Dear New Zealand,
Where do I begin? You didn’t impress me when I arrived in Christchurch. In fact, you got me sick with your sub 20c weather. But I recovered quickly and got to know you better. In my excitement to get out of Christchurch and see your natural beauty I bought a campervan which I probably paid too much for and in hindsight didn’t need. But that’s not your fault. But once I got out of the city… wow did you amaze me. I nearly got into a few accidents because it was difficult to keep my eyes on the road. I kept wanting to keep my eyes on you. Going around each curve in the road was like discovering a new bit of you.
Seeing the real you however couldn’t be done while in a car. To see the real you I had to go walking (tramping). But you knew this already and gave me ample opportunities for that. Everywhere I went there was a track to be walked. Some were long, some were short, but all were ways to get to know you better. From stunning deserted beaches to glaciers that kiss the sea to impossibly deep blue lakes to volcanoes that are the stuff of Hollywood you kept showing me completely different sides to your rugged self. It’s as if Mother Nature created you in a fit of anger with volcanoes, earthquakes, and glaciers but you came out looking like she shaped you out of an impossible mold.
I wish, however, that you were closer to where I’m from so I could see you more often. And I also wish that you had cheaper petrol and food. Oh and did I mention that bit about jumping out of a plane? You were not a cheap date, but you were worth it :DOh and thank you for introducing me to some of your native inhabitants. It’s not everyday that I get to see a yellow-eyed penguins returning from the sea and waddling past to their nesting ground. Or get to swim with seals and see them hanging out on seaside rocks. Or see kea birds hanging out in a roadside car park on the side of a mountain pass.