Jumping, cute penguins and off to Oz!
Trip Start Jun 01, 2009
42Trip End Feb 16, 2010
Our last week in New Zealand was spent more or less in the middle of nowhere and we haven't bothered with internet before our arrival in Sydney last weekend. So far Sydney has treated us pretty nicely with nice temperatures in the low 20s, so we could finally take our flip flops out of the back packs again! We have spent our time walking around, shopping (I ripped the only pair of jeans I had with me back in Sao Paulo and was desparate to get something to wear beyond vomit-coloured and ill fitting zip-off pants ..) and of course eating and drinking. We planned to swim it all off in the hotel pool, but the Hilton pool is currently being renovated, the b@stards!
Just a bit of a recap of our adventures in our last week in NZ ;((( .. The morning after our day skiing on mojito-like substance in Queenstown it was time for Ivo's big jump
After all this crazy stuff we drove to the Fiordlands and spent the night in Milford Sound. This area is one of the most stunning sceneries we had ever seen! Absolutely gorgeous! We were lucky with the weather, as it rains on average 7 meters a year, but we had 2 days of clear blue sky! In winter the road to Milford Sound is quite often closed due to avalanches, but fortunately the road was nice and clean, so Ivo could test how fast the campervan actually could go on mountainous road (As our parents read this blog as well, of course this is a joke, he would never do anything like that)
We then decided to make some serious efforts at spotting penguins, so we headed for little places on the east coast where these cute little birds live. The DOC (Department of Conservation, basically the government unit looking after all the nature reserves and animals and stuff), indicates that penguins return 2 hours before sunset from a long day of fishing. So we walked up to the wooden little house where you have to hide to spot the penguins (if they see you on the beach, they won't come out of the water), but we found out the majority of the penguins don't show up until its dark! So after more than 2 hours of freezing on the beach (note a theme here?), we spotted 2 penguins at a distance of 2km and one penguin closer by. But ooooh, they are so cute!!!! Even from a distance, they are just the cutest little things! Even Ivo thought they were cute, although he did not want to admit it. (He was actually talking about sending DOC a little penguin wing to hold DOC ransom...)
At Oamaru, the last place where we went for our penguin quest we had more luck as we saw over 60 penguins getting out of the water and waddle to their little nests ashore
In the meantime we also decided to park our campervan somewhere really nice and remote near the beach. Gorgeous little spot, did not see a human being for a long time ... But the next day we discovered we could not get the car out again! It was deeply stuck in mud! Fortunately a couple of 4WDs came by for a quick race on the beach, but of course Ivo had better ideas to get the car out. So we went about our business of jacking up the wheels of our 3 ton vehicle, putting stones under the wheels for grip, realising that did not work, then put on snow chains for added grip, which dug only deeper holes in stickier mud ... So finally I was sent back to the main road to get help. The main road basically had 1 car a day passing, but I was in luck, as a nice big fat DOC 4WD came by and after 30 minutes plus 1 broken cable we were out of the sticky stuff!
We had only little time in Christchurch but made it to one of the nice restaurants there and also made it to Harry Potter, which was all right. Ivo is now wondering if good old Dumbledore is really dead. You guys reckon I should give him a clue??
Anyway, that was a bit of a long entry, but hope it wasn't too boring (just skip over the text and just watch the pictures). We are now in the land of Oz and with good and warmer weather coming our way, we are hoping we'll have a bloody good time here!
Annemieke & Ivo