Friday, February 8, 2013

The view from New Zealand

Baylys beach
In case you were wondering why we wanted to come back, here’s an answer. 
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Simply put, everywhere you look is a postcard.
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Even taken from a speeding car, it’s picture pretty.
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If it isn’t beaches, then there are waterfalls,
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Mountains,
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Clouds,
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Hamlets,
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And farm roads, leading enticingly off the main track:
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And sunsets.  Oh my, the sunsets.
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However, more than the beauty of the land, it’s the people that make New Zealand feel so wonderful.  They are genuinely friendly.  Not in the way that staff at an expensive restaurant are professionally amicable.  They really are happy to talk to you; curious to know where you’re from, and if you’re having a good time.  We had a gentleman stop us on the street in Wellington as we were looking at a map, asking if he could point us in the right direction. This was noteworthy to us, but it’s just how everyone was in New Zealand. We had an extensive conversation with our kayak guide in Abel Tasman (he was kind enough to paddle along with us as we brought up the rear) about brewing your own beer and cider.  In Whangerei, the couple that ran the motel offered to give us their kitten, because Lana picked it up for some kitty loving.  To a person, they were all not just friendly, not just nice, but lovely. I’m sure there are sour and surly Kiwis, but we certainly didn’t meet any.
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We had thought two weeks would be enough time to see all the things we missed the last time we were here, and re-visit a couple of favorites. In fact, I think we saw less “things” this time, but just enjoyed the journey more. So much more that we really, sincerely believe we would live here if we were given the option (and the money), and our families would come and visit.
David came across this line in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring (New Zealand seemed like a good place to re-read it): “I’ve never heard of a better land than this. It’s like being at home and on a holiday at the same time, if you understand me. I don’t want to leave.”
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That’s pretty much how we feel about this place. I mean, can you blame us?