Hello from the land of the long white cloud

Well I finally made it to Christchurch, New Zealand after an exhausting journey of three budget airlines and three countries over three days. My first thought; it’s is nice to be back in a world that does not require air-conditioning.

I decided to take the budget route from Asia to New Zealand using Tiger Airways from Singapore to Darwin (where I had a very pleasent day strolling around despite the humidity!) then Virgin Blue from Darwin to Brisbane (where I spend the entire day in the air-conditioned surrounds of the airport rather than the 38 degree temperature outside) and Pacific Blue to Christchurch.

I got the usual barricking of questions from immigration. Australia were particularly perplexed that I should be carrying a laptop and the New Zealand chap was concerned that I actually knew someone in the country. Not really sure why that was but they both stamped me through anyway.

I arrived at the hostel at 1am that I had booked on the Internet to find it was all shut up and no one was waiting for me despite their promise. Luckily a place was open down the road and I met this guy and we went straight out for beers until 3am. Went back to the original hostel today to be told my booking was for the 18th Feb!

I am in NZ (third time) to experience the great outdoors and to see the bits I never saw last time. As soon as I get some wheels I am off to the Christchurch suburb of New Brighton to the beach where I learnt to surf and hopefully meet up with the surf shop owners who were so friendly and helpful three years ago.

I will then be heading for the mountains and plan to do some of the so-called Great Walks of NZ including the Routeburn and Kepler Tracks which should be cool.

As far as work goes New Zealand will be a holiday. I have really been going for it the last two weeks in Southeast Asia and feel satisfied that the sites can look after themselves while I am here. Income is still ticking along well and January is looking like being another record month.

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