We actually had our Christmas Day picnic the next day, since Christmas was on Sunday. We went to church that day and visited the family from whom we acquired the kittens. On Monday, then, we went to the beach for a picnic. We ate lunch in a grove of pine trees; the needles make a lovely floor to sit on. The boys played in the water, and then buried each other in the tiny rocks that covered the beach there. We had two extras that day, our nephew and a friend of our boys.
Mr. Inventor stepped on a bee as soon as he reached the beach. He put plantain on the sting and kept in on for a long time. He was quite pleased that it didn’t swell and itch like normal.
After the sting stopped bothering him, he did some beachcombing. I was quite pleased with some of his finds. The starfish washed up just as he was walking past! The orange thing is some sort of sea slug. There were also a couple of nice sponges.
We walked across the railroad track to reach the beach, and on the way back investigated the unusual curves and twists that resulted from the earthquake. I couldn’t get a picture of what we saw in the gravel under the track, but it looked like the earthquake had shoved the track back and forth, pushing the rocks out of place, and the track ended up about half a foot or more to the side of where it started out. We could tell by the rust on the rocks. It was quite interesting. We spent a little time picking cherries on our way home, beside a railway bridge. The bridge either rose, or the tracks on both ends of it sank, because they obviously drop at both ends. The gravel was gone under the end on which we were standing; it had fallen down the hill under the bridge. Kiwirail has a big job to do, repairing the tracks from here to Picton! These pictures show some very minimal damage compared to where the track follows the coast on both sides of Kaikoura.