Monday, September 27, 2010

On Navigation

Arrival in Sydney was relatively easy. We had decided that paying over a hundred dollars extra to pick up a rental car at the airport was ridiculous so we made the alternative choice of staying the night in Sydney and picking up our rental in town the next morning. The underground train system went from the airport to our hotel and the hotel was a few blocks from the rental car place. And the rental car place was within a couple of blocks of the route north, which was fairly straightforward even if a little slow.

Coming back was another matter. The under-the-harbour tunnel is a toll route into the city (though not out of the city) and we asked our GPS for a non-toll option. It was working out OK, slow but scenic, until we got into the city itself and found ourselves hemmed in between buses

and then "Tammy" (our GPS) told us to turn right at an intersection that said "no right turn". So we went straight ahead, Tammy re-routed us, and eventually after a number of twists and turns we found ourselves coming back to the same intersection from the opposite direction, facing down a sign that said "no left turn". Only then I saw another sign that said "no left turn except buses, taxis and hire cars" so we decided that was OK after all.

On Sunday, back in Christchurch, I headed off to buy a pair of trousers - too many holiday indulgences meant many of mine were uncomfortably tight. Then I looked up Colombo St, the main north-south street that goes right through the centre of the city, and decided to drive up it a wee way to check out on earthquake damage.

It has pretty much turned into a slalom course. In the suburb where I was, a historic borough, at every point either one side of the street or the other had safety fencing placed out into the middle of the street protecting passers by from unsafe buildings, and it was a matter of weaving from one side of the street to the other to drive up it. It seemed to be one way south to north only, though my husband said that he had driven north to south the day before, and my daughter commented that road restrictions change daily. It occurred to me that there's no way any GPS system could cope with the rules in Christchurch at the moment. It's just as well it's easier to get round here than Sydney. If you can't turn at an intersection, just head one block over and try again.

Not so many aftershocks today, and nothing higher than a 3.6. I felt that one, though I missed several others, either because I was walking or because I slept through.

1 comment:

leonie.wise said...

Thanks for sharing an update from Chch. I lived down there for a few years after I left school and have family there (though we don't really keep in touch).

It's hard to imagine what it must be like from all the way over here!