Monday, December 31, 2007

New Years Eve

Slightly earlier for us on this side of the world than it would be back in the UK.........

Have had the most incredible few days. Christmas day was a ball, starting with a huge slap up breakfast on the terrace for 14 of us, with bucks fizz, freshly baked croissants, bacon and eggs, pancakes and more. Exchanging gifts then, for those that wanted, off to the beach. Spent a good part of the day enjoying the surf with several others from the house, the boys are really good surfers now so headed much further out into the bay, how exhilerating to catch what felt like huge waves right out in the sea. Am so glad that i left my bodyboard here last year as it's getting loads more use..... and allows more people to enjoy the waves. Chilled for a couple of hours in the late afternoon sun before returning home to a massive Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, went to bed fat, full and glowing from an amazing day.

Glen and Lauren, the Canadians had a car, and we spent a day touring round the area, stopping off at all the tourist spots to clamber through the bush to scenic viewpoints overlooking secluded bays and tracts of native forest, watch cheese being made at a local factory, with the obligatory tasters, wander round Akaroa, the local town, with its recently rediscovered historical French connections and take a miriad of photographs.

A day out in the harbour fishing was so much fun and we came back with enough fish for several big meals, some of them look familiar but they have different names, Mokie, Blue Cod, Red Cod, Snapper, all delicious but none as good as the huge crayfish that Michael, the younger son, came home with after a days diving with some friends. Two cray fed eight of us really well, they were massive and so so tasty. He also brought back Paua and mussels from another trip, these can only be caught when snorkelling, to conserve stocks, and are often 8 + meters deep so not the easiest things to catch. They also hang on pretty tight.

The other Helpx people have all moved on now, and my hosts John and Julie headed off this morning for a couple of days away, leaving me house sitting for the New Year. I have a good book and a beautiful view, plenty of food and drink and a good pub just down the road so should be just fine.

Looking forward to a couple of days chilling before i head off into the nearly unknown, and a market garden further down south to learn about herb and salad production and sample a bit of the good life for a bit.

So, farewell 2007 and a big Hello to 2008. Hope you all enjoy the celebrations welcoming in the New Year and hope that all comes good for you in the coming year. Big love to you all, see you next year. S

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Two more days of picking

then it's time off to party.

Christmas preparations are coming on a treat here. The living room is full of boxes and packing materials for flowers and either we're out in the fields picking Leucodendron flowers, down in the basement grading them and packing them into boxes eating or sleeping. No, its not that work orientated, the family and paid workers do far more than us helpXers and are somewhat more tired than us too.

Have read a couple of good books whilst the weather has been wet, if it rains overnight, which it as done several times, we have to wiat till the plants have dried off a bit before we pick so we get a free morning then work into the evening so tend not to go out.

The other helpers are great, a Canadian couple, late 20's librarian and sculptor who are having time out for their honeymoon and a bit of an adventure, are sure that they are so so different to people from the USA, but i don't see it myself, Adam a young lad from the UK, near Lyme Regis, full of jokes and amusement. Two individuals from Japan and one from Malaysia, they find the language and cultural differences quite different but more involved a time goes by. A good interesting mix of folk with plenty of interesting conversation and discussion as well as plenty of fun.

We'll sort Christmas in a couple of days once the last flowers have been dispatched, everyone has some thought on what they want to contribute so it should be good. We may even go as far as getting a Christmas tree, though its hardly worth it if the weather picks up and we spend all day outside in the warm.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Through the jet lag

I've just spent a few minutes reading the first entries of this Blog from last year and i'm a bit stumped as to what to write. Hopefully i'll get into the swing of writing again before too long.

Have been in New Zealand for about a week now, it seems loads longer and obviously a lot more familiar the second time round and feels really great to be back. So far i'm following the same route and am back picking flowers until Christmas. John and Julie are such great hosts and everyone seems to fit in as part of their family. 2 canadians, 2 japanese and 2 english helpers here this season, along with several local paid helpers that come and go as necessary.

I'm through the strange experience of jetlag where everything seems fine until you reach the end then it becomes hugely aparent that the last few days have been spent in a vague confusion. Thankfully all over now and my brain has returned to its usual useful state.

