New Zealand Summary – New Zealand, New Zealand

New Zealand. Three months I spent with you. I remember coming to you in quite a state from Oz but even before we touched down, I had made a new friend. I travelled the Coromandel Peninsula and stayed at cute little Coromandel Town where I hitchhiked for the first time. Kauri groves and basking in the intense sun after getting a shoulder massage from the waterfall on 309. A good intro to NZ gaining plenty of good tips from so many who were just finishing up their stint here.

Beautiful seaside picture windows overlooking the beachy bay Irene tried to kayak on. Glow stix poi on the beach under a full moon starry night. Digging hot pools and hiding from the rain in Cathedral Cove. Trying to catch crabs to cook over our little fire before playing international charades. Leaving Auckland after eating Xaviers` French food and learning how to cook Chinese.

Rotorua was an aromatic adventure – ate yummy mussels and traditional Maori hangi. Taupo was a sleep in the coconut clouds with waiting volcanoes in the distance. Trout fishing politics and tasty kiwi hospitality. Steamy moon craters and natural hot cold river spas.

Wellington family with old friends and Lord of the Rings fun. It was a bittersweet to finish the North Island leaving many new friends behind but yay for finally receiving my camera.

The ferry ride over felt like crossing into no mans land. Picton was wondrously bright and sunny, trekking through the narrow paths of perky leaves to the splendid views. Lax days laying in the hangmat with the cat, singing and playing guitar.

Nelson was well laid out for Irish fun and marvelous markets. Laying on the hot sandy beach watching the frisbee whiz by. Wading through the incoming tide to get to theme night at the pub. Tramping Abel Tasman up and down with my walking stix, stopping to swim on the lunch breaks. Akroa Hut lit up by the full moon watching shooting stars.

Car and arm break on way to Takaka but still plugging along steadily cooking delicious and healthy meals together. Swimming with the stingrays and galloping through the splashy surf. Drumming and dancing to uplifting flames of the fire.

Greymouth where I was captured and stolen by the Danes. Heartfelt bonding and learning experiences with mirror images. Fox Glacier was about exploring my limits. Hungry glow worms forests and enchanting blue ice glaciers. Wanaka was where I felt I could finally relax. Sitting by the lake studying the mountains reflection in the water. Boat trips and pub nights could not compete with the rush of finally playing with fire. Beamish comes to guard Carmella`s House (PleaseRingBell) before circus theatre.

Queenstown`s energy must fuel the spectacular gardens. Juggling, paraflying and pool not to mention the Fergburger addicts. Catlins full of beach runs and sea lions. Postcard views must be revisited in the warmer months. Invercargill was a quiet town except for the boys and their loud cars.

Milford Sound was a reminder that we can not even dream of the gifts our universe has to surprise us with. Te Anau was a quiet lake supplemented by the cute and curious birds. Mount Cook was stunning with his grandeur and even in the dark you could feel it. Ice cubes lodged in the white water rushing under the bouncy swing bridges. Akaroa was like a slice of homey paradise tucked into the corner of the earth. Christchurch an artsy end to this rustic country with a very cosmopolitan feel.

There have been moments I have been stuck for words because the nature here sometimes just can not be described. I have pushed my limits and ventured outside my comfort zone. I didn’t actually get to see a kiwi but I think that I could probably just pretend that one of the many lumps of road kill was one. The sand flies must get a mention as I have never met such determined little buggers. Even the sheep give you space!

I love that New Zealand has a little bit of everything all rolled into one. You want it? They`ve got it. I will definitely be back to this glorious land of hobbits to explore the places I didn`t get to and revisit the ones that etched a mark on my memory. So for now, its good bye New Zealand…Africa, here I come.

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