The end of our days in the beautiful NZ :-(

Trip Start Sep 07, 2004
Trip End Aug 15, 2005

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Sunday, April 10, 2005

Well the storm finally cleared and the next day was a clear blue sky. Considering the day before was frantic howling wind and rain with exceptionally loud thunder it was a suprise to wake up to this weather. Perfect considering we had booked ourselves in for a 2 hour jet boating cruise along the Dart river. Glenorchy is where a lot of the scenes form LOTR was filmed due to the dramatic wilderness and snow capped mountains. On the jet boat the driver pointed out a mouintain where Gandolf was dropped on top and where he fought with the baddy wizard (canŽt remember his name) but a huge eagle rescued him and took to safety. Not that IŽm a LOTR nerd or anything. Jet boats are pretty cool things, they whizz about at any angle and go pretty darn fast, they can also get you wet if you spin them at 360 degrees! One thing though, donŽt sit at the back of a jet boat unless youŽre in a hot country, not in NZ on a cold and crisp Autumn morning as you will freeze your bollocks off, which we did. Even though weŽd got a sweatshirt, windproof fleece, raincoat, gloves and hat we were still unable to speak due to the temperature.

On our way back to Christchurch to get our flight 2 days later we stopped off at Lake Tekapo and went on a mountain walk by the lake. Nice views of the southern alps in the distance, and even nicer getting back to the campervan for fried egg sandwiches. That night we pulled up nearby in the wilderness for our 1st time in the campervan. This meant no heater or microwave which was no problem and we wished weŽd done it more often as that night we loooked up at the stars and realised just what Sam and Nicole (the friends we made in India who lived in NZ for a year) were going on about. They told us that the stars in the southern hemisphre were more plentiful and that you could see the wispy milky way. This is all true. It was probably the clearest night weŽd had in NZ due to being away from any street lights but also when we looked up Lake Tekapo in the Rough Guide the next day we realised that star gazers came especially to here as it is the clearest place to see the milky way. The starts were all dotted along the horison which weŽd never seen before but when you looked directly above the milky way was amazing, a long whitish wispy haze, simply splendid! We then finished the evening off with a bottle of wine and pulling stupid faces for the camera.

Off east the next day and we had our last night in a camperpark in Christchurch. Heavy hearted we said goodbye to our campervan and got on the 13 hour flight to Los Angeles.

New Zealand has been fantastic and neither of us had one boring or disapointing day. It was a little bit like going home in some ways as it was easy and we had our creature comforts again but it was without doubt one of the highlights so far and i still feel a little homesick towards the place from time to time now. We would love to live there for a year or 2 some time but if not weŽll be back again anyway.
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