07 February 2011

Down Under Update

I've now been home from my trip one month, meaning I've been back longer than I was gone.  This is always a significant milestone for me because it's generally when I start to feel like I'm finally getting over my PVSD - Post Vacation Slump Disorder.  To get through PVSD, one must go through the 5-stages of recovery: 
  1. Adjust to local time zone
  2. Stop converting things to "American money"
  3. Clean apartment after luggage "throws up on living room"
  4. Sort out trip finances - i.e. I spent how much?
  5. Pick out pictures and share trip stories via blog, facebook, and awesome slide shows
Usually by now I've gone through all of 5 stages and am well on my way to planning (and budgeting for) my next great adventure.  Unfortunately, something just feels a little different from this trip.  Maybe it's the fact that, due to a massive technology FAIL, I've lost about 1,500 pictures - pictures from, probably, the most epic day of the trip.  Or maybe it's because I spent 2,200 miles in the car (4,000 kilometres) and drove on what are said to be the most iconic and scenic roads in the world, yet all I really saw was a bunch of fog and rain.  That's right, I drove right past Mt. Cook and never even saw it!

Don't get me wrong, my trip was GREAT, but I also can't help but feeling like New Zealand hates me a little.  At the very least, the weather gods are clearly out to get me.  RECORD rainfall in New Zealand while I was there - FOUR TIMES the monthly annual average!  I've got to look on the bright side - at least I experienced history right? - and now I'll just have to go back and do it all over! 

I do have some good pictures, and I'm coming up with blog theme ideas to be able to share them.  To tide you over in the meantime, check out this blog from Inspiring Travelers about the Tongariro Crossing on the North Island (thanks to Ryan Thurston for finding this for me).  This epic one-day trek takes you past Mt. Ngauruhoe, also known as Mt. Doom from the Lord of the Rings and then onto the iconic Emerald Lakes.  I did this hike, and even hiked to the top of Mt. Ngauruhoe and skreed (slid down the mountain on my feet - look for another blog on this topic soon) to the bottom, but by the time I got to the Emerald Lakes the fog was so thick I couldn't even see them, and I was mere feet away.  That's kind of the story of my trip.

Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but I am working on some stuff to put a more positive spin on things, so check back soon!  And to leave you with something to smile about this Monday morning, check out this shot of the Pacific Northwest's own Rogue Brew.
Not to hate on Kiwi's, but their beer was terrible.  All of the beers looked very different, but tasted exactly like Bud Light - with one exception which I will tell you more about later.  So you can imagine my elation when I saw this in Wellington!  I *almost* bought it, but at $21.99 per 22oz, it seemed a little steep.  That's roughly $16 USD!  These babies sell for about $7 in the US - but then again those beers haven't traveled 4,000 miles!

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