I got the part and all is now well with the fleet.
During my chair-based vigil for the postman I spent some time chatting to the manager of my hotel. Until the earthquake he had a thriving cafe in downtown Christchurch. After the earthquake he had the clothes he was wearing and a mobile phone! It seems that the lovely insurance companies exploited every loophole they could find to wriggle out of their obligations and, for private individuals and small businesses, settlements ran at about half what was lost.
I clearly still hadn't appreciated the magnitude of the quake or it's impact. In the San Francisco earthquake about 25percent of the building stock was lost. In Christchurch it was 50 percent. The rebuilding cost in SF represented 2.5 percent of the countries GDP but in New Zealand it is estimated at FORTY percent. Quite apart from the buildings actually damaged by the quake there are huge areas where the buildings are fine but the underlying ground has as been affected by liquifaction making the houses uninhabitable. Sobering stuff!
Yesterday was a long ride, our last on the west coast , and we are in Haast. This is a small, nothing place, with a handful of locals and a few motels……..a description that can be applied to virtually everywhere in several hundred miles of coastline! Overnight it rained like we were in Britain but it has dawned brighter and I hope it stays that way while we climb through Haast pass and onto the high plains that I think are the best bit of South Island.
No jokes today as my interweb time is rationed to one hour and I just cannot be creative under these intolerable pressures.