debut novel, will be published March, 2019 by Poisoned Pen Press. It is the first in the Alexa Glock Mystery series set in New Zealand. Sara […]

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Bottom of New Zealand!

Posted Feb 2 2014

Stewart Island, the location of the second mystery in the Alexa Glock series, is hard to reach – even if you’re already in New Zealand. When we tried in 2014, our ferry from Bluff was canceled twice due to extreme weather in Foveaux Strait. The 2:00 ferry was a ‘go’ but what a rollicking roller […]

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