Thursday, August 08, 2002


Welcome to the latest travel mailout, *now with hyperlinks* - oooh.

I've been in New Zealand for a wee while now and it's really cool - cold in fact. Moving from the summer heat of Californian desert to the Winter cold of Southern New Zealand was a bit of a shock! The first thing me & Jo did was to buy some warm clothers - gloves, hat & warm jacket.

Our flight over was faily eventful. It was supposed to be 14 hours, but was delayed by 2 hours as they decided to remove a couple of shady looking charcters from the plane (and then remove their luggage) - although we didn't really get to find out the reason why. We had this tiny Indian brat sitting next to us on the plane who was crying & screaming & basing his mum for absolutely ages (this was before we even took off) and his mum didn't try to shut him up at all. Eventually the cabin crew gave him a sedative whih knocked him out. NZ is 20 hours ahead of LA, so we lost a whole day on the flight. I wore my Monday socks in comemoration of that lost monday. We missed the connecting flight from Aucland to Dunedin because of the delay, but by some lucky fluke we were able to get on a different flight almost imediately.

Dunedin in the southeast of the South island was a nice little place - and realy reminded me of the UK. Dunedin is actaully gaelic for Edinburgh and is ment to be pretty similar. It's fairly cheap, and we got a roast pub lunch here for $6 - about 2 pounds. The town: a big student town, with lots of pubs, the steepest street in the world, a brewery (we went on the tour), a botanical gardens and a pleasant Victorian house (with a cerayzee lady who does the tour - "improprieties - thats a lovely word"). Our hostel does some *award winning* nature tours of the Otago Peninsula , and we were able to see Royal Albatros, Fur Seals, Hoocker's Sealion and Yellow Eyed Penguins. We were only a ew metres away from the SeaLions on the beach, so it was pretty amazing. Oh, there were lots of sheep too

Our next stop was at Queenstown, famous as a resort for extreme sports. We skipped out on most of them, but did luge down the mountain, and go on a jetboat up the river (the jetboat ride made the water rides in Disneyworld look like somesort of mickey mouse organisation). We also stayed at a hostel that had a pretty weird owner - so that was fairly extreme too. Ish. We rented a car and drove up to the maginficently beatiful Milford Sound, picking up some hilarious Japanese hitchhikers, and some mischeavious Kea birds tried to pick at some of our car. We had a cruise at Milford , taking in the fantastic views - the place really gave Yosemite a run for its money. We've also been tying to spot scenery from the Lord of the Rings movie, as a lot of it was filmed here.

We're now in Wanaka , mostly chilling out before we move on. Pop fact: Many football referees comefrom this area, leading to the _expression "The referee's from Wanaka" *. The coolest thing here seems to be the eccentric looking cinema, with the seating made up of old armchairs - there is even a car in the cinema that you can sit in. We're going to see an arty film there tonight - "A Time For Drunken Horses".

Next stop - Franz Josef for glacier hiking, then catching the Tranzalpine train to Christchurch.

Until next time, batfans


* this fact is clearly made up. The sport is rugby, not football

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