So this happened.
We had this amazing opportunity to spend some time in the beautiful country of New Zealand come up and we jumped on it. I cannot even express how very surreal it all is, especially to vacate our lives. I am writing this while we are still here, so beware of changing tenses (sorry grammar folks. I will try to do my best). For the next month, this blog will be a place to share our journey. I appologize if you are here for sewing/ crafting/ creating as there will be little of that shared. For everyone else, welcome to our family’s Adventures.
We left our home on November 26th at 9 am and arrived in Queenstown, NZ at 11:30 am on November 28, 2017 after taking a car to the ferry, the light rail to the airport, and three planes (Seattle to Canada, Vancouver to Auckland, and Auckland to Queenstown). And just like that, we went from cold, dreary, wet winter to sunny, hot, and dry Summer.
The view when we landed was spectacular. Driving on the right side of the car, and the left side of the road, however, has taken some getting used to. Let’s not even talk about Traffic Circles. I drove, straight from the airport, an hour on an incredible winding road to the small town of Glenorchy. The best part of staying here is opening the screenless doors wide to let the breeze through the entire house, and sitting on the couch, staring at the many mountains that surround the town. Well, that and the fact the insect population really only (so far) consists of fat fuzzy bumble bees, large horse flies (that don’t bite), and sand flies (which do bite- but live mostly on beaches and go for any exposed ankle flesh). It is remarkable how very relaxed we are when there isn’t any possibility of being stung or bitten.
These photos are all from Lake Wakitipu which is within short walking distance from where we are staying. Yes, we spend LOTS of time here.
Right away we were advised about the strength of the sun. There is a giant hole in the ozone layer over New Zealand which means no buffer between your skin and the sun’s rays. It is incredibly intense, and feels like it is burning right through you. Because of this, there is a very high rate of skin cancer here. They announce the daily “burn time” which, when we first arrived was 8 minutes. And it was. Our fair skinned redhead was outside for 5 minutes and her skin started to pink. So the locals all stress the importance of wearing a hat and sunscreen when you are out, at all times. Even in the car.
The other thing that Glenorchy in particular has, is strong winds. Out of nowhere. BOOM wind.
A short walk away from the house is Lake Wakitipu, which is the most vibrant teal color, and ice cold (8 degrees). We cannot seem to keep our youngest out of it! She loves wading in the frigid water, and skipping stones while standing on the long sandbars. In fact, she has adopted a policy of being barefoot and feral as often as she can. And although we have seen many kids (and adults) walking around barefoot in stores, she has kept hers to the outdoors- over any terrain.
The time difference isn’t terrible. The way our brains need to process it: NZ is 3 hours behind WA state, and a day ahead. Ha! It works, and so far, we can calculate when to talk/email with our people back home.
I’d say that is a good place to stop on Day 1.