Back in 2002, Amy and I took 6 months off from work and traveled around the world. It was a life-changing experience, not to mention a lot of fun. During our travels we sent emails to friends and family, since this was before I had a blog - before just about anybody had a blog, I suppose. I decided it would be fun to dig up those old emails and post them here. Be looking for them over the coming days. Here is the first one we sent, on February 1, 2002.
New Zealand: week one
We arrived in and spent 3
days in the city. Had a bit of trouble finding a room
since it's summer here, but it worked out ok after
some help from the tourist info center. The museum had
some great exhibits on Maori (indigenous people)
culture and history. we took a ferry to
Ronitoto island, a 600-year old volcano, and hiked to
the top. Monday we took a cruise out in the harbor to
spot dolphins, and were able to follow a pod of about
20 dolphins as they rode the bow wave of our boat. We
had dinner in an English pub where everyone was
watching Cricket. Can't figure that sport out -- I'll
have to get a book and figure out the basics. We'd
like to catch a rugby match too, but the season
doesn't start til Feb 22, apparently.
Anyone know why NZ toilets have 2 buttons on the tank
to flush? We haven't figured it out yet either. Both
of them seem to do the same thing. Also, they call
bell peppers "capsicum" down here. Took us a while to
figure that out.
We decided to rent a car -- should be about the same
price as taking buses everywhere -- for NZ$28 per day
(about US$12). We drove norht , stopping in
one of the few remaining Kauri tree forests. These
huge trees are thousands of years old, and one
particular tree was 5.2 meters in diameter (that's 16
feet across). The forests here look really ancient,
like something out of Jurassic park -- probably all
the giant ferns. Next, we spent 2 days tramping
(that's Kiwi for "hiking") the coast. Didn't pass a
single person the first day. Had about 6 miles of
beautiful beach all to ourselves.
Now we're at the , leaving tomorrow
morning for a 2-day sea kayak trip. Having a great
time!! Starting to develop a Kiwi accent of my own,
but that should wear off soon.