Dear New Zealand
I want to thank you for the beautiful nature. It’s touching and calming to see that immense beauty still exists on Earth. The Catlins, with the rugged coast lines and lush vegetation, yellow-eyed penguins and petrified forest. I won’t forget that easily. I’ve enjoyed myself. I also enjoyed the Routeburn Track, partly in Mt. Aspiring N.P. and partly in Fiordland N.P. Such stunning mountains, lakes and pure ruggedness. I’ve had challenges to endure, but the pride I felt after finishing the track reached all the way to my toes and I still feel the pride in my heart. I can’t forget Mt. Cook. It was a true gift to see the highest mountain in the country with a spotless blue sky. Or the lakes, like Lake Pukaki, with its icy beauty, and Lake Tekapo with its intense turquoise might. It was a wonderful reunion with Abel Tasman N.P. and the choice to go there again, was greeted by the stunning golden sand beaches and turquoise water. Finally, the Marlborough Sounds. What a stunning area this is! And even though I was eaten alive by sandflies (nice sense of humour you have!), my stay at Hopewell was wonderful!
Thank you for the great hostels, and in particular the hostels in Dunedin (Hogwartz), Curio Bay (Lazy Dolphin Lodge), Nelson (Tramper’s Rest) and Marlborough Sounds (Hopewell). It’s an adjustment to the nomadic life of a backpacker, so it’s nice to find a home away from home every once in a while. This also ties in with something else: the generally very friendly people. I chatted a lot this holiday, not just with locals, but also with fellow backpackers and other holidaymakers.
When talking about food and drink, I can’t not say thank you for the delicious Lemon & Paeroa. Me, who pretty much never drinks soft drinks, absolutely loved this stuff! Not a bad achievement getting me to drink a ‘fizzy drink’! The other yummy thing I can’t forget is Hokey Pokey ice cream. I’ve not exactly been moderate in my intake of this delicious stuff and today, I said goodbye in style. It was a pleasure. Early in my holiday, I rediscovered how amazing Kiwis are at making fudge. Not very healthy, but oh so delicious! I also want to thank you for the golden kiwis, for years a favourite, healthy snack of mine! A short introduction was had with pavlova, a lovely dessert with my biggest ‘food weakness’: merengue!
Thank you for this wonderful holiday. I’ve enjoyed myself immensely. I’ve experienced the utter kindness of people. I’ve felt the sun on my skin (yes, I used sunscreen!) and I’m really content with all the things I’ve done and seen. Maybe I wasn’t very active the last few days, but that’s also part of it, so it’s okay.
Even though my work life is busy, I know there is a wonderful place to escape to when I need some tranquility. So I don’t see this as a goodbye letter, but rather as a thank you letter with the wish to return to this beautiful, friendly country that is oh so far away.
Dear New Zealand, thank you for everything. I will miss you. See you next time!
Auckland, February 4th, 2012
(Pictures found through Google)