Sunday, February 1, 2009

First week

I just knew this would happen! I didn't do any blogging for the first week and now the whole thing has run together...where we've been, what we've seen, etc. These are my impressions of the first week:

1)I've never seen such beautiful scenery as we've seen this past week. It's so breathtaking...the deep azure color of the sea up north was unforgettable!
2)I didn't realize NZ was so mountainous....driving these roads was quite an adjustment for a flatlander from Michigan, and combined with driving on the opposite side of the road presented quite a challenge.
3) Everywhere we go the people are so nice, even when I've cut them off in the roundabout
4) The Maori culture we've been learning about was quite a surprise. I thought the Maori were a very peaceful people but apparently they were quite fierce. We've enjoyed the Maori shows and exhibits we've seen and the Maori carvings are wonderful.
5) The seafood has been terrific. I've eaten fish of some sort every day since we've been here.
6) The number of cattle. I expected to see more sheep but we've actually seen more cows than sheep.
7) The lushness of the gardens and the size of everything. MJ, you would think you'd gone to heaven if you could see some of these gardens. We went to dinner at Don and Shirlee's friends last night. They have half an acre of land and on it he grows all kinds of fruit and nut trees...lemon, apple, grapefruit, passionfruit, pear, avocado, mango, hazelnut, to name but a few, as well as grape vines, tomatoes and more. And he just throws things in the ground and they grow with little or no attention.
8) Rotorua is VERY smelly. Today we went to some salt flats to see geysers on the beach, and the sulphur smell was almost overwhelming! So then we went up the mountain in a cablecar and I luged down the mountain...what a rush!!!! Found out later that Gotterbarns and Goodwins were there just before us and most of them did the luge too:-)
9) The terrain is so varied!!! In one day we went from a tropical rain forest to curvy mountains to a 90 mile beach that'ss classified as a highway!!! Good heavens it's like the whole world in microcosm!!!
10) I may never learn to do this, but everything Don Gotterbarn says must be questioned!!!!!
11) The Sky needle in Aukland was amazing and we really enjoyed the restaurant. Many thanks to Tiff and the rest of the Brantford Bowmans for treating us.
I didn't take many pictures the first week, but I'm going to attempt to load some now.

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