Posted by: kathandroger | February 24, 2014

Swimming in volcanos

So here we are at Christchurch Airport, our New Zealand adventure drawing to a close. We have spent the last few days around the Christchurch area, just to the south, on the Banks Peninsula. It is probably a place we would never have visited had I not decided back in November that I’d quite fancy doing the State series swim at Akaroa. Having registered on Friday evening for the 2.8 km event (Roger for the 1km), we headed from Christchurch up one more windy road and over into what was the crater of a volcano a few million years ago. We’ve done quite a lot of scenery on this trip, but coming over the top the view was truly stunning. Here is the view from our campervan, once installed on the campsite…








Akaroa has a distinctly French feel to it, with french road names…apart from this one…








…there is a Gendarmerie, a Boucherie and you can buy essence from the service station. There’s a Place de la Poste and french flags everywhere…even our swim was called La Grande Swim! All this because  this was almost a little french enclave back in the mid 1800s, rescued by the Brits at the last minute. Some french settlers did stay and their descendants remain today, although we didn’t find too many who spoke the lingo!

We were tipped off by our swiss neighbours on the site to visit something called the giant’s house, which we duly did…and were’t disappointed. The owner, an artist, had created the most wonderful gardens full of magnificent mosaic sculptures…quite amazing..








I walked round 3 times and saw something different each time !

Back to the swim. Not having worn our wet suits for quite some time and very short on sea swimming practice we were a little nervous on Saturday morning. With over 800 swimmers it was quite an event..









I’m somewhere amongst the ‘green caps’. Going out was a bit choppy, but i found my rhythm after the turn and loved it. Roger’s race followed mine and he seemed to be swimming well, but had some navigational problems…he was so far off course that he didn’t see another swimmer all the way round!








So, off to Sydney now for a few final days of our trip…the last rays of sun before the European rains…



  1. You’ll have to join us sometime in the summer at Preuilly pool. We’ll introduce you to our friend Huub, who designs triathlon wetsuits. He would enjoy having someone else to swim with — we are no challenge whatsoever.

  2. Tres bonne idee! In Sydney now, just heading off to the 50 m Andrew ‘boy’ Charlton pool by the botanical gardens. It’s 9 am and hot already!

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