I’ve been in New Zealand all of 20 minutes, excluding the layover in Auckland which was consumed with customs and biohazard processing (they really don’t want you bringing dirt and plants in) procedures as well as scurrying from the international terminal to the domestic one. I was told it was an easy walk. Note to self: Kiwis are a particularly hardy lot and so easy to them might not be easy for me. Lesson learned.
But here I am… 30 hours hence, having survived absolutely zero winks of sleep and a series of airplane seats that I wouldn’t wish upon my eight year old next door neighbor, let alone this full framed, middle aged traveler.
I now have three hours to kill as I await my companion, Stephanie, who is traveling from Melbourne, Australia. I’m situated right next to international arrivals and here conveniently sits the Long White Cafe, home of more egg-based lunch options than I’ve seen on a menu in a long, long time. I was warned that meats will look and taste different down here due to local livestock feeding customs, but seriously… the egg and bacon panini looks like a heart attack just waiting to happen. The bacon looks more to me like white, flat, processed slabs of greasy pork than the USofA variety I’m accustomed to. I got the tomato and cheese on croissant.
The Budget rental car is ready to go; I’ll just need Steph’s signature on a form so she can drive too. We were upgraded from a Ford Focus hatchback to a Toyota Camry Hybrid for a mere $10 a day. That seemed surely worth it.
Both the woman at Long White and the gentleman at Budget said, as I asked questions and then departed them, the phrases “sweet as” and “no worries”. Several times. It’s all sweet as and no worries here in New Zealand. Apparently.
As we descended on Air New Zealand Flight 515 into Christchurch, I was blown away by the snow topped Southern Alps. This trip just might be a photographer’s dream come true. Stay tuned for some images that are (hopefully) better than the last two I’ve shared – both quick grabs on the fly with my iPad.
Going to secure a shower and some ZZZZZZs soon. Tomorrow, it’s off to Dunedin.
Sweet as and no worries…