We left Dunedin 36 hours ago. After barely making our international connection in Auckland (yes, stupidity knows no barriers in the airline industry) everything else went over without a snag and now we are home.
Feels great! It was snowing in Denver and a cool 32F (0C) – so there is still more winter to be had. And I thought we were going to miss it all… As is now tradition for me and New Zealand, I caught a cold after spending that night in the cold, damp, fog in the Catlins. Of course, I didn’t let that stop me from going kayaking the following day and freezing my patootie off that afternoon which added nicely to the congestion. But wait – there’s MORE! With my cold in full swing, we did complete the Rakiura Track the next day, although it wasn’t a record breaker… just 34 km (21+ miles) in the damp, cold, and sometimes clouds. I wasn’t liking that hike toward the end, but that’s fun #2 for ya.
I only shot about 600 photos on this trip. Those long death marches seem to kill the shutter bug toward the latter half of the day. And our weather was almost 100% cooperative (i.e. not pissing rain) this time! Certainly, there wasn’t much to shoot in the way of the food which was really disappointing. And I don’t say that just because we (I) were (was) fed like kings (queen?) in Sydney thanks to Kell and Jerad. I think the places we tend to gravitate to… the sticks… just don’t have much of interest to offer culinarily. Auckland had some good fare, as did city center in Christchurch. Maybe next time we’ll have to venture the way of Wellington and wine country – but that’s not our thing. Cities are not our thing. Having said that, I think Sydney is by far my favorite city in the world. It’s clean, ped and public transport friendly, lively, international, green, breezy, delicious, and very pretty.
More ponderings later. For now, some photos to highlight our activities in New Zealand over the last 12 days…
day 2: jeremy atop avalanche peak
day 4: jeremy digs into a mashie top beef pie on the shores of lake wanaka
day 5: first day of the kepler track
day 7: fish and chips takeaway after completing the kepler
day 7: nugget point at sunset in the fog
day 8: from florence hill, a local in the catlins
day 8: at mcclean falls
day 8: jeremy enters the cathedral caves from the beach
day 9: a weka investigates our kayak on ulva island
day 10: one of several coves from the rakiura track
day 11: a yellow-eyed penguin on the otago peninsula
day 12: the moeraki boulders