Friday, October 16, 2015

The Bridle Path

The Christchurch gondola, New Zealand (May 27, 2008)

My first full day in Christchurch I was all by myself, as Mayli was busy with her meeting. I still didn’t have a car, so I decided to go somewhere in the vicinity of the city, reachable by public transportation. After conferring with a few of Mayli’s friends and a lady at the office of tourism, I decided to do the bridle path (called "bridal path" in this cute schoolchildren page).

Hiking and Biking
The path links Christchurch to the port of Lyttleton, where the boats from England were arriving in the late 19th century. The path was made in 1849 to shorten the route of the new settlers coming to the city. The name derives by the fact that the path was so steep that pack horses carrying the settlers luggage needed to be led by the bridle. The bridle path starts at the base of the gondola station, which can be reached by bus (no. 28 to Lyttleton) from the city Bus Exchange. Then it is an hour or so to walk (or you can take the gondola) to reach the Summit Road at the top of the Heathcote valley. From there there is a beautiful view of Christchurch on one side (see photo), and of the Lyttleton harbor on the other side (that is for the next post). It was quite a warm and sunny day, so I spent some time at the top visiting the gondola arrival station (you can get food and drinks there), and then hiking a little on the Summit Road (and enjoying the view). Then I followed the path all the way to Lyttleton, and I got the bus 28 to Christchurch.

At the start of the bridle path, Christchurch, New Zealand (May 27, 2008)

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