Darren Hoyland - Blog

The Other Side Of The World

When it comes down to it, I'm not very good at this blogging thing really.

For a start, in the time since I last blogged, I up-sticks and buggered off to New Zealand for a three week road trip. Now when you think about it, that's quite impressively inept in the blogging department, seeing as though I haven't actually mentioned that I was even considering doing anything of the sort.

We've* actually been planning it for well over a year, but its always been so far off in the distance that it hasn't been on my mind (mainly because they've been making me work like a dog in order to take so long off of work**). It's been on hers of course and she's been obsessing, which is great. I'm really lucky that she's sorted everything out 'cos three weeks is not a lot of time to tour a whole country.

Fortunately things are going great so far. We're on our fourth day and the weather's been perfect. I thought NZ would just be like Wales shifted to the southern hemisphere, but its actually semi-tropical here (in the North Island anyway) and its only just the start of summer.

The journey over here wasn't too gruelling either, thanks to a cool multimedia tv on every seat. Its amazing when you think about it: Two young, semi-poor people travelling to the other side of the planet for a few days holiday. It wasn't too many years ago that the Europeans discovered the place and that probably took months or maybe even years to get there and back. Not only are we doing it in 3 weeks, we're doing it on a shoe-string budget.

I guess we're really the first generation who have had such an opportunity, Of course, at the rate at which we're messing up the atmosphere, probably also the last...

Man, I love this country though, especially Taupo - that's where we are now. I think I'll move here maybe...?

In addition to the driving around sticking to Marj's itinerary, which is an adventure sport in itself, we've planned to do loads of stuff including snorkelling, scuba-diving if possible, bungee jumping (I refuse to do it head first, I've talked to too many neuroscientists about the significant lack of benefits of brain-damage), jet-boating and black-water rafting (white water rafting in a cave). We've never done anything like it before. Well actually, that's not entirely true. Yesterday in Rotorua we went zorbing (imagine climbing into a giant football and pushing yourself down a hill - great fun) and this morning we went (tandem) skydiving. Skydiving is fantastic, but not entirely dissimilar to sticking your head out of a fast moving car and paying 100 quid for the privelidge. Nice view though.

[I have some nice photos for you and will load them up when I get the opportunity - watch this space]

Right, must be off - I left Marj in the hotel room - blog again when I get the chance - should be eventful - for more reasons than you think. I'll tell you all about it in a few days time.


* - By we I mean Marj, obviously, and she's planned everything down to the last nano-second, which is why it's taken me so long to grab enough time to write.

** - For some reason, my bosses have been quite concerned that taking off three weeks in the final year of a PhD might not be such a good idea... meh.

Darren Hoyland, Wednesday 21 November, 2007
Tags: blogging, travel diaries, new zealand