That’s the best word I can come up with to describe the last seven weeks in New Zealand. ¬†Wow.
I hope to be back some day. This little country packs a powerful punch and we have enjoyed our seven weeks here thoroughly. ¬†Thumbs up all around as a visitor to the beautiful island nation.
People keep asking me what was the best? ¬†What was my favorite? ¬†It’s a difficult question. ¬†If I had to come up with one thing it would probably be our
three days on the Abel Tasman trail – although I fell in love with so many other places we visited and things we saw as well. Milford Sound was magnificent. ¬†Tongariro Crossing was spectacular. ¬†Cape Reinga was beautiful. ¬†The sun, the rain, the ocean, the lakes, the rivers. ¬†The volcanoes, the valleys, the farms, the mountains, the fjords. ¬† The stars – they are amazing. The sunrises and sunsets. ¬†And in the last days of our visit finally seeing a kiwi in the wild. ¬†Oh my goodness. ¬†How can you choose a favorite?
And of course the people. ¬†New Zealand is the only country we have been in so far where we were invited into people’s homes. ¬†What a treat that was – new friends on the South Island who welcomed us overnight at their home on a 700 acre sheep farm and new friends on the North Island who made us a spectacular dinner in their beautiful home overlooking a caldera in Auckland. ¬†Two special experiences not every visitor gets to have. ¬†Fabulous.
We have spent the last five days in the city of Auckland, a bit of a recovery phase after four weeks in the Kiwi Karavan. ¬†Auckland is a beautiful city – sparkling white boats on the sparkling turquoise water beneath the sparkling blue sky. ¬†An easy city to love and to imagine living here….maybe…?? ¬†We did a lot of
walking in the city, enjoyed the adjacent towns of Devenport and St. Heliers and loved the local museum. ¬†But our favorite thing by far was our day
on Tiritiri Matangi Island Bird Sanctuary where we saw many endangered birds as well as the elusive kiwi. ¬†What a treat.
New Zealand has made a major commitment to
conservation, restoration and preservation of wildlife, native species and Maori culture. ¬†They also have great reverence ¬†for their veterans – in particular the entire generation of men who died in WWI leaving a huge gap. ¬† I appreciate all of this and have a great deal of respect for a country that puts culture, arts, nature, sacrifice and history on a pedestal. ¬†My kind of place.
Our time in New Zealand has been very busy. ¬†In fact we have broken all of our rules about taking it slow and easy and trying to stay in one place for
extended period of time. ¬†We have been on the go for seven weeks seeing one end of this country to the other. ¬†And now we are looking forward to some real down time. ¬†Chapter Seven will be a complete 180 from our time in New Zealand.
Chapter Seven begins tomorrow, with what will be a hellish travel day. ¬†Actually it will be nearly 48 hours from the time I wake up tomorrow to the time I lay by head on the pillow on the other end. ¬†Four flights, four countries as we make our way to the very remote, very small, very sunny and hopefully, very relaxing island of Praslin in the Seychelles Islands.
We will spend 33 days in the same Airbnb. ¬†Downtime. ¬†Ahhhhh.
But, our Airbnb does not have wifi, and we will likely not have the same access we have had to social media, internet and email. ¬†But I will blog as often as I can, and post on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter when I have the opportunity. ¬†Between gin and
tonics that is.
So with that, we say farewell. ¬†A fond farewell to New Zealand – where I leave a piece of my heart. ¬†Thanks for a wonderful time.
Seychelles here we come!