Aotearoa: Land of Kiwis, Rugby & Pohutakawa Trees!

“Reaaaallly?” (in a Tate-like voice)

“Are you kidding me?”


I spend a considerable amount of my days in awe, yelling out loud to myself. Especially when I decide to wander up any of the numerous hills I encounter and find myself on top of a lookout with panoramic views that lead me to rub my eyes in disbelief. Today is my 11th day in NZ and I am extremely delighted and enticed by this incredible country. Rolling green hills, sheep, alpacas, rocky cliffs, seabirds, possums, GIANT seashells, mussels… so much beauty here.

New Zealand is GOLDEN, in every way, shape, and form. Every little town is squeaky clean, pristine even. Everywhere you go, the towns cater to travellers and info is available everywhere for hostels, transport, activities, food, whatever. NZ makes it so easy to just pick a spot and get there. For example, I got a bus ride from Whitianga to Cormondel (1 hr drive) for $2, and the driver picked me up and dropped me at my hostels. PLUS, the NZ Dollar is worth less than the U.S. one, so everytime I swipe my card for a certain amount, it comes out to be less when I check my bank statement. Oh, and there is no sales tax; city taxes are included in any product pricing. Low crime rate, no visible poverty, hard left social climate, extreme diversity, conscious environmentalism, and most peeps get national healthcare. If it wasn’t on the other side of the world, I might post up here for good.

One of my favorite moments so far was swimming in Buffalo Beach, watching this big white seabird at play. He would fly around for a few minutes, set his sights on a spot in the water, and torpedo beak-first downward for a quick cool-off, then shake off his feathers and head back up for another aerial tour. Highly entertaining.

I started running barefoot on this beach – for some reason I prefer sprinting on my tiptoes in my bikini… I don’t know why but I can run faster and longer than I ever could in sneakers. Must be the sublime view and the ocean air. Beats the hell out of running on a 24 Hr Fitness treadmill. I had a fun surf lesson at Hot Water Beach. The waves were small and easy, perfect for learning. I fell a ton, but then again, I popped up on the board enough times to make me feel like a success.

There was this local shaggy-haired, sunspotted bro in the water who looked like he was born on a surfboard… I had to laugh ’cause he somehow managed to keep a rollie in his mouth the entire time he was surfing. I have no idea how he kept it dry.

On my way to Hot Water Beach (where, by the way, you can dig holes in the sand that fill up with hot springs water… personal hot tubs), I stopped at a little house-turned-cafe called Eggsentric. Yard art everywhere, a giant trampoline in the back, and THE best scrambled eggs I’ve ever had in my life. In the driveway there was a man doing a painting of a little blonde girl. A little conversation revealed that he was the former owner of the cafe (now turned over to his son), lives in the house, and just got back from 6 months of art-doin’ in Italy. The painting was of his granddaughter, an Xmas gift for his daughter. We talked briefly about following your dreams and he attributed his success to consistent action. He confessed that he had very little talent, but that it didn’t matter because his hard work created skill, which more than compensated for his talent deficit. Beautiful reminder to stay focused.

I’m bummed I’m going to miss the 2011 Rugby finals happening here in late Feb… Kiwis are silly for Rugby and you can get gear for the All Blacks (NZ team) just about anywhere. Rugby boys have tree trunks instead of legs, one of the many gifts attributed to the Polynesian lineage.

Maori culture is so integrated into daily life – the place and street names are Maori, which is also an official language. You see alot of Ta Moko, or traditional tribal tattoos, often on the face, which can signify heritage, positional rank, marriage, work, mana, birth status, etc. Oh yeah, and a kiwi is a bird, as well as a yummy green little fruit.

Check back soon, I discovered a few “holy shit” views today that I’m gonna go snatch for ya with the camera in the next day or two. Happy Holidaze!!!


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Sissy
    Dec 15, 2010 @ 08:39:45

    Love it…makes me feel like I’m in your pocket. Please keep up the posts, like we always say behind your back, “She DOES have a way with words!” Love you, sissy, miss u terribly. Ky doesn’t cry when he gets hurt now….it’s rather amazing.


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