Posted by: kathandroger | March 14, 2014

N.Z. Views, Loos, but no cockatoos.

Well, it’s now a fortnight after our Antipodean trip. Sometimes these action packed holidays need a few days to be appreciated and reflected. And I’m also lazy bugger, and only after repeated wifely nags can reflections be recorded. Nevertheless, it was a wonderful holiday, and New Zealand is beautiful, unspoilt and laid back. I reckon we were overwhelmed by all the views, it seemed that around every hairpin bend another fantastic lake or mountain would reveal itself, and the forests all looked dense and inpenetrable. The roads were all good and empty, but there are not that many of them, so all us tourists have to stick to very similar routes or end up on one way tracks to nowhere. We were not surprised to be held up by thousands of sheep being driven along one dirt road in the bondu, but it did make me laugh when the same thing happened on the only main road on the east coast of the South Island! The wine was very impressive,as was the meat quality and price, and we both had avacado surfeit and other ailments. Bellies apart, I was also very impressed by the standard of public loos. No matter where, in the camping parks, towns, even in the wilds of the mountains, they were all impeccably clean and well supplied with paper. New Zealanders have the cleanest bums in the world! After climbing a mountain for about an hour, in a melange of forest and streams, we came across a strange and isolated brick building with a small ventilation windmill on top-Yes, another immaculate loo!

But were there any disappointments? Well I was sad that it was all so quiet in the countryside. Very little birdsong, and little to be seen of the native non domesticated animals. Some of our native British birds have been imported, and there were lots of similar hawks, but compared to the cacaphony of sound we had enjoyed in Sydney, it was all a bit muted. Would I like to live there? I think not. In summer the islands are invaded by millions of visitors, and in winter it must feel deserted and lonely. And as others say, the sensation of being isolated from out historic,established civilisation would prove insurmountable. It is all a bit bland for me-life there seems easy, regulated and unstressed. We saw no evidence of poverty or poor housing, and no struggle for life. Perhaps we need to be in the midst of some enviromental stresses to appreciate our wellbeing.

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