The weather is much much better than last year, much warmer and sunnier than previously although we have just been through a day of Devon drizzle and wet. It allowed us all a day off from picking and a bit of a break. Visited the South Island Art Gallery in Christchurch, only to discover that a high proportion of the exhibits are european and the instillation art is similarly obscure to those back home, still, it was a good afternoon out and saved getting soaked. The museum was much more interesting without jetlag (last visit) with historical displays of maori arrival through european discovery up to near persent day. A huge collection of Antarctic items reclaimed from early explorations and plenty of other random stuff.

Off to pick flowers again now. Catch you all soon.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

It's starting again

Am off into the big blue yonder again.

I got the bug last time and can't shake it off so i'm gone!!!!!

Departure on 5th december 2007 will see me back in New Zealand in good time for christmas. My visit this time will be in a slightly different vein, are my thoughts and memories of moving to NZ for good real? will it really be so good that i want to stay the second time? Watch this space and discover more. I for one have no idea at the moment, i just need to go and find out.

the rest of the trip should be fun too and a great experience.

Please try and comment, its great to see who's logging on, and, more often than not, chatting to each other in the minature world of comments - so much more exclusive than facebook.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


gotta just show you these

Gotta go n catch a plane. See you soon and thanks for logging on and all your comments

more beaches

Back in Sydney for the last few days, and doing more of the sights that i didn't get to do earlier. The beaches, Manly, Bondi and Coogee to say that i've been there, get some sun and catch a few waves and chill before the big ride home.

Being lazy, so not much to write about, just enjoying the scenery and trying not to spend too many $$$ unnecessarily on crazy souvenirs.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

further into the bush

Now this really is rural, still within the lush coastal swathe of countryside and not what the Australians call the outback.

My hosts Carl and Rachel live in a great house on the very outskirts of a small village right in the bush. There were signs along the road warning of kangaroo, koala and emu. Two of which i saw, the roos plentiful in the shade of giant eucalypts in the afternoon sun, a couple of emu and the koala being somewhat elusive or just too well camoflaged, asleep in their trees.

I strimmed and weeded and installed irrigation for the new veggie gardens, mended the chook fence and washed the pig, cleaned out gutters and fed the worms in the worm farm and the chooks and the rabbit.

In the afternoons we visited a couple of local towns on the coast, shopping and to go to the beach or i took the car and went exploring or to the beach for a swim, shame i didn't have my board, as the waves were better than ever and the beach almost deserted. Cooked some great dinners, chilled with home brew or homemade ginger beers out under the shade of the eucalyptus till dusk when we hid inside behind the protective mesh door and window covers that kept out the clouds of mosquitoes that came in search of blood each evening.

They warned me about snakes, which freaked me out a bit, i was cautious about the tall grass and about lifting bits of wood and moving things that were lying out in the sun and checking in my bed each night and am slightly dissapointed to have come away without not even the sighting of a tail fleeing into the undergrowth.

I am fleeing too now, back towards Sydney where the big metal bird awaits to take me back to England at the end of the week and i still have plenty to do....

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

back to the countryside

They said it would be good and i'm amazed yet again. After an 11 hour train journey up the east coast from Sydney, anywhere would be a welcome destination, but Byron Bay is as good as the image painted by all those peoples descriptions.

A smallish town with a hippy feel and plenty of money attracted by the beach. The sand is golden and fine, it squeaks when you walk on it, down to the clear, clear sea through the tanning backpackers and the locals who spend their time alternating between swimming and surfing the sparkling, luke warm waters and sunning themselves on the sand. I joined this local tradition immediately, hiring a body board for a couple of pounds a day and hitting the beach big time. It was too hot during the middle of the day so i siesta'd im the most tranquil backpackers i have visited yet.

Some of the other hostels pumped out dance music each evening and the inhabitants spilled out onto the streets to stagger into town in search of even more of the amber nectar. The bars were full and the atmosphere fun and friendly, with people of all nationalities enjoying the holiday vibe. An old guy with a massive telescope had set up on the street and was happy to show anyone saturn for a small donation. The planet, still in minature, moved at a surprising speed across the lens, with its saucer or rings swirling about its centre. More incredible to see in reality than on any photograph or television screen.

