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20.12.2019 Bye-bye bicycles. Cycling through the residential red zone of Christchurch to access the city centre felt eerie and unreal, because hedgerows and defunct power lines reminded us that ten years ago this huge green area was a living neighbourhood. After the 2011 earthquake this zone is not habitable anymore because living there became too dangerous when the ground sunk, and so all homes were removed. This must have been an extremely difficult time for the former residents, and even today Christchurch's city centre is still very different from any other place we have seen before, with big empty spaces, ancient buildings still in danger of collapsing, and temporary solutions mixed with very modern architecture. We are staying with Angela and Derek, two cyclists from the UK living in Christchurch since four years ago. They are preparing for the Christmas holidays and a kayak trip in the south of the South Island. Luckily there has been some time for chats and shared dinners anyway, and they have told us more about their new home city. They will leave the city this afternoon, and we are going to do so this morning – however, not on our bikes as usual, but in a car. A car? Yes! We got the chance to take part in New Zealand's 22nd Scout Jamboree, a big camp which is taking place in Hamilton, on the North Island, at the turn of the year. Therefore we booked a transfer car to head north again. A transfer or return car is a rental car which has to be taken from one place to another, and now that we have signed up for the job, we can basically use the car for free for a couple of days. Yesterday we stored the bikes at Lyn's place in Christchurch. We got to know her on the North Island, when we spent the night in the same place as a bigger group of local cyclists. We told them about our plans and Lyn kindly offered us to take care of our bikes for a few weeks. We have to take the car to Auckland by 26th December, so we will spend Christmas somewhere 'on the road'. We are looking forward to this new adventure, but we will for sure also miss our bikes, and cycling. #scoutbound #nz #newzealand #neuseeland #christchurch #warmshowers #scouts #dpsg #worldbycycling

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