This morning I left Fiji for the first time in almost 5 months. It was strange entering the airport that had been so exciting for me so long ago. The flight was decent, though there was quite a bit of turbulence which after recently watching the movie Flight was exciting. I utilized my travel time to flesh out my New Zealand plans a bit utilizing the free app Triposo which acts kind of like a lonely planet guide, but free.
I was met at the airport by a friend of a friend I met in Suva and he drove me to his home which is conveniently right by a shopping district and close to the Auckland museum. Tonight he’s having friends over so I’ll get to mingle with some kiwis. Tomorrow he’ll show me more of the town and then I may go to a BBQ or to explore. A really nice guided introduction
So far my plans are as follows:
30- fly into Auckland and be met by a friend of a friend who will host me for a night or two
1- either explore Auckland city and its zoo with Jacob
2- Rotorua and maybe see a sheep show in the Agrodome celebrating my ag background and visiting the geothermal park. Maybe do black water rafting at Waitomo and spend two nights
3- Taupo (thermal park, craters of the moon, waipahihi botanical reserve)
4- National Park- Tangariro Crossing (hiking if its open after the recent eruption)
5- Wellington: (Adam art gallery, kararoi wildlife sanctuary, botanical cafe, wellington zoo or zealandia)
6- Picton: Marlborough Sound on ferry is beautiful. Queen Charlotte hike departs here
7- Kaikoura- whale, seal, and dolphin watching/swimming. Seaside with alpine views
8- Queenstown hike lake Hayes here and possibly do a doubtful sound tour
9- Te Anau for Milford Sound
10- Back to Christchurch to meet up with Ian and Eric. Maybe do horse trekking during the day
Tentative plans at best, but better than nothing. Now that I’m here I’m feeling a little bit anxious I haven’t planned more. It’s hard to channel the chill Fiji attitude in the city. Also it’s that attitude and lack of preparing that made me for some horrible reason not look up the weather for while I was here. I am kind of beating myself up about it right now.
I would have packed quite differently it I had realized it isn’t going to get over 70 degrees while I’m here and more likely will hover around 50 or 60. Less shorts and dresses and definitely would have brought my sperries. I am so mad that I didn’t pack them. I almost did but thought, well Chacos are a bit more comfortable. Unfortunately Chacos are not so comfortable when your feet are freezing. And now I have no shoes to wear with my skinny jeans. Curses indeed. Also I packed no short sleeve shirts, only tank tops and dresses. Luckily I decided at the last minute to throw my e-team jacket in the bag.
Anyways I suppose that’s enough lamenting from me. I think I will just buck up and buy a hat, maybe one more pair of pants, and maybe a pair of closed toed shoes ( right now I only have my tennis shoes). Hopefully I’ll acclimate relatively quickly.
Right now I’m sitting in a cafe in a shopping center. I am definitely feeling reverse culture shock. I’m not getting stared at because I’m white, there’s no humidity, all the buildings are modern, not very many people walk places but when they do they walk fast and there are so many cars, the buses are empty, and people are dressing nicely. I think spending the last week on a beach wearing my swim suit and a sulu/sarong made this transition even more contrasting.
Oh western world I’m not so sure how I feel about you anymore. Things seem way more complicated here. But I am excited this should be a really fun trip and I think I will like it when I get out of the city. Perhaps small towns really are my thing. Also once I get some warm clothing I think I will be happier as well. It will be fun.