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New Zealand
February 12, 2014

New Zealand

I have arrived to New Zealand and it is the complete opposite from India! Fresh air, open roads, peace and quiet, no pollution, toilette paper and soap in public bathrooms, wildlife as far as the eye can see, mountains that frame oceans, tons of sheep (in fact there are 14 sheep to every one person here), a population of 3 million people….3 million is what a tiny neighborhood slum in India consists of! There is clean water for both drinking and swimming, delicious white wine, fat cows BEHIND fences, dogs on leashes, no honking horns and they speak ENGLISH!! Similarities to India? Still driving on the left side of the road, which is starting to feel normal at this point; and people walking around barefoot but that’s because they are “laid-back surfer dudes” and you won’t find me complaining about that!

The only thing that I don’t like is that it is UNGODLY expensive!! Bought a diet coke today and it was $4 bucks and it’s costing me $7 bucks just to upload this post. The budget restrictions have started, “mom and dad has my tax return arrived yet?”

I spent my first few nights outside of Auckland with a friend where I was able to see the local sites and some of the most beautiful beaches that I have ever seen, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for me this next month.

I just met up with my tour group that I will be traveling with for the next 23 days here. I gotta be honest I”m a little bit nervous to be staying in hostels this whole time. Dormitory-style sleeping arrangements, public showers, bathrooms and communal eating areas. I haven’t been in a hostel since I was living in France back in 2001. While waiting to board the bus, I asked a Dutch girl who had been traveling with this group the past few weeks about the sleeping conditions. She said that one night she saw two people going at it in the bed next to her. My jaw dropped!!! She then said, “yeah it was awkward but then I found myself doing the same thing a few nights later!! “Ok I will be in my own personal hell if this happens, I am too old for this”! I ended up meeting a nice girl from Findland named Hanne and she assured me that it would be ok and she has never seen anything like that which helped to calm me a bit!

When we arrived at the first location, our guide said that it was everyone for themselves for finding a bed. I was towards the back of the bus and didn’t get out in time and got stuck in the biggest room with 10 others right next to the door (fortunately there were all girls in my room). But lesson learned, the aggressive New Yorker in me has just taken over and I”ll be sitting right in front tomorrow so I can jump off first and claim my bed. Wish me luck!

Hiking to a waterfall, it was sweltering by the time we reached it!

Did you know New Zealand was this pretty? I didn’t!

Hahei Beach and the famous Cathedral Cove where they filmed the movie Narnia.

Breathtaking sunsets!

Dinner on the beach, it’s not an official trip to New Zealand without some Fish’n Chips!

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