New Zealand….

So, I didn’t watch LOTR, I didn’t hurl myself off a bungee jump or ski-dive. I did however see whales in the wild, snowboard, hike a glacier, sandboard, and meet at least half a dozen nice people. There’d have been more, but as Rach would say, I kind of lost my personality here and was on a bit of an odd one.  Except in Queenstown & Franz Josef where good times were had. Strangely, I’m glad I came in Winter, it suits it, and is hard to imagine in any other season.

I didn’t hate it, per say.  I just didn’t really didn’t love it either, for lots of reasons. Don’t get me wrong, it’s no Uruguay. Close, but not quite. Besides, you can’t love everywhere can you, otherwise where would be special.

So in a nutshell:


1) Nice visuals. Ok, I have to hand it to NZ, spectacular visuals. Pretty luscious scenery 24 hours a day.

2) RTD’s (Ready to drinks) Like pre-mixed whisky and coke in little cans. Like Marks and Sparks have started doing with Pina Coladas at xmas. I just like the abbreviation.

3) Customer service. Apart from my friends in customs at Auckland International, nothing is too much trouble. Especially the nice lady at InterIslander who hooked me up with a free ferry ride. Blag of the century.

Not loving so much:

1)What has to be in the most irritating inflection of any language. The Kiwi tendency to add ‘Aye’ to the end of every sentence. Every.Single.Sentense. “I’m good aye.” It’s NOT a question!

2) Intercity bus drivers building up their parts. Some of them missed their callings as voiceover artists bless them. Although running commentaries for 8+ hours is a little OTT. (Think monotone…) “This is lake Wanaka. This is the sky. These are some stones, not sure why they are here.” STFU then! I’m trying to read my book!

3) Showers that only run for 5 seconds at a time unless you keep the little button pressed down. Freezing. And just plain stingy.

4) Talking of stingy. NZ’s internet prices. If the whole of South America can give it away for free, so can you.

5) NZ’s nanny state, an obsession with health and safety, and slightly backwards identikit cities. Call me crazy for actually craving crowds, smog, and civilisation, but when the former three come at the price of any sense of place or multiculturalism, that’s no good thing.

Where I stayed: Friendz Hostel Auckland, Crank Backpackers Rotorua, The Lazy Shag Kaikoura, Canturbury House Christchurch, Base Queenstown, Rainforest Retreat Franz Josef, Accents on the Park Nelson, Nomads Wellington, Saltwater Backpackers Paihia, Peppertree Lodge Paihia.

Bay of Islands & Cape Reinga, North Island, New Zealand

The final few days in this whistle-stop tour.  Paihia is the jumping off point to the Bay of Islands. In a word; underwhelming. Ha Long Bay it is not. You can also do day trips to the 90 Mile Beach, where you drive the highway parallel to the waves, and sandboard on boogie boards in the dunes.

On the very Northernest tip of North Island, is Cape Reigna. Perched on the very edge of New Zealand, is a spot marked with a lighthouse where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean. According to Maori legend, it’s here – where the blue/gray waves collide – where lost souls last leave the earth. For me it finely teeters between being beautifully peaceful, and tragically desolate.  I think it’s the lighthouse. They are so sad and lonely! I take lots of sad-looking pics. In sepia just to be extra poetic. Ha, you know what I mean, you’ve done it too. I think I was in a bit of a meloncholy mood! : The Anantasin is the name of a shipwreck just of the coast of the Sensi Parasise, Mae Haad Bay, Koh Tao, Thailand. It’s one of my many favorite places.

Lit.tle: Just because it’s cute.

Blasts From The Past…

July 2011

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