Monday, 11 June 2012

NZ travelogue: Day 7

Day Seven of our stay in New Zealand's South Island was the final day of our vacation. After having driven from Christchurch to Queenstown via Twizel and Wanaka, and then to Dunedin and Oamaru, we were back in Christchurch.

We had travelled and taken in the sights of the snow-covered mountains as well as the sea (although we never got the chance to touch neither snow nor sea water.) Now what was left for us was to explore the biggest city in the South Island, a city that had been ravaged by earthquake, and we had a full day to do so. For that, I have to thank an old friend and chess kaki, Alan Phang, who had settled down in New Zealand some 14 years earlier.

But first, having arrived from Oamaru at dusk the day before, we checked in at the Christchurch Motel in Riccarton. This would be our final accommodation. Quite comfortable accommodation, although the room was rather small. We could park the car directly outside the room. We tidied up and then decided to go walk along the main road in front of the hotel. The hotel manager had told us that there were some eateries down the road, perhaps some 20 minutes away.

We walked, crossing one road junction after another but we never looked like coming across a restaurant interesting enough for us. Finally, we went into a dairy shop. Seeing that the proprietress was Indian, we asked her for the nearest Indian food. "It's that way," she pointed in the direction that we had come from. "Go down the road and turn right into Ilam Road. You'll find the restaurant on the left. You can walk but it's going to take you at least a good half an hour to get there." She glanced up at the clock and added, "I wouldn't recommend it."

So we turned back, collected the car and headed off in the direction that she had given us. Sure enough, we soon pulled up at the Tandoori Palace. I was quite surprised that the restaurant was quite packed. We did not want to wait and so we went to their take-away section. It was also filled with people.

Their food must indeed be good. One way or another, we would have to wait. But this time, we just didn't feel like searching for more places to eat and we decided to just order some naan bread and curry from their take-away menu. I took a glance at the menu and straight away, added their palak paneer, spinach with generous chunks of cottage cheese, to our order. I just want to say here that I did not regret ordering it. It was a great dish and I'm saying it not because I was famished!

Here are two pictures of the Christchurch Motel in the morning before we checked out. We were due to meet up with Alan at the Riccarton Bush but before then, I had a surprise for my wife: an unannounced visit to an unexpected place, but more about that later.

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