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Penguins and Peninsulas

Back to Christchurch… our last days in New Zealand

View rtw on pmunson's travel map.

With our last days in New Zealand at hand we decided to slow things down and just really enjoy ourselves. We had been on the move so much and feeling like we would be missing out if we were not constantly heading somewhere to do something. With this spirit we decided to skip the southern scenic route and head directly to the east coast to a town that had Penguin Fever. There were two penguin colonies in the area. A blue penguin colony with about 200 penguins that come ashore every night and a yellow eyed penguin colony were only 15 or 20 come ashore. Apparently these penguins are really low in number and close to extinction. We decided to head to the beach were the Yellow Eyed Penguins were. A few hours before dusk the penguins come ashore to feed their young and nest. It was cold, windy, and we were probably 100 feet above the beach were we were supposed to see a tiny bird come ashore. I was getting a little grumpy and wanted to move on when it all started to happen. Their was a naturalist there who was monitoring the penguin activity and he had binoculars that he let us use to spy a penguin in the bush on the cliff face above the beach, then one came ashore, and then one was spotted right below a viewing platform only a short distance away. We went over and were treated to an up close and personal experience with this peculiar looking penguin. Purple feat, a red beak, and yellow eyes! Truly weird.

YEP… Yellow Eyed Penguin

After this we spent 3 lazy days on the Banks Peninsula surrounded by lush green rolling hills, plenty of Sheep, and more steep narrow and winding roads. Banks peninsula is a bulbous peninsula with many pretty inlets across its entire circumference. We would have achieved maximum relaxation had it not been for an all out allergy attack that we both suffered from. We quickly abandoned ship to head to Christchurch on the third day when the wind picked up and things really got bad.

Daaa… Which way do I go?


Bah Bah Black Sheep
Banks Peninsula
Gas Station

Two nights in Christchurch exploring the city and getting ready to return the van and head off to Sidney. We really loved NZ despite our problems with the weather. Driving the van was really fun although frustrating at times. We clearly went way over budget in NZ spending about $150 a day. Hopefully this will be offset by the time we spend in Asia, India, and volunteering in Nepal. On that note while NZ was incredibly beautiful and a sort of highlight real of what we like to do in the states it did feel really close to home. The cultural aspect of our trip around the world has not even gotten of the ground and we have been traveling about 6 weeks already. We are off to Sydney were things will most likely be really similar and not until Singapore will we really start to be challenged. The long road ahead is looking more and more appealing as life on the road becomes more normal and we are both eager to move on.
Sol Square, Christchurch

Posted by pmunson 23:56 Archived in New Zealand

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Sounds like you are having a great trip! I've been enjoying reading of your adventures.
~cuz, Sue

by srelihan

You really have a, um, hm, well, how can i put this, a um, what's the word I'm looking for?
No really though, you have a amazing ability to bring us into your adventure. Your photos are stunning, and descriptions intrigue. Thanks so much for sharing. I'll see you in a couple of days ;)

by gallchance

Merry Christmas and Happy Travels you two and thanks for the updates Peter, I'm enjoying your adventures!

by jadler

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