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Fasten your seatbelts it's going to be a fun ride

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A fond farewell to New Zealand

Warning. This final blog posting has R rated content. :^) finally....

Finally left Franz Josef....turned a bend to find the reason for our delay.

The last day on the Magic Bus. It was like a fatal accident on the side of the road that you wish with all your might to not rubberneck but you do...

It all began one bright and sunny morning. We all loaded up with high hopes to get the hell out of rain country and on to Queenstown. Lord Of The Rings territory. Home of the first commercial bungy jump. World renowned Mirror Lakes. Fox Glacier and an impressive array of snow capped peaks and rivers too numerous to count. It was all those things and more.

In complete denial that I would miss Milford Sound I began calling all 800 numbers of any private pilot to perhaps find a way to make it still work.
Finally after a while I located one who could pick us up in Waneka (the bus goes through there) take us with another couple to Milford Sound then drop us off in Queenstown where the bus ends up.
All seemed in perfect order except the cooperation of our friendly and helpful bus driver Mike.
Now I won't go into the gory details but let's just say he learned about American directness with a little Kiwi "Cheers" at the end.

I'll console myself with having seen the Mirror Lakes.

A fresh water lake with sharks.

Some cool minivans with all sorts of funny things written on them like this one says "Women should rule the world but they would rather go shopping".

Just imagine Nancy (who hates shopping) at the rental office. "I'm sorry but that's the only van we have left"...Cheers!

I did find a nice place to get warm and dry again and it was called Bardeaux. Specializing in wine and whiskey with a "Hearst Castle" size fireplace that had me feeling like a one of those marshmallows I keep getting with my hot chocolates.
Wrapped up with a fantastic rack of lamb in a steakhouse and went home to pass out. I'm ready to return.

Arrived in Auckland for my last day with Leslie and Holming. She took me to Waiheke island.

and Kiwi's in their natural habitat.

(Zoom in)
Max was our driver and quite wonderful and funny.
Picked up a couple bottles of wine and took the ferry back.
On to Mission bay where we went for a beer (and for the record, I'd like to say "departed a Californian, returning a Kiwi").
Nice little pub on the waterfront (well there's water here everywhere but you know).

I'm leaving tomorrow, home bound and in closure I'd like to say New Zealand is the land of extremes; hot and cold. An adventurer's paradise. Mouthwatering flavors. Breathtaking scenery at every bend, a must do but 'for God sakes girl, take at least 3 weeks to visit it and a parka!' Cheers!

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