Need backpacker insurance? Save money with this World Nomads Promotional Code!
One traveller's day-by-day account of a year-long journey through Japan, China, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, America and Canada

In my (cynical) opinion, the parade was mostly a pile of tack, but if I disengaged my brain for a while from the floats featuring Ronald McDonald and the like, I guess it was fun, and at one stage I did find myself waving joyously back at someone in a pengiun suit riding in a pickup truck. The kiddies certainly enjoyed it at least. It was lovely to see all the local clubs and societies had come out in force, from the BMX riders jumping over obstacles made from their own members to twirling (and, er, dropping) baton girls. Christchurch seems to be nicely community minded.

When Santa finally came past, it was a surreal experience. To me, seeing a jolly fat man with a white beard and red coat waving to all and sundry from a truck on a beautifully sunny, hot day was just plain WRONG.