Archive for New Zealand

The Places I’ve Been

Posted in Stuff with tags , , , , , , , on January 3, 2011 by brianestover

As I prepare to wrap up my trip and begin the journey back home, I found myself reflecting upon my travels over the past month.

Opera House

In general, no matter where in the world you go, time after time, I’m still amazed at how nice people are. From people like Peter and Alex who helped with much of the leg work for my New Zealand journey, to the guy who could barely speak English helping me figure out which bus stop I needed to get off in Auckland, to the friendly, talkative chap on the bus in Sydney who gave me a street by street account of the suburbs we were passing through, people all over the world are generally willing to help out with directions and such.

Some of the things I noticed this trip that in the past I rarely saw, were people using their phones to navigate. Instead of maps, you could often tell the visitors from the locals by the use of their phone as a guidebook.

It also seems that American’s are loath to trust another American with train directions unless they are in America. I’ve noticed this in London when I spent some time there, and again here in Sydney. As soon as you answered the American’s question about which trains to take, off they hurried looking for someone with an accent. The guy with the accent didn’t seem to mind when I helped him with the buses.

A Lychee

Where ever I go, you can count on rain. I now have fond memories of getting rained on in Austria, Belgium (more then one trip), Canada, Holland, Italy and the UK. You can now add Australia and New Zealand to the list. It’s not that I mind the rain, in fact it’s better then blazing hot. But it does get a little old when you are out in the rain for 7-10 hours touring around. At some point you are not getting any wetter, but you’re not getting any drier either. Besides, when using just a small backpack, wet clothes + your only dry clothes = only wet clothes. It’s no fun putting on clean clothes in the morning only to have them wet before you leave.

The other thing you can count on is no matter where I travel the dollar will fall as my trip goes on.

All is all it’s hard to complain about traveling and seeing other parts of the world. Be it city’s or countryside. Zoo’s, botanical gardens, maritime museums, scenic vantage points or running along the beach. Nothing shabby about that.

New Zealand Coromandel Coast

Plus I learned a new skill. Driving on the wrong side of the road! Round abouts rock and the US should have more of them. Maybe I’ll start a campaign.

Super Driver

Tomorrow I’m going to actually go back in time. I’ll arrive back in Arizona 35 minutes before I leave Australia. Of course, I’ll waste all of that time plus some waiting for the world’s slowest baggage handlers (Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport) to get my luggage to me. So much for getting a second chance at something.

New Zealand

Posted in Stuff with tags , , , , on December 19, 2010 by brianestover

I’m back from my side trip to New Zealand. I have always heard everyone say it’s a beautiful country. Don’t believe the hype. It’s beyond beautiful. I think they took the worst scenery and put it in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy to keep tourism down.

Got to Auckland a few hours late thanks to a computer crash at Air NZ. A very big thank you to Show Pony aka Peter who took me around that first afternoon. We swam in an awesome 60m salt water pool. Then it was fish and chips on the beach with his soon to be wife. What an awesome day.

Next up was trying to drive on the wrong side of the road, in a 6 speed manual transmission. Problem solved and I loved that there were no stop signs for me to run. All round abouts and give ways. Brilliant and yes, I’m having a beer to celebrate that fact! All of NZ should have a beer to celebrate that fact in fact.

The rest of my time in NZ was spent in the rain. I was soaked from head to toe for four solid days. Of course it didn’t matter when I was swimming in the Pacific or running along the beach. It did matter when I was trying to find dry clothes for the next day. It was a constant struggle to keep a day’s worth of dry clothes. When you only packed 3 days worth and you’re there for 4 days, well you can see where that is going.

This is how wet my typical day was spent. At least it wasn’t cold.

All in all a great side trip. Thanks again Peter for helping me with some of the initial leg work and your suggestions for my route. I’ll leave you guys with a couple of scenery pics.