The lighthouse is set out on a peninsula and protects the most easterly point of the continent of australia, aparently an amazing place to watch the sunrise, but i declined the offer. I did go and have a look though, the views were incredible, both along the coast and also deep into the clear blue ocean. Manta rays, turtles and shoals of silver fish, glistening in the sunlight, making their ways along the coast. The place to see various whales and dolphins on their migratory travels, but alas, not at this time of the year.

A week of lazing about and enjoying the views was a great way to recharge. Now off to visit my last helpx hosts of my travels. A few hours down the coast to see what i can do next.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

after the party

now that the partying is over, its time to do a bit of sightseeing. No guesses to what commanded the most attention. The bridge and opera house are like huge camera magnets, demanding that photographs are taken from every angle at every opportunity wherever you go. No wonder they are reported to be the most photographed pair of locations in the world.

There are the most amazing views of the city from the top of the bridge, right up there where the flags are. Thankfully everyone is secured to the bridge and everything you wear is secured to you. Unfortunately no photographs, though i have got some on disc for later (if i remember to bring them out to the internet cafe with me sometime).

Spent a wonderful day wandering through the rejuvinated dock areas, packed with smart restaurants and bars and touristy attractions. Past amazing waterside appartments and through little back streets walled with arty gift shops and exotic eateries. China town was where we stopped to eat the most amazing dim sum. Plate after plate of amazing food arrived at our table, brought by waitresses steering trollies through the crowded restaurant, touting their particular dished to each table in turn. Four of us ate for ages and were completely stuffed by the time we left for just under $90.

On, under the bridge and round past the Opera house for the obligitory photo on the steps, it (my photo)was so awful i deleted it!! and throught the tranquility of the botanic gardens. More difficult to recognise many of the plants here, most of them that i did, giant examples of houseplants we have back in the UK. Even the guys from Honolulu were amazed at some of the sights and we had some great discussions about the diffenrences of our home countries. There were huge yellow white parrots squalking from tree to tree and thousands of bats hanging in the trees waiting for dusk and wierd duck, stork like birds with long curved beaks strutting about checking bits of litter to see what they tasted of. We saw the bats that evening, heading off over the city to their nighttime venue, black silhouettes against the darkening twilight sky.

My new friends are all heading off on their respective travels and i feel it is time to move on. A train ticket and a map of New South Wales and a few recommendations from the locals is all i need.

The beach beckoned, and i have headed up the coast on an 11hour train trip to Byron bay. A huge distance to travel and less than an inch on my map of australia. I shall return to Sydney to see some more of the sights later on in my journey, until then, the countryside and beaches beckon again. I can smell the surf........

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

sydney, the last leg...............

i think that i need a holiday to recover from the last week................

Sydney Mardi Gras has been amazing. The city is beautiful and interesting to start with, and then to add on superb bars and clubs, friendly people, and the most spectacular parade and parties, it has been a massive experience, and such a contrast from the last three months of scenery and views. Have made some great friends here, who have made the whole experience even more fun.

Its strange though, it has been easy to sit and describe my adventures in the big outside, but when it comed to this, i am at a loss for words. Just look at the photos and imagine the atmosphere. A blend of fairground, carnival, parade excitement, with thousands and thousands of people all having a great time.

I watched the parade from the roadside, amongst the crowds. The rest of the gang had spent an extrordinarily large sum of money to be in an enclosure with a superior view, bar and food. It was strange being there alone, although soon became part of the immediate audience. A colossal number of floats of all extravagances passed by, some with hundreds of dancers in amazing costumes performing dance routines, others supported by political parties, big business promoting their wares (Ikea was fun)and smaller organisations providing worthwhile and much needed services to the community. The parade lasted for several hours, the last float disappearing down the street to deafening applause and the sound of thousands of whistles calling for more.

The party was huge. Set in an exhibition complex using the massive halls as dance floors with all kinds of music playing, dj'd by international dj's, drag acts and other performers, bars for drinks, stalls for food and areas to sit and chill. It was great to move from area to area and cool off outside before heading off to another dance floor for another boogie. My ticket number was 14820, from one of two vendors, so you can imagine the size of the event. From 10pm to 10am, the sun came up and we carried on partying. I managed till 8.30am without any help, and legally drove back to my accomodation for a rest before heading out mid evening for another night at a city centre club on Oxford Street.

Its now Tuesday morning and the city is all but back to normal. Need to work out my itinerary for the next few days and then head off of of town to a slower pace of life for a while. Ive heard that Byron Bay is good, so i'll probably head off in that direction soon.

