Moai on Easter Island

Moai on Easter Island

Friday, December 13, 2013

Thinking In A German Accent & Some tips for NZ

Lake Tekapo

Milk truck heading south along the west coast.
Lots of greenery from bus seats throughout New Zealand.
I know when I spend a long time in South America and am surrounded by the Spanish language and attempt to speak it I start to think in Spanish.  I have never gotten to the point where I've started to dream in it.  I've heard that is the sign you need to leave. In New Zealand I'm surrounded my many languages in hostels, but even more prominent than English is German.  There are Germans everywhere!  So far they have made up over half of the guests in each hostel I've stayed at.  English is the second most common language, but in a German accent.  I've heard enough of this that sometimes I find that my thoughts are in this German accent.

Expect a lot more palm tree photos to come once I get to Fiji.
Today is my last day in New Zealand and I feel like the time has go by fast.  I've seen a good chunk of the south island, but there is still a lot to be seen.  I guess I'll just have to come back next year for some more exploring.  You could spend months on just this island and hardly see anything.  

Pancake rocks formed from eroded limestone along the west coast.
A few things that have helped me out in the last few weeks in New Zealand: A BBH card for hostels. It is $45, but that cost is recovered pretty quickly in hostel savings and phone calls. It makes it easy to book hostels online and you get a $3/night discount.  It also is a phone card that make calling around NZ and the rest of the world really easy. 

Another milk truck on the west coast.
I also got a Metro card for the bus system in Christchurch.  It is $10 and you can reload it online or on any bus.  It drops your bus fare by at least $1 and after two fares paid each day the rest of the rides are free.  It makes running errands around the city really easy and cheap.

Church in Lake Tekapo.
The last tip would be to invest in a few tupperware containers.  Not much is cheap in New Zealand and eating out is no exception.  Instead of paying $25 for a dinner, I'd go out and buy $25 worth of groceries and cook a big meal that would last me for a couple of days.

Lastly, it is worth spending the extra money to travel by train.  But if you are going to take a bus, take Naked Bus instead of Intercity.  They are a lot cheaper and the driver doesn't bore/annoy you with five hours of commentary. 

This whole paragliding thing is pretty cool.
Flying! I figured out that I'm not afraid of heights when I'm not attached to anything.

I'm waiting in the Christchurch Airport right now just about an hour before my flight to Fiji.  It has been almost 15 months since I have been on a non-USAP/USAF flight.  I'm looking forward to the seats being a little more comfortable than on an LC-130.  It has been warm in New Zealand, but the heat of Fiji (upper 80s) is going to be a shock.  I remember wind chill temperatures in the winter around -80* once or twice.  I don't know which I would prefer.  

Lake Tekapo
Lupines right next to the hostel I stayed at in Tekapo.

Lupines and Lake Tekapo at night.
Windy night.

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