Friday, February 19, 2010

Georgia you have been out did mmmhmmm

As it stands, I continue to have difficulties making peace with Georgia: with mud wrastlen', chitlins, hunten and thumping the "good book", however Saturday night Georgia, you were outdone, or out did...... In the ski resort/ hiking village of Wanaka. After many a day on the rough it is surprising that 15 $ can by you a shower and a sandfly free place to camp = happiness. After obtaining happiness we decided to see what the swanky town had to offer. Walking along the main street toward dinner we heard loud music and cheering coming from a big local pub, and what did we find....Complete with a grandstand, grannies and young boys in the front row an " Opening a beer bottle with a chain saw contest". Yes you read correctly, here in NZ they have no worries about mixing large amounts of alcohol and heavy motorized blades. It was actually an organized ,sponsored event. Anyone in any condition could line up , only needing to put on closed shoes and an apron and off they went...sawing off the cap and chugging a liter of the local brew. And yes some who broke the neck still chugged! A little boy was so excited to see his daddy and all the little ones ran around collecting the caps....It was a sight...unfortunately we didnt have the camera :%. I ran after 5 minutes... I couldnt stand to see the carnage that seemed so inevitable...but we never heard any ambulance...The police were actually there when we arrived and just left..... Oh a sad night for Georgia.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Never Listen to Over Zealous Dutch Travelers

So while in Karamea we met up with a young dutch couple spending months traveling around NZ. They seemed very knowledgeable and experienced and they said " Oh when you go to the glaciers you must stay at Gillespies Point" Oh ok we'll do that. WRONG. SO Gillespies POint is the end of a 30 min long dirt track. Usually these end in great spots..this ended in a parking lot full of other campers. Given it was nice that this two hut fishing village had been taken over by sheep... but we did not drive all that way to stay on a parking lot... SO off on a dirt track we go to find a quieter spot near the beach. In the bushes are ominous hand painted signed saying "Warning mining in progress" This is wierd as who mines on beach.. So we stop to set up camp and who arrives with in 5 minutes...the plague of this otherwise perfect land...Sandflies...Biting blood sucking make your limbs swell sandflies. Into the campervan we go for another long evening in a camper van made for actually one person of diminutive stature..... And in the morning....we are the soft sand with sandflies... and who can get us out? A "miner" driving a small bulldozer ... mining for gold dust in the sand.....And the money of stupid foreigners campers....Yes this country does hold some interesting people ...mining for gold dust in the sand...zealous


So one choice one makes on holiday in a campervan for two is between seeing everything or relative sanity with a marked lack of violence. Yeah....we went for the sanity, and in the end I think our trip was better for it. After our Chitty Chitty Bang Bang arrival in the northern village of KAramea we spent two great quiet days parked at the village oval and exploring the caves and rivers of the Oparara National Park. A beautiful and breathtaking place in this pristine country. With tears and soul wrenching we also had to help a rabbit find peace after a careless driver didnt... Im not so sure if Im cut out for country life after all...

With a FULL tank of gas we continued on down the west cost seeing pancake rocks and blow holes that didnt blow at high or low tide in the rain....and stopped off to see the astounding Franz Josef and Fox glaciers. Ive never seen a glacier before and certainly not in 25 degree weather. No, I didnt pay 300 dollar to climb on one..Though I must admit there was only one company doing it so it was quite sustainable..Perhaps if I was big into mountain climbing I would. It just seemed that letting people climb on them would not assist in hindering the melting process...Hmmm

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The finger at martimony!

So, a conversation that has been had for millenia was had......"um we are driving through the tropical alps. The guild book says we should fill up with petrol as there is no station for 95 KM..." We have a 1/4 of a tank, We'll be all right"..."Hmmm the road sign says we should fill up, I think we should fill up"...."We'll be all right". 20 Kms into the trip the needle is almost done to empty" What? Oh the choke wasnt pushed in. SO on a beautiful yet breakneck turning, climbing and dipping road with no shoulder we puffed our way to the top. There was no time for anger or I told you so...MInd you Jeremie was overly smiley and nice throughout....WE made it to the peak..Thank you middle earth...and then it was " You steer and shift and I'll man the hand-break all the way down to the little village of Karamea. We coasted into the only petrol station for many Kms....Jeremie promptly had a stiff drink and went to bed. I dont know if he was more stressed by the drive or my reaction if we hadnt made it hmmm.

We are now in the sleepy village of Karamea among cows and nice kiwis. We toured the beautiful rainforests and caves of the Oparara Basin.....Huge old dense trees covered with moss. Stone arches and waterfalls. ITs exactly the place where I imagined that all my childhood fairytales played out. Especially Ronja Raeubertochter and Die Brueder Loewenherz.

Before KAramea we stopped outside of Westport and saw a Fur Seal colony. It was amazing to see wild mammals in their habitat. There were many pups and mother. Its still birthing season and some of the pups looked only a few days old...tiny for a seal. This was all for free in a national park. NEw Zealand has an EXCELLENT park service. PArks are everywhere and beautifully maintained.....Well off down the west coast to the south....

Thursday, February 4, 2010

We have come so far to holiday in the Alps?

New Zealand....A land of very nice kiwis, fat happy cows IN FIELDS, fluffy sheep ...and evil sand flies. So Jeremie and I landed in the quiet, quiet town of Christchurch Wednesday night and made our way on the local bus from the airport ( with a prepaid ticket scanning system!!) at 11 pm to the city centre. Our friends in Atlanta and especially Sydney will be astounded by that last sentence as neither GREAT SUPERPOWER CITIES have anything close to that in public transport.....Anyway stayed at the Stonehurst hostel, which sadly Sydney friends is 10X cleaner and quieter then the Billabong (sadness). It was then up early to get our rolling mix of the Little Miss Sunshine Bus and my room in Dudweiler...on wheels. No, its actually quite great though it drives like a 3 horse trailer :$. From Christchurch we are making or way through the Alps to the west cost and are now on the one street village of Reefston (?) The kiwis are exceptionally friendly and country country. And yes we are in the Alps, ( though a bit smaller) just like back im Laendle: Very high hills with little vegetation, crystal clear mountain rivers which are very painful to swim in, and crazy frenchies ;)I saw my first snow in almost 4 years....while burning in the unfiltered sun. We are looking out for Hobbits and Lord of the Ring followers who have trouble with reality...Ill post some pictures soon and try to get Jeremie to participate in this venture ;) Hope you are well!

Its the end on the world as we know it...

Hello everyone,

After a long and sad goodbye all of our dear friends in Australia, Jeremie and I ahve begun our continuing life adventure on the south island of New Zealand....