Saturday, June 14, 2008

New Zealand Whirlwind

We've finally got photos of our bungy jump:

The Pre-Jump Terror...

And The Jump...

We've continued to keep ourselves busy. First, BG threw himself out of an airplane at 15,000 feet while I stood sensibly on the ground below and snapped photos as he plummeted towards the earth at 200 km/h FOR ONE WHOLE MINUTE (BG insists that I include this for some bizarre reason, like duh, don't people throw themselves out of planes every day?).

Then we drove to the famous Franz Josef Glacier, the only glacier that exists at sea level and at a temperate climate. We did a hike up on the glacier and had the experience of wearing crampons for the first time. Thankfully neither of us drew blood or lost any limbs. After that we moved on to the wonderfully-named west coast town of Hokitika and saw a kiwi bird, which is a really exciting experience because they're a)nocturnal and b)almost extinct. We did have to go to a kiwi bird "house" to see it, but it was pretty cool.

One really great thing that we got to do was go to the school that our friend Meagan teaches at. We got to meet her students and show them some of the pictures that we've taken through the past eight months while we've been on the road. They were impressed by the international snack foods we've sampled (and have not sampled) like fried tarantulas and boiled chicken feet and impressed us with the depth and breadth of their knowledge of native New Zealand birds. Good job, Meagan, and thanks for everything!

From there I had some alone-time and got to carve and polish my own Koru pendant. Oh, and we also saw seals and glow worms and ate something called Hokey Pokey. We're on our way north and in a weird twist of events, the weather's getting warmer as we make our way to the North Island.

It's easy to see that we love New Zealand. I've never seen such diverse landscape and wildlife within such a small area. The countryside is breathtaking with mountains, glittering lakes, and rugged coastlines that eclipse anything I've ever seen before. The people are friendly and generous.


Milford Sound:

Hooker Lake (Mt. Cook behind):

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