Thursday, June 06, 2013

Good and bad

To balance the negative bureaucratic experiences, there are some pluses for visitors here in New Zealand. One is that if you are injured for any reason while visiting here, all medical treatment is free. Two incidents here that boaters we know of made use of this service. One was a broken hip and the other a broken wrist.

New Zealand is a beautiful country. We had a great tour of the North Island and the South Island by motorcycle and we spent some time sailing around in the Bay of Islands. New Zealand reminds us of Victoria BC on a smaller scale with all its islands, coastal scenery, picturesque mountains, and lush greenery.

This is a great place to get boat work done as almost everything can be purchased here or sent in pretty quickly. But it's not cheap anymore partly because the New Zealand dollar is strong against our Canadian dollar. But even the locals complain how everything is expensive. Having said that though, we completed a lot of necessary boat projects that we had been putting off until we got here.

I personally think the New Zealand Northland summer season is very short and the sandflies have a vicious bite. The Antipode winter season is now upon us down here and it's very chilly. We can even see our breath when talking in Sea Turtle some mornings and evenings. Brrr.....

I went swimming only once in the cold water when coerced by my visiting daughter. We are looking forward to warm water and clear snorkelling adventures as we head north. That seems strange to say, but we are so far south at the moment. When we left northern Canada, we said the exact opposite and were looking forward to warmer waters as we were then heading south.

So now we are elated, happy, overjoyed...we're off to Fiji this afternoon from New Zealand. We took refuge here from the northern hurricane season since November 12, 2012 (other than a 6-week visit home). We have a great weather window and checked out today with no hassles.

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