So we set off from Hanmer to hitch back to the trail. Catching two lifts – two couples picked us up – both had been in the earthquake, and both were heading out of Christchurch. But both couples, while escaping an earthquake zone were still lovely enough to decide to pull over and help two strangers standing by the edge of the road. How wonderful is that? This seems the ultimate example of the generosity and selflessness we’ve experienced from people in New Zealand.
The first couple were in a central park when cracks appeared beneath their feet, and the trees began to fall around them. The second couple were leaving their damaged house behind with a car of salvaged possessions, unsure if they’d ever be able to go inside again. The girl was a teacher at a local school with her classroom of small children when the quake struck. Imagine trying to protect all the kids. Absolutely awful! And yet both couples seemed cheerful, and expressed feelings of being thankful or lucky. Pretty humbling. And even though petrol has run dry across the region the last couple insisted on dropping us all the way to the very start of the trail. What amazing people.
Above, is our first pit stop for the day, to sign into the log book in the ancient hut! Looks quite cute in the clearing don’t you think? :)