After leaving Mt Cook we passed through a town that has more pubs per head than anywhere in NZ, 3 pubs and 250 people living there. We stopped at Lake Takepo, a small town on a lake (obviously). There was a very tiny non-denomenatioal Christian church there, the Church of the Good Sheppard. Instead of stained glass it had a very large clear window over the alter which overlooked the lake, and as our driver said, that view was more of an image of God than any stianed glass ever, it was gorgeous. It was in McKenzie country, and area where this man called John McKennzie used to go round steeling sheep. He was the first to train his dog to respond to a whistle and could leave for 2-3 days with the dog controlling the sheep. He was cought twice and escaped prison, and on the third time the decided to exile him. He didn't speek English, only Gaelic so he couldn't defend himself in court but it seems some farmers were paying him to steal other sheep from their rivals so he wasn't as bad as he may seem.
We arrived in Rangitata fot the night, the 'we can't stay in Christchurch is we're stopping here' stop. There is a rafting company which owns a hostel there and as rafting is closed for the winter the hostle is pretty empty. It had triple bunks in the rooms!! We had a tiny room for 10 people, 3 triple bunks and a single bed, it was mental!
We left this morning and I got dropped off in Christchurch as I am flying back to Queenstown tomorrow to meet a friend. We had a walk around the city and the destruction is everywhere. Some buildings have collapesed and others have codes on them, ready for demolision. around 900 buildings are going to be demolished here but the people I've spoken to seem very positve. They are looking forward to a new, modern, well built city! I hope they get it, cos its not very nice here right now.