Don't have a Wobbly, We're Good as Gold!
Trip Start Nov 05, 2010
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Just some Kiwi talk we wanted to share with you; "Don't have a Wobbly," means "Don't Worry or Calm down," and "We're Good as Gold" signifies, "Everything's all good!"
We are in Auckland, NZ at the moment! We've been adjusting to some new changes here since leaving the islands. Living in New Zeland is nothing like living the island life. First off, we had to master driving on the winding roads, except I shouldn't say "we" since Sasha has been driving in NZ the whole time! I still haven't grasped the idea of driving on the left side of the road and all the roundabouts in this country. Did you know you have to signal when you are going through a roundabout? I guess it makes sense, except we had to relearn where the signal lever and window wiper controls were in the car. Just like driving on the opposite side of the road, the signal lever is on the right and the window wipers switch is on the left of the steering wheel! Go figure! We were lucky the gas and brake pedals remained the same, Sasha loved to drive up and down the roads, all around, left and right - there was no road that he couldn't handle.
Speaking of opposites, another thing opposite to us Canucks in NZ were the water facet knobs, the cold lever is found on the right side of the tap and hot on the left! I've burned my hands so many times! Geez, it will take some time to get used to. Other than re-learning a couple of ways of doing things, we are loving every minute of New Zeland. The drives have been very long and tedious but nothing beats the greenery! Lots and lots of rolling hills and sheep dominate this land!
For the past week, we have been camping at the "TOP 10" Holiday Parks in NZ. Basically they are a mixture of accomodations that you choose from staying in cabin, motel to a tent. We have opted to stay at the camp site of the parks since it roughly costs about $15-20 pp/night and sleeping under the stars is just so beautiful! All the top 10s apparently have a higher quality of accomodations then any other accomodations here as the facilites are equipped with modern kitchens, tv room, dining area, BBQ, washrooms with warm showers, bush walks and some swimmming pools.
So far, we have spent every night at a Top 10 - one night in Whangerai, three nights in Kerikeri, and three nights in Maukanau (which is in Auckland). It is far more economical then staying at a hotel. Since we are here until January 13th, we have to make our dollar go a long way. You could also camp at some Provincial parks for half the price of a holiday park but you would have to trade some of the modern amenities for a private remote site with no running water.
Entering into New Zeland was an adventure on it's own, we almost didn't make our flight from Oahu, Hawaii because we learned at the check-in counter the NZ Government requires all travelers to purchase a return ticket or a ticket out of their country in order to fly into New Zeland. We had to make an executive decision to purchase our next ticket at that moment to Melbourne, Australia for about $300+ one way. On top of that, we had to purchase a $25 OZ VISA. Surprises, surprises O how we love it!
In addition, the NZ customs department were very strict about bringing any foreign fruits or vegetables into the country. I guess they just wanted to make sure their farms were not at risk of being contaminated. The same conditions applied to "tramping" (hiking) books and tents." Customs were very particuliar about foreginers not bringing any dirt or soiled things or equipment into the country! They had special x-ray machines to detect these types of things. All in all, our arrival into Aoteroa (New Zealand) was an adventure and we are hoping our departure will be just as fun.
Please excuse us as we haven't had much time to blog, our time is usually spent on, you guessed it, the road. If we are not driving, we are off hiking somewhere green, swiming in any one of the many pristine and sandy beaches or "putting some shrimp on the barbie!"
We hope all of you are enjoying the holiday season! It feels weird that this our first christmas away from home and our family and friends. Although we miss all of you, we are loving every minute of exploring New Zeland.
As the Maori say in Aoteroa, "Meri Kirihimete!" Wishing you and yours a very merry christmas!