New continents and old friends!
Trip Start Mar 01, 2009
23Trip End Dec 21, 2009
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The first major difference was that for the first time in 4 and a half months I was preparing to see a familiar face! Something I would have appreciated entirely differently 4 and a half moths previously when I arrived out to the continent of South America, without a word of the language, a single known soul and slightly lacking in the rucksack department. Arriving into New Zealand was like sailing into a world of familiarity despite it being my first time in the country but the language, the shops, the organisedness and of course the presence of Gisele made me feel immediately at home and relaxed - something I hadn't experienced in an unfamiliar city in quite some time.
After jumping on Gisele's bed at some ungodly hour of the morning, I progressed to oohhing and ahhing over the simple things in life such as the presence of Sub Way, clothes shops, Starbucks, Borders and then general things like roads and road markings and oh The Body Shop! It's amazing how accustomed you become to the absence of these mundane amenities but readjusting to their presence took some getting use to. That and speaking English again! It took a while to understand why people looked at me blankly when I greeted them with a 'Buenos Dias' or thanked with a 'Gracias' but I think I'm getting the hang of it at this stage!
The weather was absolutely stunning that first day in New Zealand and after the essentials of letting people know I had managed to pop back into the world on the 3rd after missing a day we set off for the exciting business of food shopping. I might have got a little carried away but sausages were a must have as was a Flake and various other bits and pieces I'd been craving for months! That and my survival pack from Mum which contained essentials such as Marmite and Irish Cadburys and of course some Barry's tea bags set me up to endure any hardships New Zealand could possibly have thrown at me!
Auckland wasn't a whole bundle of fun and so after a little jet lag recovery time and catching up with a friend from Ecuador myself and Gisele headed to Waiheke island for the day to experience a little rural Kiwi life. The island was absolutely stunning from tip to tail and we enjoyed a fine day of bussing, tramping (other wise known as walking along trails through the bush), relaxing on lovely sandy beaches and getting lost (occasionally)! We were rather scratched and tired by the end of the day as we'd ventured some rather rarely used tracks which at one point led us into someones back garden which we skipped through and continued down an even less frequently used path and managed to end up in a Vin yard where we made use of the excess grapes, stocked up on our 5 a day and made a quick get away!
We arrived back to Auckland throughly hungry, freezing and extremely tired. But altogether content with our first adventure on a new continent!
Before leaving the bland metropolis of Auckland I had a little reunion with two girls who I'd met in Cusco, Peru who are both in Drama School in Auckland and as it was the Theatre fringe festival in Auckland at the time, went along to a rather strange production of Titus Adronicus. Non the less it was fantastic to get back into a theater and meet the drama school crowd. One thing became clear - whatever side of the world you are - drama students are drama students!!
So that was my first few days of discovering the youngest country in the world! There is so much I still have to write about - I have become so behind in my blogs but I have found internet, have time and no excuses and so it my mission over the next week to fill you in on all of New Zealand - every sand dune thats been sand boarded, every 7 meter waterfall thats been rafted and hopefully after tomorrow every plane thats been flown!
So I'm back - new continent, new experiences and new photos! And of course a little of the old when I also get around to catching up on the end of my most amazing South American trip!