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jon and marion’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 20 Sep 2007

Location: New Zealand

MapFinally got a wet day to plug the laptop in and transfer some photos...we have already filled one of the smaller memory cards from the big camera...i think i read somewhere that when you go to easter island, you use twice as much film (or memory space) than anywhere else...glad we have some big memory cards too!
so far it has been worthwhile bring the laptop with us...so long as we are in the campervan and i dont have to carry it, that is!!!, the only real hassel is finding an internet cafe for our journal entries, they are scarce as hens teeth!

Picked up the van on the first morning...''for only $9 you can have...." so we took the upgrade and have a bit more space to stand up in and a shower and toilet so we truly are mobile. Decided to head north of Aukland (2/3rds of NZ population live in Aukland and their roads at peak hour are much the same as melbournes...just big car parks) to explore, and have taken 8 days to cruise almost 1000kms. its been nice, one beach for a sunrise a different one for sunset, and a few hills and interesting walks in between. very cruisy!

And wet! i havent seen rain like this in a long, long time....one fella said its been a bad year....i thought he meant it had been dry up til now, but no, he meant it hasnt stopped raining! its great to see and be in.

Some interesting observations about NZ....
pippy graveyards, peat bogs high up in cliff faces leaching waterfalls, racing tides, tattooed sand, Baylis Beach-the busiest highway in NZ, pacific gulls and 4 wheel drives. Perfect sunsets appreciated by cows lining the cliffs.
Cape Regina Blowing our heads off as tides and winds meet at the northern most point of NZ, van rocking (now be nice!) birds grovelling along the ground, sunbursts over the wild seas, sand dunes rolling to the horizon.
Road works, giant ancient Kauri trees, mozzie hunts rocking the van, blisters. Chooks acting like sea gulls, 60's and 70's rock like they have stopped playing in OZ. The look on Jon's face when he met the ''Lord'' and the ''Father' (Kauri trees).


the first volcano we climbed was only 560 ft did that one ok. the next was only 260mts but very slippery. we found a way up to a lower point but were eventually foiled 15 meters from the summit by a sheer rock face...i might act like the goat sometimes but not quite a mountain goat yet. The 3rd hill was 480mts and we got to within 15mins of the top and i couldnt go any further cause of a blister, i was so incapacitated by this minor detail that we even had to find another way down, boy did i sulk and limp all the way, still nursing the bloody mess on my heel!

Now we are beating a hasty (hastening slowly really!) retreat south of Aukland hopefully to Lake Taupo and Rotaroua.
love getting your messages, especially since the phones dont seem to be co-operating.
keep well all and we will catch you soon.
love marion and jon