We woke up late with slightly sore heads.  Having forgotten to buy bacon for breakfast the previous night, we made do with toast and tea.

We were anxious to do some Christmas shopping before leaving New Zealand on account of the excellent exchange rate. We thought that a brisk walk would be good for our thick heads, and so went on foot to the centre of town.

It seemed odd that all we found were endless tourist gift shops, and there were very few people about.  The first shop of any interest we stumbled on was ‘Map World’ on Gloucester Street.  To John’s delight, it had a comprehensive display of GPS receivers.  Neville, the assistant, was only too happy to demonstrate the pros and cons of each model – and helpfully pointed out that the (very expensive) sighting compass that Brigid had bought to replace the one she lost on the bike, would be useless at home having been calibrated for Australasia.  However, he did offer to exchange it for a ‘Global’ model.

Using a combination of Kiwi charm and good salesmanship, Neville convinced John that the Silva Multi-Navigator had his name written all over it …. The rest of the afternoon was spent outside Starbucks in Cathedral Square, cheerfully pressing buttons, and waiting for the GPS to ‘acquire’ its satellites.

We called into the Swanndri shop (no New Zealand farmer is ever without his ‘Swanny’: a heavy duty waterproof woollen pullover), and bought various warm and waterproof items as presents (for ourselves as well as family). We even discovered that we could avoid GST by asking the shop to post them home for us.

We decided (after the excesses of last night) to eat in, and Brigid cooked a spaghetti Bolognese, which we enjoyed with a bottle of our favourite Cloudy Bay.