Wet and Windy in Whitianga

Trip Start Nov 30, 2005
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47
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Trip End May 13, 2006


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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Sunday, March 26, 2006

Hi.

I am sitting on a place on the east coast of New Zealand. The beach is out my window. However, I can hardly see it because the wind and the rain is so crazy. It is pouring down and the wind is gusting like you wouldn't believe. I am in the office at reception and when I walk the short distance outside to my dorm room, I will be completely soaked! Today I was on a tour to check out great landmarks like Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove, but I couldn't see much and our tour was done by 2 in the afternoon because of it. Bad luck for me!

But, my luck finally had me with skydiving. Early yesterday morning before I caught my 10:30 bus, I got to fly through the sky! It was absolutely amazing! It all happened so quickly. It was a beautiful ride up, overlooking Lake Taupo (the biggest lake in NZ) and the surrounding countryside. We were all stuffed in the little plane and I was watching as the height went up and up and up. I was the first one to go and they just opened the door and before I knew it I was flying...I didn't even have time to think about it! It was so much fun. I freefell for about 8000 feet- about 45 seconds and then the parachute came up and we slowed down and had a beautiful descending float down. I paid the extra money and have it all on DVD- which I may try to put up on here if I can figure out how.

Last night we arrived to Mt. Mitianga at about 5 in the afternoon. With two hours of daylight left I rushed off to climb the little mountain that the town is named for. It was a beautiful hike- surrounded by water on all three sides. The mountain was covered in grazing land for sheep at the bottom and beautiful tropical forests as I neared the top. So, at least I got that one in! I made it back just before it was dark! The hostel I was in was pretty nice. I met some Chileans who were drinking Pisco and they made me a Piscola (a mixed drink very typical in Chile). It was good to chat with them and practice my spanish a little and to remember how difficult that Chilean spanish is! I can't believe I go tomorrow and will be back in that Spanish speaking world. When you stay away for awhile you really do forget how to speak. I just hope it comes back to me with some practice! I have faith. (The door just opened and the wind is whistling! I don't wanna go back out there!)

New Zealand is a great place and I have considered many times over the last week staying here for longer and getting some work. It seems really easy to get a job and a work permit and there are lots of jobs available for backpackers. I've decided to move on according to plan but its tempting because its so beautiful here and there is so much to do. The Kiwis are really nice people. The only unfortunate thing is I haven't been able to meet enough of them! I have met loads of travellers and Brits, and Germans, and Swedish, and Canadian and so on- but not too many Kiwis! Only all the guides, bus drivers, and people at the hostels. But from the ones I know, they are incredibly friendly, nice, and really fun. So that would be another great thing about staying here. But, I think us Americans can only get the work permit once, so I will take a rain check and save mine for another date!

The towns are all small and quaint and have quite a charm to them. Everywhere that I have been has been incredibly green and hilly. All the walks I have taken have been through lush forests covered in ferns and beautiful plants. I even stumbled through a small redwood forest on one of my walks! I was so excited- I haven't seen a redwood in quite awhile! All in all- I really recommend New Zealand!

Tomorrow I catch my plane at 5:30 in the afternoon and I arrive to Chile 12 hours later at 12:30 in the afternoon Chilean time! Wierd, huh? So after jumping further and further ahead in hours from home, I now get jolted all the way back! Thats what happens when you circle the globe. So I might finally feel a little jetlag! We shall see when we get there!
Off I go again!
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