Monday, March 05, 2007

missing bits

the last week or so has passed by so fast, without internet opportunity, i shall give you all a small glimpse of where i've been.

in no particular order, photos of:

A Kea on the peak of Avalanche Summit in Arthurs Pass national park on the south island. A 1000metre climb, almost straight up the mountain, my legs didnt work that well the following day!!!

Me admiring the view on the west coast by Pancake Rocks, i just thought you should see a photo of me for once rather than just scenery.

The Frans Joseph Glacier from above in a helecopter, awsome views, later climbed the ice face for 4 hours with a guide. Fascinating and very cold and wet.

View of Frans Joseph village with glacier valley behind, where i stood for ages waiting for a lift. I had boasted that hitch hiking was easy the night before, so i guess i was being punished, it took me over 9 hours to do a 3 hour journey.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Autumn Farm

piccies of Paulies bus, a 1953 model, converted into the most amazing house with all mod cons and beautiful wood paneled interior, he took a crowd of guys to the beach one day. Also a couple of views of the farm, main porch entrance and small part of the garden that i did some work on.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

able tasman

photos from my trek in Able tasman national park

the smallest airport in the world, well a small airstrip that services about 20 properties on a private area of land right out in the remote forest.

crossing the freezing cold waters of the estuary at low tide, thigh deep, would have been interesting in the middle of the winter or with a weeks worth of treking gear.

one of many secluded bays of golden sand and water warmer than any of the beaches back home in the UK.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

autumn farm

Well. firstly, sorry, no photos. The computer i am using isn't speaking to my camera and no amount of coaxing by me or the staff here can get them speak with each other. So just a load of words again for you all.

Autumn Farm has been running as a resort for gay men for over 27years and it was wonderful. I stayed for 10 days, helpx'ing, mainly working in the vegetable gardens, though i did make jam and help with meals and other chores on occasions. A 14 or so acre site with gardens, orchards, forest, a stream, a small farm and great acommodation in dormitories, little cabins and huts scattered through the grounds.

The afternoons were free and someone with a car usually ferried people off to the beach or out for short treks in the surrounding countryside.

Had the opportunity to walk through some of the famous Able Tasman National Park, through bush and along beautiful golden beaches, wading across estuaries at low tide and past huge summer campsites that are now mostly empty as the kids are now back at school. Absolutely stunning - thanks Gin for the recommendation.

Many of the guests return year after year, which gives the farm the feeling of a huge extended family. Met some wonderful people and shared some great times and left feeling more relaxed and chilled than i have done in a long time.

The bus wouldn't have picked me up until mid afternoon, so i hitch hiked again. All the way to Greymouth, which is well over 350km, cutting across the top corner of the country, turning southwards at the coast, past the Pancake rocks all piled up like they are ready to eat and down along the west coast along a little flat bit of land squeezed between the Tasman Sea and the huge towering mountains with their heads almost permanently in the clouds. Greymouth is self descriptive, even on a warm summers evening so i didn't stay long. Caught another lift this morning and am now installed at Frans Joseph and ready to climb a glacier tomorrow. It rains over 7metres a year here, so i'm probably going to get wet!!! That's a huge amount of rain, no wonder the coastline is so lush.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

no more smell

Been busy again, and little chance for internet stuff, so a bit of a catch up again. Have filled a whole memory card with pictures and am on the next one now, but unfortunately have not got it on me to download the amazing sights of geothermal activity at Rotorua. Will try and add some later.

What an amazing place. Huge bubbling ponds of mud, geysers, pools of the most amazing coloured water, steaming in the hot sunshine, some smellier than others with amazing deposits of all sorts of compounds round their edges. Bright yellow sulphur, oranges and greens, blacks and browns, white silica will have to show you the photos.

Great hostel with really great guests, we all shared our experiences and prepared ourselves for the next few days. I headed off to do white water rafting down a river that i had walked along a week or so ago. The tallest fall was 7 metres through a narrow opening in great high rocks, down into a turmultuous pool of thundering splashing water. The raft completely submerged for a few moments before bobbing back to the surface. Our guide instructed us to paddle forwards and backwards, steering us downstream through towering cliffs and a rainforest of lush vegetation for over an hour, before emerging in a large calm lagoon just next to the carpark where we caught the minibus back to base.

