After leaving Malaysia last March, I headed out of South East Asia and down to the land of few people, some of the most amazing scenery I have ever laid eyes on and lots and lots of sheep. Before arriving in New Zealand, I had a 21-hour layover in Melbourne and spent the day with a friend of mine. Within a couple hours after landing the blue skies turned dark and the skies opened up instantly, filling the ground with hail and flooding the gutters with rain water in the most bizarre and freakishly quick storm I have ever been in. The waters ran over the sidewalks and into stores, lobbies of hotels and shut down train and bus services throughout the downtown area and grounded planes at the airport. We had to wade across the streets with our shoes off and pants pulled up above the knee. We were in the Melbourne CBD in what became known as the worst storm in 40 years. Some parts of town reported golf ball size hail and the windows of many cars were damaged as a result. As a traveler I certainly enjoyed the excitement, though in actuality it was rather detrimental to so many people and so many businesses.
Early the next morning I set off for sunny Auckland and spent two full months traveling the north and south island in primarily good weather, given it was already going into autumn. This journey to the southern hemisphere was planned for over a year and was supposed to be a mother-daughter trip, but at the last minute my mom had to bow out for medical reasons. This hurt us both but I decided to take the trip anyway and explore on my own. For the most part my mom is fine now, thankfully, and I did my best to keep her informed of my travels and whereabouts in beautiful New Zealand, a land I would most definitely visit again.
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