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29th December
written by Justin

Seems like my posts are having some themed titles. This post won’t have as much variety as the previous ones, but hopefully it’s still an interesting one.  We’ve had two natural disasters happen near us so far, neither serious but both audible and visible to us.

  • The first was an earthquake in Christchurch on Christmas night and the morning of boxing day.  According to GeoNet, we were awakened 4 times, by earthquakes of magnitude 4.2,3.8,3.7, and 2.7.  But the big daddy happened while we were eating breakfast: a 4.9 at 10:30am Boxing Day.  We were ready for that one when it happened, though being in a building is a bit of a different experience than being in the van where it’s on shocks and nothing is swaying around.
  • The second was an avalanche!  Yesterday we went up to Aoraki Mt. Cook National Park, but it was raining all day.  However, in late afternoon the storm broke and bright sunlight was given to the area for the last 4 hours of sunlight or so.  This sudden warming up brought down pieces of glacier from the mountain right as we were watching it!  A safe distance of course but it was still audible and quite a spectacle!


Okay, so neither were really natural disasters, but both were impressive enough to comment.  Don’t worry, we’re in no danger here.  Now we’re in the placid Lake Tekapo region, an enormous lake made turquoise blue by finely ground rock particles suspended in the water by the glacier.


  1. Nigel Ball

    Wow. Real explorer stuff.

  2. Aunt Kathy

    I heard about the earthquake on the news. I was thinking about the two of you at the time. I’m glad all went ok. Keep safe!

  3. Judie DeWitt

    It seems that you’ve experienced more earthquakes on your journey so far than you have in your entire stay in California!!!!(and you know how i feel about them!!)

  4. Hazel

    Turns out a sleepervan is a pretty safe place to be in a quake – everything is secure and the tires act as cushions! We didn’t hear about any damage from the quakes, but it was pretty exciting.

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