Hitched a ride with two fun girls from the backpackers on to Napier, the art deco capital of the country. The whole town was rebuilt in the style after a huge earthquake and fire in 1932. We phoned ahead and booked into a backpackers that was in the decomissioned prison of the town.

en route we stopped off in Taupo for a while, a wonderful sunny afternoon with a few white fluffy clouds floating about the sky. Not long after arriving we were high up in the sky in a birght yellow plane with huge black teeth painted on the front, minutes later hurtling towards the ground faster than imaginable with the most amazing view of the huge lake, farmland, town and mountains in the distance. The airstrip became larger and the sides of the lake disappeared our into the distance before Mike, my guide pulled the rip cord and we abruptly slowed, swung into a sitting position and floated calmly back to the landing site safely on the ground. Skydivig is an incredible experience, not quite as scary as bungy, but lasting a lot longer. It still feels quite amazing to have spent 45seconds hurtling downwards out of a plane and still be fine. Will be doing that one again sometime.

The prison was great, didnt sleep in a real cell, though some were available. The communal showers, washhouse and toilets were the originals, as was the site where the executions happened and where prisoners were punished in stocks until the early 60's.

Spend the day with Annie and Gladie taking in the sights of art deco Napier. We took turns reading the guide book and pointing out the architecture, stopping occasionally for food and icecreams and to take excessive numbers of pictures that will no doubt bore folk stupid back home. The sea was too rough to swim, but the local pool was only $6, including loungers, spa and piped music so we had chance to relax for a while. The museum and aquarium were also excellent, but i've written enough on that.

Recently arrived at Autumn Farm, back on the south island, for a week of helpx and a bit of fun in this wonderful, peaceful gay retreat. Its on the edge of Golden Bay, close to the west borders of the famous Able Tasman Park. Plenty of opportunity for beaches, trecking and no doubt more gardening. The weather is cold and damp,you will be pleased to hear..

Sunday, February 04, 2007

kiwi fruit country

Another helpx host, for just a quick visit. Irene and Roger have just moved and needed help sorting out what they want to do with their new garden. Easy!! Have done some fairly drastic pruning, redrawn their out of date garden plans and given them all the advice i can for the future and they are so pleased. They also own a small kiwi orchard which was great to look round and learn what i could.

In exchange got to borrow the car for a couple of days and had a good look round the area, including the great long beach of Papamoa, hundreds of hectares of kiwi and avocado fields, the local towns and even a couple of garden centres. Got to chill on the beach for an afternoon, climb another couple of smaller mountains and get incredibly lost on the unmarked roads out in the country. It all came right in the end with unexpected fiews of the sunset and a moonlight swim before getting home before it was completely dark.

Am now in Rotorua for a couple of days to see what the thermal thing is all about and it stinks of rotten eggs all the time and everywhere. MMMmmmm. According to the guide books, the water is very good for the skin. Hopefully the aroma wears off pretty quick.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Coromandel calm

escaped the hustle and bustle of the great city on a 2 hour catamaran ferry across to the Coromandel peninsula and found the best backpacker hostel so far to stay at. Modern and new wooden cabins surrounded by tropical gardens, with complimentary bbq, swimming pool and spa, all of which got well used.

Teamed up with Marlen, a german girl and went on a twilight fishing trip the night we arrived. Four hours on a mussel barge out in the bay to catch our tea. There were about 20 on the trip, and a great maori family provided us with excellent advice and shared their bait. We managed 4 snapper, enough for two evening meals, whilst the family quickly filled a large crate with all manner of fishes, including a metre long shark, which, aparently is good to eat so long as it is bled!!

Hired a car the following day and headed off to the Hot Water beach, where warm springs percolate up through the sands at low tide. It was about 50 miles away through stunning scenery and steep winding roads over summits with panoramic viewpoints for photos and deep into gorges clothed in huge tree ferns and tumbling streams. The beach was swarming with people with spades, franticaly digging holes to sit in warm water before the tide came in. We were suitably amused by the scene and tried the warm waters with our feet before moving on.

Stopped at a secluded beach for lunch and a swim, in water that was warm enough to get straight into and chilled in the sunshine for a good long while.

