Guest blogger Girl writes:
Day three in New Zealand and we're loving it - it's well worth the 24 hours of flying to get here. Our series of flights included a bonus pit stop in Vancouver where we got to meet up with family and friends for a few hours, so that helped to make the journey more pleasant.
So far, we've only really been to two places, but that's the whole point of this time out in New Zealand. Less driving, more relaxing. We're sticking solely to the South Island, where we both find we left our hearts the last time around. We're both quite surprised at the changes we've noticed in the three short years since we've been gone. Christchurch, the main city on the South Island, has become a lot more cosmopolitan, with cool cafes, shops and dwellings.
And even Lake Tekapo, where we are now (and where we got married), has emerged from a somewhat sleepy village to a holiday destination, with resort-style vacation properties, a hot springs complex, and an outdoor ice rink - which to my delight is a roller rink right now! Now I'm super glad I brought my roller skates with me. And, for anyone that knows Boy, you know that he's tickled pink that he gets to dip his toes into yet another bunch of hot pools. He's also rather pink from the hike that we took today to the summit of Mt. John, despite wearing SPF60 sunscreen. Yes, the weather has been fantastic.
But of course many things haven't changed - the plethora of sheep, the abundance of cheap local wine, the timeless beauty of the Church of the Good Shepherd, and the friendly Kiwis - which I'm sure will have us yearning for yet another visit.
Tonight we dined on fresh alpine salmon and are headed for a late soak in the pools before heading out tomorrow to the coast. Off to see strange boulders and an agricultural fair to pet cute animals before we stake out itsy bitsy blue penguins outside Dunedin.