Update from New Zealand!

By Sally

November 22, 2009

Hello friends and family,

We've arrived safely in New Zealand and have started the first few days of our adventure! We're travelling around NZ for 23 in a campervan with Jimi Hendrix painted on the sides. Neither of us are camping enthusiasts, but we're LOVING it!

It's 7am on Monday, as I'm writing. We've been up for an hour. I was amazed how early we rise, usually between 5:30 and 6am, until I realized we just haven't become accustomed to NZ time and really we're waking at noon, Eastern standard time. We're so busy during the day, we're exhausted and asleep by about 8pm. We've covered 700 km in the last 3 days, Last evening we watched the blue Penguins return to their colony, they were so cute! They weigh only 1 kg and are very social creatures. On the way home from the viewing, we had to stop the car to let 2 penguins cross in front! Yesterday we also, hiked to (the base of) Mount Cook, (in NZ lingo, it would be described as 'tramping in Hooker Valley'), the highest peak in NZ. We walked through the 13 hectare public garden (beautiful botanical gardens) in Oamaru and played tag in the park!

The flight was tolerable. Thanks for the compression stocking Aunt Joy- they are a must for such long flights! Air New Zealand is great! Kiwis are so polite, at times to the point of being a bit irritating. Smile-tpvgames.gif We stopped over in LA but not with enough time to go downtown, so we did the next best thing....headed for the shopping mall! I got my haircut, a bob cut by a lady who looked like she might have a second job as a fortune teller. We both slept fairly well on the plane. I sat next to Jakub and to John O. the stage manager for the Glen Campbell show (a country singer- Rhinestone Cowboy, etc.)!!! |They're on tour in NZ and Australia, then heading to Rama in Feb (we'll be there!!). Our bags arrived in New Zealand, after 4 flights! Again, Air New Zealand is great!

On Saturday, we visited Lake Tekapo, a beautiful glacial lake, similiar to Lake Louise or Lake Moraine. We climbed Mount John- the path traversed the mountain several times, but it was still very steep. I't was a tough climb for us, and I'm sure we didn't look too athletic in the moment, sweating and panting, although Jakub had some energy in his reserves as he sprinted to the bench near the summit. It was so windy (no boat or plane excursions were operatingin town), at the summit it felt as if we were flying as we leaned against the wind. As we walked the 'observation route' at the summit, we saw cars driving down the mountain- WE COULD HAVE DRIVEN TO THE SUMMIT. Oh well, we were proud of ourselves, we enjoyed the view, and we'll be fit and trim when we return (in great shape for curling, Al)

While in Christchurch, we went punting on the Avon River, enjoyed a concert in the park, and took the gondola ride (walked down from the summit). I got my haircut again in Christchurch, really short, how I've always wanted!

We are loving being together, laughing lots (with our geeky humour) and LOVING New Zealand. We could easily live here (Louise, no worries, I'll be back to work on Dec 15th). The scenery is spectacular. The flora and fauna is unbelievable. We are taking lots of pictures and keeping a journal.

Til the next update!

Sally and Jakub Labath

There's more pictures of this, if you want to see them...


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