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More musings - Kathy Miller

USA | Friday, 8 December 2017 | Views [287]

At the end of our recent travels with the Whyte's, Bonnie asked I'd Dan and I would mind adding our thoughts to her current travel nlog.  Gosh, I was perplexed. We had traveled so far, toured so many places, seen so many beautiful landscapes, how on earth could I pick and choose the highlights.

Well, I am able to point out my least favorite thing.  It was figuring out what the heck to pack for cold, warm and hot climates and how to fit all those clothes along with our swim and hiking gear (boots, backpacks, poles, rain gear) into one suitcase and one carry on for a 48 day travel period.  Even though the zippers on the suitcases were close to ripping apart, I was successful.  (Triple A sells those large ziplock clothing bags that you can fill and then push the air out to save space.)

After the pains of packing, everything went uphill!!  We shared a limo with Bonnie and Bill to the airport and then flew to different destinations with plans to meet on the South Island of New Zealand 25 days later.

Editor's Note:

 Dan and Kathy took a 23 day cruise from Seattle, WA to Sydney, Australia and Bill and Bonnie took a 16 day cruise from Honolulu, HI to Sydney, Australia


On our transpacific cruise I did enjoy the ship's excursions to several islands in addition to our time spent in beautiful Sydney but nothing could come close to comparing to what we experienced in New Zealand.  And we could not have had any better travel companions than Bonnie and Bill.

Highlights for me;  driving through Arthur's Pass and Haast Pass.  Craggy snow peaked mountains many with glaciers, literally hundreds of waterfalls, one way bridges, glacier fed lakes, sandy beaches with awesome rock formations, challenging steep trails with views that paid off big time, green pastures with sheep, a herd of cows with identical white and black markings, herds of bison, those nasty flies on the coast with bites that itch for a couple of months (I spent a lot of worry time over those little buggers, never got a bite!)

 I was in awe of New Zealand's small geographical terrain which was so amazingly diverse...and so pristine...that is if you don't count mud as messy!  We did get a lit of rain, but oh when the sun came out.  So many waterfalls coming off those sharp spectacular mountains that would make their way into lakes, some that had a creamy white coloring which was runoff from the glaciers.  Goodness I will not ever forget that.

And every night the four of us clinked glasses together at dinner and talked about the wonderful day we had.  My favorite dinner was the rack of lamb in Twizel.  Although lamb can be found at many restaurants, this was one of only two we encountered that offered a rack of lamb.  May the time we ordered our food, only 3 racks were left.  Thank you Bill for giving up your lamb that night.  One of the best racks of lamb I've ever had.

After New Zealand came Kauai with lovely accommodations provided by Bill and Bonnie.  What a great place to warm up and slow down a bit!  We'll sort of...Anybody who knows Dan, knows he has always got to be doing something!

Best trip ever!!  So fortunate to have had travel companions to share this experience with.  My favorite hikes was Hooker Valley and Franz Josef Glacier trails.  Glacier terrain in indescribable.  I found myself saying "holy mackerel Dan, can you believe how beautiful this is" on a daily basis!

I will miss New Zealand and all that it has to offer, however, I am happy to be back home and I am very thankful for my friends and family.

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