We left Christchurch early on a frosty morning, the shuttle bus rattling along empty streets as the sun was rising. Hours later, it was still morning, still cold but bright now and we came to a stop in the mountains. The driver slid the door open, and my friend and I carried our packs out. ‘Enjoy Cass,’ said one of the passengers. ‘There’s nothing there.’ He laughed as the door slid shut.