Sunday, February 26, 2006

Arrived in New Zealand...

Yes, that's right, I've been in New Zealand for several days. Internet access has been infrequent and expensive, so this is my first blog.

I met Dan at the airport, and we rendezvoused with Jocelyn at the New Excelsior Hostel in downtown Christchurch. After a couple days of exploring/errands (during which time we saw our first sheep), we rented a car and took off to see some sights. The first exotic New Zealand location: The Moeraki Boulders, halfway down the east coast. All the tour books have incredible pictures of these majestic boulders. They looked like they were the size of houses! We imagined walking through a surreal landscape from a Doctor Zeus book. "The Pool Table of God," we imagined. Off we went.

The drive was a lot of fun, though longer than we expected. We passed time by counting sheep. If you didn't know, New Zealand has the highest sheep-to-people ratio in the world. New Zealand has 4,000,000 people and 40,000,000 sheep. We did our best to count all the sheep we saw. Dan didn't think we were seeing enough sheep to account for 40,000,000. I argued the math that we were.

When we got to the Moeraki Boulders we discovered that it's all part of an evil, government-funded plot to get tourists to tour the east coast. At first we thought we were on the wrong beach, as we could see no huge boulders. A five minute walk took us to a dozen round rocks, waste hight, strewn on the beach. They weren't even really that round. Days, and many jokes later, we decided that we were glad the boulders had been so ridiculously small. "Somewhat impressive" would have been even less interesting. At least this had humor value.

After the boulders we crossed the mountains to check out the west coast, where it mostly rained, often quite heavily. The scenery was still beautiful, and the conversation was superb. Dan and Jocelyn are perfect companions for this trip. We are concocting plans about setting up a poi/art/media shop. Where? Maybe Thailand? Maybe Prague? It's too early to know.

After the West Coast we ventured to Nelson, on the North tip of the South island, where we visited Amanda, who Dan and I met at UberOz. Amanda was great and we had a great time hiking and playing with fire.

Oh, and I've started using To see the entire photo set from the South Island, visit the Flickr New Zealand (with a little poi dancing) set.

Next: The North Island and Maori Poi.


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