It’s only the Kiwi bus I’ve said goodbye to, not Kiwiland itself, not quite yet, but in two weeks I will be on my G Adventures tour in China! Or rather, on a train somewhere between Hong Kong and Guilin. Or waiting for the train…not too sure really, that’s a long time away 😛
1) You really don’t need an agent to apply for your visas for you… I’ll be honest, forms freak me out and travelling exclusively within the EU for 24.5 years did nothing to cure me of that…but the Chinese embassy was a friendly little place where the guy at the desk answered my questions about the form, so I got the visa and only paid £30 for it, my cheapest visa by far…I would have saved myself no small amount of cash if I’d had the confidence to apply directly to all the embassies I got visas from! Ah well, you live and learn.
2) Wellington is a lovely place, sort of a European city nestled in wild, sub tropical hills. The Botanic Gardens were a favourite haunt of mine, you can lose yourself for hours there. The picture of Wellington above was taken from onr of the park’s hills.
Other lovely places in Wellington include the quayside, a cycle and pedestrian friendly path with some quirky public art and quotes from New Zealand writers and thinkers.
Yes, that is a giant wellie — sorry — gumboot. No, I no longer remember the name of this town. They like throwing gumboots for kicks. No pun intended.
the official tourist info centre at Matamata is basically a hobbit house, but I was more excited about the bakery around the corner that made a mean Afghan (crunchy chocolate cookies, a New Zealand thing. I’ve been consuming slightly obscene quantities of them for the past 5 weeks but I still don’t have a clue what they have to do with the people of Afghanistan)
I’m now kicking my heels in Auckland for a week (a week! In a week I will be thinking about getting the bus to the airport! I will have packed and left my surplus food in the free food bins…someone else will be eating my porridge! I wonder who? I’M SO EXCITED!!!!) I’m enjoying the art gallery, the parks and all the sugary carbohydrates I can and making tentative steps to participate in NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) So, yeh. It’s all good 🙂