As you can see I've uploaded some of my pictures from India and South East Asia. I took tons but these give a decent impression of what it was like. It's been great going through the Indian pictures again. After my initial shock with the country I realise that I saw some pretty special things. It's just taken a lot longer to take in than the other places I've been to. This is probably due to just how strikingly different the culture was compared with back home. I guess my initial reacton to the place was far harsher than it deserved.
Anyway, I am now in Auckland, New Zealand. I arrived this morning having spent a couple of weeks in the south island. I suppose most people know what to expect from New Zealand and it certainly delivered. The scenery was absolutely stunning - full of mountains, fjords and glaciers. It was a good call coming here in winter - there was plenty of snow and frost which added even more to some amazing scenes. Amongst my highlights of the trip were taking a walk on Franz Josef glacier, taking boat cruises through fjords and skydiving over snow-capped mountains in Queenstown. I also got to catch up with some friends who I met in Africa. So, all in all, New Zealand has been fun. Unfortunately I failed to spot any hobbits, dwarfs or special rings!
The strange thing about New Zealand is how similar I found it to the UK. Christchurch was just like Cambridge - you can even go punting there on the river. A lot of the roads also carry typically English names - e.g. 'Queen's Street', 'Victoria Street', 'Durham Street' etc. Winter here can be fairly miserable too!
On Tuesday I am heading to South America, the first stop being Santiago in Chile. I'll stay there for a week before catching a flight north to Quito in Ecuador. I'm really looking forward to travelling in non-western places again. I just hope I can pick up enough Spanish in time! I dont have a detailed plan although I intend to spend some time in the Amazon and go to Machu Picchu (rude not to really!).
Well, hope all's good back home. Enjoy the pics!