'The Adventures of the Travellin' Trio'

Trip Start Sep 09, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The weather over the New Year period in Nelson was described as 'the worst recorded summer in decades'..

Old man:'Bloody typical!'

If it wasn't for the time scale of finding an internet cafe with appropriate facilities and fee structures, creating Travelogue entries, setting map pins and uploading, ordering and adding titles to photographs, I'd have loved to do a day-to-day account of the last seventeen wonderful days. Unfortunately, the time scale isn't that flexible and we've done soooo much over their holiday, I thought one entry, with adequate photographs 'should' cover it.

We've all had a fantastic time, and as we're a flexible and easy going bunch, the time was spent well and as it should be - happily. We've shared some great times and I'm so pleased that they have at least had a 'taster' of what an amazing country this is. Seeing the looks on their faces and hearing the constant excitable remarks over and over gave me great pleasure as I knew that they were experiencing and discovering some of the incredible feelings that I had come to experience over the last four months. Only this time, I wasn't doing these feelings a huge injustice by trying to describe them to someone, they were being felt - for real. There is no doubt that these last seventeen days will leave their mark forever - for all of us.

So this entry is for the benefit of Mom and Dad. I'll just leave you guys with a brief summary of some of the things you got up to during your time here, the things you have actually done. Some of them you may have even forgotten about and some you'll never forget!

So in the words of the old man, 'whatever happens, no one will ever be able to take away the fact that you...'

Took a ride on a 'Water Taxi'

Quad Biked up into the mountains through the mud and rain

Travelled from coast to coast on what is described as one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world - the 'Tranzalpine'

Shared a beach with native fur seals

Discovered that clockwise no longer means right or left

Rode a 'Seacat' alongside blue penguins and playful pods of the rare Hectors dolphin

Trekked along one of the coastal tracks in the Abel Tasman National Park

Admired the abundance and variety of the perfectly located wild flowers

Skimmed stones across the mirror Lake Tekapo

Flew over Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu, Glenorchy, the glaciers and the magnificent Milford Sound in a tiny six-seater Cessna 206, with open eyes (some of the time)

Stood high on the banks of the rivers edge watching the crazy 'river sledging' below

Dined in a little tucked away French restaurant and happily signed our name with permanent marker pen on the front of the building leaving our mark forever

Drove through the magnificent Lewis Pass and admired its awesome scenery

Spent New Years Eve in the charming little town of Nelson

Discovered just how filling a large bowl of chilli Nachos can be when your greedy and you could have ordered a 'regular'

Experienced the thrill of sailing a yacht for a whole afternoon on Lake Wanaka

Used the word 'rid' when ordering a bottle of house red

Bathed in the intensely hot natural thermal pools in Hanmer Springs

Shouted 'aah look' whenever a sheep or young lamb was spotted (repeated over and over for the lamb)

Noticed that pot-holes in the road do not exist here

Cruised the magnificent Milford Sound by boat

Ate breakfast with a small, wild, free little bird at the table

Asked regularly why there isn't any litter

Experienced the tranquility of Lake Wanaka in a kayak

Discovered and thoroughly enjoyed 'Speights Old Dark'

Met some fantastic travelling companions and felt and shared some emotional goodbyes

Learned how annoying coughing and snoring in the night really can be

Stood 'speechless' at the incredible colour of Lake Pukaki

Received nothing but a friendly, welcoming, helpful response from everybody met along the way

Attended a Tsunami Benefit Concert

Saw a new shade of blue - an indescribable shade of blue for the first time

Felt how different and how powerful the suns rays can be

Laughed at the after effects

Said 'Gosh!' more times in two weeks than in two years

Met and had a pleasant conversation with the 'City Host' of Christchurch

Plummeted forwards and backwards high over the rainforest on the longest 'flying fox' in the world, with open eyes (some of the time)

Fell asleep in a split second whenever jet-lag dictated

Commented regularly on how we were the only vehicle on the road

Witnessed first hand the power, presence, passion and emotion delivered by a tradition Maori Haka just a few feet away

Breathed deeply, the clearest air in the Southern Hemisphere

And not forgetting the food of course..

Sampled some of the many magical offerings of a 'food court'

Became very fond of a 'Flat White'

Tried and actually preferred Kiwi bacon!

Ordered and tried a 'medium' cooked steak for the first time

Ate and thoroughly enjoyed a proper Italian pizza cooked in a wood fired oven

Devoured real, 'campervan cooked' creamy scrambled eggs

Crunched in to the silent ecstasy of 'Vogels Toast' - ooooh...

It was only a result of things being fully booked, weather conditions or lack of time that prevented some of the other, much intended activities such as swimming with the dolphins, skydiving, jet-boating and loads of other stuff. But you never know, there's always next time!

A truly unforgettable trip!


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