Cathederal cove was further down the coast so we headed there. A good 30 minute trek from the carpark along the coast before decending 168 steps, a little girl had just finished counting them as we got to the top, down onto golden sands, with green topped islands just off shore. It's called Cathederal cove because of the huge arch under the cliffs that links two bays, a very impressive cool space with beaches in warm sunshine on either side. Getting back up to the car was a killer.

As our good deed for the day we gave a lift to a hitchhiker, who turned out to be a very smelly and rather drunk chap who was camping in the middle of nowhere for no aparent reason. We dropped him off so as we could get some fresh air and decided he was probably hiding from the authorities for some reason. Went home and barbecued the remaining snapper for our tea, with tomato and avocado salad and a couple of beers.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

crazy auckland

i have found some more crazy things to do.......

went up the sky tower in a lift, and came back down in a lift, even though there is a freefall option, suspended from a couple of wires. The views from the top were amazing, as was the glass floor, which seemed to be troubling quite a few people. No, it wasn't all glass, just some small areas.

Took a tour round the harbour on a Fullers Ferry. they point out all the interesting things like the greenpeace ship, really old buildings from 150 or so years ago, a sugar factory that was originally a brick works, built by prisoners, who also constructed the first freshwater dam to supply the town with water and consiquently were the first inhabitants to have flush toilets in the whole of New Zealand. Loads of other things - i could bore you stupid on this one..... a mini Devonport, several volcanic cones sticking up through the suburbs or out of the sea.

Climbed to the very top of Auckland harbour Bridge, with a guide and some safety ropes, wow, excellent views across the harbour and of the city, could see right through the mesh floor to the road and the harbour waters below, you wouldn't want to drop anything over the edge... apart from if its tied on to a bungy, which i did and have on a dvd.

Eating really well and very cheaply here, a big overseas population caters for all tastes, and have found several places local to the backpackers where i can get a huge meal for under $10, about pounds 3.50, usually chinese/oriental style food, real yummy, so i'm not going hungry. Gotta go, its dinner time

tongariro crossing pics

Thursday, January 25, 2007

heading north

Interislander ferry, formerly The Pride of Cherbourg, leaving Picton.

Have changed my plans and headed to the north island last week. Wellington, the capital, was a huge contrast to the south island with hugh high rise blocks, tonnes of shops and people rushing around. Stayed a couple of days and checked out the botanic gardens and Te Papa, the national museum which was rather spectacular, but unfortunately the camera is holding all the photos hostage at the moment.

Bought a new camera.

Headed north to the smallest village in the world, Erua, 4 houses and a ski lodge, just down the road from a larger village strangely called National Park ( i looked at the map for ages checking the names of all the big green spaces to find National Park, before i discovered that was actually just a village and not a forest.)

Have spent a week at the lodge with Brian, Miriam and several other guests, gardening and helping to tidy up the grounds. Thoroughly enjoyed myself creating easy care areas with the team and unloading trailer loads of bark to tidy other areas.

Free time was spent on their petrol go carts, playing paintball, watching the latest films - downloaded from the net and drinking copious quantities of beer. All of which was great fun.

Had a good days trek over the Tongariro Crossing, through a group of volcanic mountains in the centre of the island, just south of lake taupo. Climbed up and up and up, through vast areas of black lava and mounds of rocks, through the fog. It got colder and windier and wetter the higher we climbed and the visibility was down to a few metres at times. Along a windswept ridge, knowing that the views were incredible, before decending down past hot pools and steaming rocky vents issuing sulphurous gasses that stank like millions of rotten eggs. Suddenly the cloud was gone and the view opened up for the way down and we could see for miles. Bare rock became tussock grass and small white daisies, changing to low scrub, into forest with tree ferns and cordylines down further into taller trees and a torrent of a stream, the path contained by huge wooden steps that were far too big to walk down, eventually ending up in a car park where a bus collected us and returned us to the lodge.

Left yesterday, feeling revitalised and ready to travel again after a few days supposed rest. Have just arrived in Auckland and the air is hot and humid, and it really feels like summer for the first time.

Thank you all for the reminders that i am halfway through my trip, time seems to be flying past and opportunities to stay keep presenting themselves with alarming frequency. Still having a ball. BIg love to you all. SAM

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Mountains and lakes

Mount Cook in the distance over lake Pukaki, and Lake tekapo at sunrise.