Ash clouds, earthquakes and other phenomena permitting, we're on our way back to the North Island.
It's been a full-on time down in Christchurch, and we've gone through the whole gambit of emotions. We reckon that sleep will come easily tonight. We've said goodbye to a good friend, we've dispensed tea, flowers and sympathy as best we could, we've dug and pushed barrows, and we've seen some awful things.
Now it's time to get back to the relative normality of our own lives. If there's one sense we'll take away from this weekend, it's that our problems are pretty insignificant in the overall scheme of things. For that we are hugely grateful.
Just for now though, we're looking forward to getting home; without the intervention of Mother Nature!!
UPDATE: Remind us to keep our gob shut! As we drove to Christchurch Airport, the fog was getting thicker, and thicker, and thicker. We went to the kiosk to check in to find that all flights into Christchurch were on hold due to the fog, and that "here we go again" feeling hit us. Fortunately, the plane on which we were scheduled to depart made it in as the fog started to lift, and the delay was not as bad as it will have been for some travellers today, whose planes were diverted elsewhere.
On a brighter note, we had an opportunity to explore the new Christchurch Airport terminal, and the end result is great. It's just a shame that there is no great influx of travellers to the Garden City just at the moment because the facility is top-notch.