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Published: March 25th 2013
An argument reigns over whether to demolish or repair this beautiful building. The central area is non-existent!
Greetings from a jet-lagged pair in Santiago. Forever Friday began with breakfast in Auckland followed by sightseeing in the city including a trip up the Sky Tower. After lunch we went to the airport to await the 16:30 flight to Santiago. After a 10.5 hours flight , where we got some sleep, we landed in Chile at 10:30 friday morning ready to do friday all over again! Since then our body clocks have been out of sync so we have wandered the cobbled streets in the sunshine seeking out glasses of red to revive us!
New Zealand exceeded expectations. Even the weather behaved for us- it was fantastic and we were so lucky to view Mt Cook and Mt Tasman reflected in Lake Mathieson with perfect blue skies. We covered 3,900 kilometres in NZ, enjoying both islands . We started in Christchurch which shocked us as it still looks like a bomb site and many buildings are awaiting demolition following several aftershocks since their earthquake 2 yrs ago. We witnessed the anniversary and it was very moving. From there we (Iain) drove many kms each day to visit Queenstown, Fox and Franz Josef glaciers and over Arthurs Pass to travel
up the east coast to Marlborough country. We met many friendly kiwis but our favourites were a group of 3 families camping together. Returning at sunset from fishing they offered us a crayfish, the size of a large lobster, proceeded to cook it and serve it to us with copious amounts of local sauvignon blanc. We had a great evening!
North Island surprised us as we were not so knowledgeable about it. We spent most nights in dept of Conservation campsites that led us to more isolated spots and our favourite part was the Coromandel. After 21 nights in a camper van we were ready to swop it for an apartment in Auckland. The highlight there was meeting Jonathan Wood and Clare Ashworth for dinner and hearing their wedding plans, taking place in Much Wenlock this July.
Tomorrow we leave for Peru where we spend easter in Lima and then onwards to Cusco and Machu Pichu! Easter wishes to you all, and sorry that it is still snowing in Britain!
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