Sunday, April 27, 2008
On the road again...(Gotta love Willy)
How many people have you ever met that goes through life having free stuff just thrown at them all the time? I’m not sure how many people I’ve met, but this seems to be Craig. Free Craig. In 5 months in being in New Zealand I’m not sure I’ve ever seen so many deals and cheap to free things thrown at me. Maybe cause it’s winter and all the tourists have gone home for the season, maybe it’s cause I’m traveling with someone and things seem cheaper, or maybe just because it’s Craig that’s what happens when you hang out with him. No complaints from me at all. But here is a quick list of examples: Coming to New Zealand Craig took few planes to get here and not once did he have to pay for the surfboards he brought (I’ve never paid anything less than $80 a board per flight). In Wellington we come across a 2 for 1 steak dinner (never seen before). Later without me, Craig stumbled across a $5 BBQ dinner and free beer…for the whole night. If there is one thing in New Zealand that I never thought I’d see for free, it’d be beer. Anywhere from $7 to $11 a beer, a frosty beverage has not been in the budget for a long time. The other day after buying some fuel for the stove, we walked out of the hardware store and there is a guy with a BBQ offering us some food and all he asked was for donations. And today, in Kaikoura, we stumble into town as we wait for the mechanic to look at my car (again), looking for a Flat White (Kiwi version of a Latte) and find a place with really good coffee that happen to all be 2 for 1. In a land of high prices and nothing comes free, Craig has somehow immersed himself into New Zealand with a peculiar sort of ultra “Free Power”. He is Free Craig. I don’t get it. But I like it.
We have since moved from Wellington. And we’re on the road. We caught a ferry from Wellington back to the South Island and have arrived in Kaikoura. These waves here are “unreal“, but since we’ve been here they have been more “non-existent”. On the journey south, my car has been having some overheating troubles again. I thought I had taken care of all this back in Wellington, but I guess I’m not surprised. There is a mechanic in Kaikoura who is getting awfully familiar with my car now and I wanted to take it back to him. The trouble was we showed up on Friday which is one of the many kiwi holiday’s where everything is closed.
So we needed to wait until Monday. With not a lot of waves to surf we decided to go hike up one of the many mountains that surround Kaikoura and spent the night in a hut on top of Mt. Fyffe. It turned out to be a couple of spectacular days up in the hills and some of the most breath taking views I’ve ever seen in this country. The hike left us pretty sore, but more than worth it. Today we’re waiting for the verdict on my car and then hopefully heading south. Besides getting waves, my one mission on the South Island is to see penguins. There are a few types of penguins in New Zealand. I’ve sort of seen some of the “Little Blues” out on the water, but I’m after the “yellow eyed”. Not really sure why, but they captive me and I need to see one. Craig thinks it’s silly, but he’s in. Here are some picts for you.
I have to once again shout out my many, many thanks to the McLaren Family who have so generously put me up again for a few weeks and never asked anything in return from me. I really hope one day I can return all the hospitality they have given me. They have helped make the trip so amazing and have helped me out so much. Thank you again so much!