Crossing hills

“Walking? Are you sure?” the girl at reception said in a French accent. “It’s really steep!” She stared at me with a frown on her face. Of course I went anyway. There is a gondola that takes you up the hill for $25. If you want some exercise however, you put on your sneakers and work your legs. I figured, if the early settlers could do it in massive dresses, I could do it in jeans.

So I took bus 28 to the gondola station, walked right past it and entered the Bridle path. Since it was Easter Sunday I was accompanied by Christchurch’s families. The path has a historic value because it was used by immigrants in the 1800s. Before the tunnel from Christchurch to Lyttelton was opened, everybody had to make their way across the hill over the Bridle path.

Luckily I wasn’t carrying all my possessions, because the receptionist was right. The path was steep, although I expected some sort of wilderness from the way she looked at me. It wasn’t that bad. My timing was unlucky because it had rained the past 14 days, but generally the track was wide and easy to walk on. There was a little landslide here and there, and some mud and running water, but nothing too major.

The sun started to come out and I admit the way up the hill was uncomfortably sweaty and slightly exhausting. The reward was a beautiful view over the city of Christchurch, which is surrounded by green hills. Unexpectedly I hit the top of the hill half an hour later; the indicated time was one hour. The view on the other side was even more beautiful, with the harbor of Lyttelton, the water and houses scattered over the green hills.

The end of the path was the start of Lyttelton. Lyttelton was filled with small, steep streets. It was as if I was walking with my brakes on. Lyttelton also still showed signs of the earthquakes. On this Easter day it was quiet in the streets. From the harbor I caught the bus back to Christchurch, where I rewarded myself with an awesome burger from Burgers and Beer. It was a perfect Easter day.



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