Speaking in English
Trip Start Oct 03, 2009
25Trip End Jul 24, 2010
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Where I stayed
Roland, a friend from home joined me in Shanghai as our world adventure paths crossed temporarily. We spent our time speaking to each other in full English sentences (quite a luxury) and sampling Shanghai's many restaurants in an attempt to avoid the cold and rain. The best thing we did was the Bund sightseeing tunnel. This was not just a highlight of China, but a highlight of my travels so far. If I describe it too much I fear I'd ruin it for anyone who may choose to experience it in the future, but I can say it left us both speechless. I've never been on an acid trip before but if I did, I'd guess it wouldn't be too dissimilar to Shanghai's bund sightseeing tunnel.
I left China with a minor issue of almost not being allowed into the already underpopulated New Zealand, but compared to poor Roland's ordeal after I left of having his foot run over by a bus in Xi'an and being incapacitated for a week this was no big deal. It was wih great relief when the plane took off with me inside it, destination New Zealand, the land of English speaking people, knives and forks, and not a squat toilet in sight. Heaven!
Amy met me in Auckland where we hung out for a few days doing nothing in particular, I was just happy being a couch potato for a few days. When I finally dragged myself off the comfy sofa away from the sky tv, I decided to take a ferry to Rangitoto, a volcanic island just off the coast of Auckland. I walked up to the summit where I happened to meet this guy dancing on the top, much to my amusement. The views from from the summit were beautiful though, crazy dancing guys aside. I think from what I've seen of NZ so far, its got the most stunning scenery I've ever seen. The following day Amy and I went on a road trip to Mission Bay along some beaches, sampling the fish and chips, ice cream and naked men on the local nude beach (shes a terrible influence).
I left Auckland for Coromandel Town, where I'd be working for a week on a small self sufficient B&B, sleeping in a caravan, and showering al fresco in front of sheep and chickens. The lovely lady who ran it was Jewish and after taking one look at me, noticed I was Jewish too, so she had no choice but to adopt me for a week. I had a fantastic time whilst I was there. I would work until the afternoon, picking fruit, making juices, chasing sheep (and not so fun cleaning guest rooms). In the afternoon I would cycle to gorgeous beaches and view points such as Wyuna Bay, Te Kouma beach, and walks in the bush amongst huge kauri trees. My last evening there we went up to the driving creek railway, which was shut. Luckily, Barry Brickell, the man who slaved away for 27 years to build it, let us in anyway and we were able to walk up the train tracks whilst the sun set without a single tourist in view - a great privilege apparently.
I can't wait to explore the rest of New Zealand. From what I've seen so far, its a really beautiful country, not to mention all the millions of people who I can converse with in English!