A Travellerspoint blog

Thanks for reading

we can see some people are!

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View 2011 - Samoa, NZ, Hawaii, USA on neilthelr's travel map.

One of the joys of us keeping this blog is it helps to preserve some of our memories and helps those we know back home to keep in touch with what we're up to. One of the benefits of managing this blog is we can see how many people read each entry (Universal Studios is the most popular so far), some we will know and others we won't. It's nice to know people look so this is just a 'thanks' from us for checking in. Feel free to leave us a comment on any post. You need to be a member of the Travellerspoint community but it's free to join.

Posted by neilthelr 02:28 Archived in New Zealand Comments (2)

There she blows!

I think

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View 2011 - Samoa, NZ, Hawaii, USA on neilthelr's travel map.

Today was all about the Whales. Kaikoura is renowned for it’s whale spotting tours so we were hoping it was third time lucky. The first time - Indian Head, Fraser Island, Australia 2007 trying to spot whales from the shore; Nothing. The second time – Hermanus, South Africa 2009; the boat couldn’t go out. The third time – Kaikoura. Fingers crossed. It didn’t look good. We’d done a walk around the peninsula at Kaikoura and you couldn’t see a think. It was a proper ‘pea souper’ so we weren’t hopeful. The tour after us got cancelled but our captain decided he could get us a sighting. The sea was calm but that didn’t stop a few people heaving. We finally stopped and used a microphone dropped in to the ocean to listen. I have to say it’s boring tracking sperm whales. They could be heard, which is bad because they’re on the ocean bed. Then silence……..”port side” came the cry and there it was, a male sperm whale surfacing and spurting from it’s blow hole. It swam alongside us for about 5 minutes then dived down to the depths for more feeding. It was a majestic looking creature. Was all the waiting worth it? Probably not. Was it worth the money? Probably not. At least we can say we’ve seen one in the wild though.

Posted by neilthelr 02:02 Archived in New Zealand Tagged animals Comments (0)

Christchurch or Cambridge?

It’s hard to tell the difference

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The title’s a bit harsh. You can tell the difference…there are fewer students in Christchurch. The day began eventfully. At about 0745 the earth moved. Literally. It was just one of the 6000 or so after-shocks Christchurch has experienced since the major earthquake last September. It’s a daily occurrence apparently but no one runs now. It did set the theme for the day though. We did 3 city walks all of which were littered with buildings being propped up or bits of them being supported in some way; most of them old buildings. Quite a few places no longer exist but a lot of work is going on, not just to repair the city, but to improve parts of it. We basically did the tourist thing for the day taking photos of lots of typical tourist sites, mixing with the locals, taking in the ambience and then ended the site-seeing part of the day listening to a jazz band outside the art gallery with a glass of wine in hand. Dinner consisted of a traditional New Zealand dish… Indian! The difference was you could order good wine with it for a change. A good day spent wandering in the sun in a lovely city.

Posted by neilthelr 02:00 Archived in New Zealand Tagged cities Comments (0)

People are strange

But the Japanese are the strangest!

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As we’ve travelled around New Zealand we’ve come across many nationalities; Germans, Brits, French, Argentinian, Aussies and a large number of Japanese. It’s the latter that have caught our attention though as they do the strangest things and increasingly, when we observe some odd things, the explanation is normally “they’re Japanese”. A few examples…”Why, when I’m wearing shorts and T-shirt and it’s 30 degrees Celsius is that person wearing long trousers, a fleece, a jacket, a hat, gloves and a face mask?” The answer: “they’re Japanese”. Other examples… “Why is that girl taking a photo of her food with herself in the back-ground doing a V sign?”, “Why is that man taking photos of a car park when the view is behind him?” , “Why has that person just walked straight in front of me as I’m taking a photo of Helen?”, “Why is that person taking 58 photos of the same thing?”, “Why, when those people are on holiday and posing for a group photo, are they not smiling?”, “Why has the person driving that car just braked as I’ve overtaken them?”. The answers to all these questions (and many others) are “they’re Japanese”. I’ll post other examples as they happen.

Posted by neilthelr 22:53 Archived in New Zealand Tagged people Comments (0)

Finally, our luck runs out

But at least we saw Mount Cook in the sun

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View 2011 - Samoa, NZ, Hawaii, USA on neilthelr's travel map.

The flight we’d not been able to take in Franz Josef due to weather conditions had been re-booked for today from a different take off point. From sun up to around 9:45 the sky was blue and Mount Cook looked fantastic, but the closer we got to Lake Tekapo the cloudier it looked. We got to Lake Tekapo airport at 11 and - heeding the advice we received in Franz Josef - went in and asked if we could bring it forward but they’d just grounded all flights for the rest of the day due to the weather. The lady that had just landed from the 10 am fight was heading straight to the coffee and looked glad to be back on terra firma. Speaking to the pilot it had got a “little bumpy”. Based on her face I’d say ‘rough as hell’. So, we were left with little option but to continue to Christchurch via a stop in Lake Tekapo for lunch. It’s disappointing we couldn’t do the flight but we’ve been pretty lucky so far. At least we got our glacier walk and Mount Cook in the sun at ground level. The delights of Christchurch lay ahead.

Posted by neilthelr 22:52 Archived in New Zealand Tagged mountains Comments (0)

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