Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
We took a 3:00 pm flight from Auckland and arrived in LA at 6:25 am the same day!!! (we crossed the international date line). Now we're back in Sacto. and can decompress.
The trip was an excellent adventure and New Zealand has some wonderful sights.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Oct. 20: big 40th anniv day. All day train trip across the Alps, stopping at Moana for a nice lunch followed with a tour by the innkeepers. First sunny day of the trip, fantastic views from the train (generally regarded as one of the best in the world). Lamb dinner back in ChCh, a two-dessert dinner!
Oct. 21: Another sunny day in the faux-British atmosphere of the town. Strolled thru the lovely botanic gardens, then had high tea
at the nearby uber-British Mona Vale estate. Flew back to Auckland this evening.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Arrived at primitive hostel at Old Macdonald's farm in dark---very dark; we had to find our own shed in rain. We never did find the outdoor toilets!
Oct 18---were supposed to have all-day kayaking in Abel Tasman National Park, but we missed the boat. Instead we had a wonderful hike along the coast after being dropped off by water taxi for part of trail.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Oct. 15-16: Wellington and environs, a great city to visit. Karori Sanctuary was exceptional and home to shags, North Island Robins, and many Tui, fantails, bellbirds, saddlebacks,...Botanical gardens were hillish, with an orienteeringly unacceptable map. Lots of restaurants and museums, and the public library looked like Border's.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Oct. 12: Hiked Waimangu Volcanic valley and Wai-O-tapu with many geothermal features, including the amazing Champagne pool. Tomorrow is the big 11 mile Tongariro Crossing hike. We've been forced to hire a guide because of recent snow and ice. They'll supply ice axes and crampons. More pix to follow, if we survive.