…and we’re back. Actually, have been back since last Friday, slowly recovering from jet lag and such. I’m mostly ok on that front, but Janka is still a bit “lagged” and poor Saiga (who handled 5 weeks of international travel and multiple ridiculously long flights like a champ) is currently a bit mixed up on her sleep schedule. The flight back home involved 27 hours of sitting in a plane (plus transit times), probably a new personal record.
The trip was fantastic, overall. We first spent a week in Sydney, doing all sorts of tourist things, including a few organized tours. Nice city, though very expensive – easily at Helsinki levels. The weather was chilly by local standards, which meant that it was nice and summery by ours.
After Sydney we flew to Welington (New Zealand), where we spent a few weeks at house guests of some friends (thanks again, Steve & Jennifer + Richard!), who also showed us the sights and were wonderful in general. Wellington is a very, very beautiful city: tall hills surrounded by sea, with crystal-clear air and a nice, warm temperature (during summer, at least). Of course, the abundance of hills also means that there’s, well, uphill walks just about everywhere, and the roads give new definition to “narrow and winding”.
After a few weeks in Wellington, we took the ferry to Picton (on the South Island) and then a train to Christchurch, where we picked up our rental camper van from Escape Rentals and drove off towards the sunset. On the wrong side of the road, from my point of view. The camper van proved to be a great idea, especially when traveling with a 10-month old – it was sort of like camping, without the hassle of setting up a tent and all that. Especially on the west coast, where it rained heavily and a lot, this proved to be a boon.
Our route took us through Arthur’s Pass to the west coast, and up that to Karamea. From the we headed back cross-country towards Picton, where we took a ferry back to Wellington and then headed north towards Auckland (stopping by Rotorua and Waitomo on the way). I was a great way to see the country, and the local motor parks were very nice (some even boasted a swimming pool and spa).
I have over 1600 raw frames of photography from the trip, but it’ll take a while until I get that filtered and processed into a viewable subset.
Fantastic trip, but of course it’s also nice to be home after a long haul. Next week: work.