Phew. We made it. The weeks leading up to us leaving on this madcap roadie were full. Work, end of year shenanigans and then Jed got very sick for 7 days or so. The day he started feeling better I fell flat with the worst ever pain. Who knew a tooth abcess could hurt so much. Not me, sheesh. No pain relief came close to alleviating it. Ironically this was the day the NZ Herald's Viva magazine piece on me came out. Keeping it real huh?!
12 hours before we were due to leave I was in the dentists chair having a root canal done and my crown fell out. I wasn't even sure I'd be in any state to travel. As it turned out, I was. (If anyone needs a dentist these folks are fab. They even run a free dental care day)
So...a mad rush to pack.
New Zealand's weather is a temperamental old beast. It is usual for it to rain and be on the chilly side over the holiday period (yes, when it is meant to be summer). We'd had months of rain and grey skies and wicked winds and we were totally unprepared for the 24-27 degree celsius weather we drove into. Summer! Water was sought once a day, whether it be natural hot springs, various beaches, rivers or lakes. Mostly beaches. This small one is part fish I think.
It was a good mix of friends and family. Urban and rural. The known familiar and loved places and stepping off the known tracks to find some new adventures.
There were many unplanned pee stops or requests to 'stretch the legs' on this trip and this meant taking detours off the main roads and seeing some fantastic parts of the country we'd otherwise have zoomed past. And a lot of sheep. I had forgotten New Zealand was home to so many. It always makes me sad to see the ones in fields with no water or shade.
It was a stretch to get away but I am so glad we did. It was good to step away from daily life and shake things up a bit. Nothing like the long hours of a road trip to contemplate life!