Just a quick message to say hope you are all well and to tell you where we are now.
We are heading back to North Island tomorrow via the Ferry having toured most of the South Island. After beautiful but windy and rainy Christchurch we headed to Dunedin in search of yellow eyed penguins! Dunedin is gorgeous, but the weather is not! There's a good story to go with that, save to say my husband saved my life once again - in my dire desperation to see penguins we went to a Conservation Hide on a remote beach. The desent to the hide being via a very steep hill and steep sand dunes. With a cry of 'come on Gary... we'll miss them if we don't hurry...' (late as usual) we ran to the hide which was some 2 miles away, fine downhill, but try getting back up again! After seeing only five penguins from a great distance (which were very cute I must admit, not to say very rare) we trundled back across the beach, by which time it was getting dusk and a sandstorm had blown up. I then began to wish that I have never given up step reebok classes, as the climb was literally the hardest thing I have ever done. At one point I said, 'just leave me here... I'll sleep on the beach...' but with the promise of fish and chips and a few almightly pushes from Gary we got back to the car. I was exhausted, very red face and breathless and covered in sand and the only thing I wanted was a hot shower and my bed! It must have been bad to turn down chips...All safe and sound now.
Weather was very bad down south, we abandoned the tent in favour of little cabins, but we must admit we like the tent better, it's become our own little home. We journeyed on to Milford Sound. Rudyard Kipling called it the 8th Wonder of the World, and I have to say he was spot on. We were both blown away by it. It was spectacularly beautiful, huge waterfalls cascading down, tall cliffs and peaks on either side. A pod of dolphins also swam along with the boat which was just magical. The drive to and from the Sound was also just amazing, we were getting out every few minutes to take photos. It was worth coming to NZ to see just that, let alone all the other wonderful things we have seen. No photos can do it justice, but we hope you can get a little of the flavour with mine and Gary's efforts!
Those of you who know us well know we love the sun. We could bear it no more and Gary drove 800 kms in one day to find some for me. In our little 1300 car we whizzed up mountain and down mountains, through downpours, 11 hours and 20 minutes later (should have taken us at about 15 hours) we arrived in sunny Kaiteriteri, which has stunning beach and is reputedly the sunniest place in NZ. It didn't disappoint. 24 minutes after arriving the tent was up (another new record !) and not long after he was asleep... We have spent the last week in sunny Kaiteriteri and Nelson in the Abel Tasman National Park Region. Stunning beaches and weather - around 27/28 degrees today - sorry folks if the weather is poor in the UK, but we deserved it, and we've spent some time relaxing catching a few rays, covered in sun tan lotion of course, as the sun is very fierce here.
Well, we're now off for a beer, Speights they have here and it isn't bad at all...
Lots of love Dee and Gary XXXXX