Sitting on the Dock of the Bay

I’m killing a few hours as I wait for the Wellington ferry in Picton and figured I’d rent some internet time.

I got a lot of help from everyone before I came to New Zealand. If anyone has suggestions for what to see/do in Fiji, I’m all ears. I’ll be arriving in Fiji on June 7. After rushing all over New Zealand, I plan on taking it easy on Fiji. I think I’ll be hopping up the Yasawa Islands and staying at the cheap backpacker places there and doing some diving. Fiji is supposed to have the best soft corals in the world and I really love soft coral. (I do. I used to have a saltwater aquarium and had mostly soft coral)

I’ll also be using Fiji as my jumping point for the rest of the nations on the Pacific. Mostly places that you have probably never heard of, or if you have, know nothing about. I need to figure out just how and where I’ll be going from Fiji. Logistically, it will be the hardest part of my trip I think.

I think I’m going to get back to Auckland a day early so I can get my crap together before I leave, wash my clothes, etc. I also have to get my video tapes in order, burn my photos to DVD, and do some housekeeping on the website. (Add lat/long data to most of my posts)

On a related note, my GPS is no longer working with my D200 camera. Something is goofy with the cable. It will work if I hold it in a really wierd angle, sort of like when you have to do a dance with rabbit ears to get good TV reception. I’ve also took a few stabbs at HDR photos yesterday. I’ll know how it turned out tomorrow.

I hope everyone enjoys their extened Queen’s Birthday weekend….

First Church of Jesus Christ Christchurch

Yesterday was a total bust.

I drove way out of my way to get to Dunedin only to arrive too late to see any penguins or albatroses because the sun was setting and no more tours were going out.

Throwing my hands up in the air, I said “screw it” and drove five more hours to Christchurch, where I set up my camper for the evening.

My goal now will be to get to the North Island today, which should give me plenty of time to return my vehicle and get prepared for Fiji before I have to leave New Zealand.

Before I started in New Zealand I check to see how big NZ was compared to other US states so I could get an estimate in size. New Zealand is closest to Colorado in both population and area. However, driving across Colorado is way easier than driving across NZ. For starters, NZ is really stretched out, so driving along the axis of the islands takes longer than going across a square. Second, the roads here aren’t designed for long distance travel. The pavment and such on the roads are fine, but they are all two-lane roads which go smack through the center of every town on its route. Finally, my campervan is a piece of crap. I can barely go the speed limit (100k/h) if I put the pedal to the metal.

That being said, traveling on the east coast is much faster than the west coast. For one thing, there are no single lane bridges everywhere. Pretty much all the bridges on the west coast were one lane, and a few were one lane with a railroad track on it. I’d hate to be caught on that bridge with a train coming at you. Also, its much flatter, so its not an endless series of hairpin turns.

New Zealand has given me a great appreciation for the Interstate Highway System.

I also would like to pronounce myself to be officially an ambedextrious driver. I’ve been driving on the left now for over two weeks (including Rarotonga) without incident. At Milford Sound, I met some Irish girls who were going to be in the states in a few weeks and they were terrified at the idea of driving on the right. They should just be happy we don’t have roundabouts.