Okay, to recap, now that I’m ensconced at an internet cafe with a real keyboard:
- We were on the outskirts of CHCH when the earthquake hit, with our rain gear, hiking shoes and a rental car with a full tank of gas.
- We decided that, rather than trying to return to the city, we’d head south for Queenstown/Wanaka, where we had friends and a room reserved for later in the week. Got in the car and drove south until it was dark, found a lovely little backpacker hostel with space for the night (“You dears are Christchurch refugees, are you? Come on in, we’ll find some room.”), then started driving again in the morning.
Made it to Wanaka mid-day, and hung out with Kate, Katie, Rickey, Jesse, Elissa, Daniel and Kiell, who had rented a lovely house there for the week. Glorious, glorious refuge, and fresh salsa from the garden (thank you thankyouthankyou!). Continued on down to Queenstown that evening.
- Our stuff is/was still on the 20th floor of the Grand Chancellor, which appears about to implode at any moment. Includes:
- all the clothes we weren’t wearing that morning.
- my computer, with all photos from the ice. Good news: computer is fully backed up to external drive. Bad news: backup drive is sitting next to the computer in the hotel. D & Andy’s computers as well (backed up in Palo Alto)
- my passport. Yes, yes, my passport. There’s a long queue of people lining up to scold me for not having it physically stapled to my body at the time. But I was going to be in the water, in a wetsuit, with no place to keep it dry. And we were just going to be away from the hotel for a couple of hours. Fortunately, D & the kids have their passports, because she wasn’t going in the water, and she’s already demonstrated that she’s heaps smarter than I am.
- various irreplaceable souvenirs and notebooks that I didn’t trust the USPS to ship back