Heather Hapeta lives in Aotearoa-New Zealand: real travel, real adventures, real stories, real photos. Recent destinations Vietnam, Cambodia, Taiwan and Hong Kong – now NZ destinations due to COVID travel restrictions
Sept 4th 2010 was the date of the earthquake in Christchurch, so here are photos one year on from my home city.
I was one of the lucky ones – I woke to the early morning quake and just held onto my mattress thinking ‘if the building collapses I’ll land on something soft!’ My apartment was 3 stories high and in the inner city – and I was naked. The power didn’t go off: very little fell over, just a few cups, and one framed photo (of me being arrested in 1981 during the disputed Springbok Tour) which had the glass broken. Over 7000 quakes and aftershocks later, that apartment is still fine and still being lived in despite being in the red zone for some time after the Feb 23rd quake – by which time I had moved to Wellington … a decision made some four months before the Sept quake.
With the radio on (National Radio NZ of course) and reports of power out, I texted them to say my part of the inner city power was still on, and soon started tweeting.
I am a frequent traveler to THAILAND. When traveling outside of Bangkok, I often stay at a local guesthouse rather than a conventional hotel. Besides saving some monies, staying in a guesthouse allows me to sample the local flavor and it is a more conducive environment for meeting fellow travelers. In addition, the informal, carefree ambiance of most guesthouses suits my personality better than the somewhat stiff and fabricated environment of many traditional hotels. Guesthouses are usually small family run affairs – ranging from no frills hostels with simple dormitory like accommodations and shared bathroom facilities (popular with the young backpacker crowd) to the luxury “boutiquish” affair with amenities comparable to a small hotel (popular with the older crowd and families). As they say different strokes for different folks!