Every cliché you’ve heard about New Zealand is true. There really are more sheep than people, the hills really are that green, and the water really is that clear. New Zealanders are warm and friendly, epitomized by our hosts Pauline, Danella and Jo.
All the stresses of delayed flights and airport checks fell away with Pauline’s first embrace. I’ve been ensconced in a warm cocoon ever since.
Here’s what we’ve been up to since my last post Three Days in Dunedin.
Pauline organized a thrilling ride on a four-seater motor bike known as the trike. There are only seven of them in the world. Our charming guide Andrew met us at the city center known as the Octagon and graciously put up with all our picture-taking. We maneuvered through town, then along the harbour and into the hills for a breathtaking view. I should mention that we were also part of the view, as tourists waved and stared at this fascinating trike. I now have an inkling of what it must be like to be famous. Complete strangers smiled and waved and took pictures of us along the way. What fun!
We were on the road for nearly an hour, wind in our hair, smiles on our faces, laughing much of the way. Experience Dunedin just celebrated their first anniversary. You can see some closeup shots of the trike on their Facebook page.
Back on terra firma, we stopped for lunch. While the others stayed on for drinks, Pauline organized a visit to her chiropractor to help with my gathering pain, the result of too many hours sitting on the long-haul flight. Did I mention the warm cocoon?
We rounded out the day with a walking tour of the University of Otago (Māori: Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo). Danella has worked at this beautiful university for a decade.
I inadvertently set my camera to manual, so many of my photos turned out dark and grainy. Here are a few to give you a flavor of the place.
If you want to see how a real photographer does it, please check out Laurie’s post University of Otago.
The following morning we were off to Wanaka (rhymes with Monica). We caravanned in two cars for the five-hour journey with several stops for lunch and photographs along the way. Steven is a CB radio enthusiast so he rigged the two cars with radios. We were in regular communication between cars, alerting each other for stops and other practical matters. There may also have been some singing in the round, just to keep things interesting.
As if! It’s all interesting and wonderful. I’m like a mum with a new baby, constantly gushing at the wonder of it all.
I’ll share details of Wanaka and Queenstown in a future post.