I am now down in New Zealand, on the other side of the world. I am finding it odd that when I get up most of my friends in Europe haven not been to bed, and some are still having their dinner.
I had a great flight to Auckland, as Emirates decided to upgrade me, which is always nice, I just wish it had been for an 8 hour flight - that said, I am not complaining. It was a pity that at 7.15am it was too early for the offer of free champagne, though not for the couple sitting nearby who had clearly been upgraded too.
From Auckland I took an internal flight down to Wellington, where Charles lives. I had not realized that this country is bigger than Britain, and a lot longer, so my idea of hopping on a bus to get there was out of the question.
Anyway, Wellington is a bit odd, well I think all of NZ is odd. There are only 4.3m Kiwis, a third of whom live in a city, Auckland, but then there are millions and millions of sheep, everywhere. And cows, thank God this is not India, cos if those cows were allow to roam free the country would come to a stand still. We actually did, when a herd that was been moved decided to travel on our road.
I spent the first two days catching up with Charles, going to gym, and in general just chilling after Tasmania. Then yesterday we went away for the weekend. Down to one of the wine producing areas in the country. It was a place called Martinborough, cute sleepy little town, that Wellingtonians like for its wine and fine dining...I am grateful to Charles for taking me there, it was lovely, and far off my budget.
Today we went down to Cape Palliser, much more my scene. A rugged, remote and fairly people free part of the region. It has an extremely dramatic landscape, black sand beaches, against a blue ocean and barren hills dotted with the odd sheep that braces itself in the unforgiven wind.
Not only did i get to enjoy the landscape but, for the first time, I also got to see some seals, though I had seen sea lions before in San Fran...they had a baby seal with them, so, so cute, I decided that the Canadian Government needs to be shot for allowing the seal cull every year...
We are now back in Wellington. I have got to stay another day as there are no buses tomorrow to Tongariro Park...I am going there to trek among the volcanos