Saturday, April 10, 2010

Last Full Day in New Zealand (with trip expenses)

View of New Brighton and Sumner from Summit Road

Paragliding up off of Summit Road on the way to Godley Head

Doug and Mike watching the paragliders

Awaroa/Godley Head ~ Gregory, Doug and Mike

Kite Surfing

The Terror Tube ~ Gregory says, "It was pitch black and there were all these lights flashing around me!" (QE II Park Recreation & Sports Centre)

The Cruise

The Toilet Bowl Whirlpool

Clockwise and Counterclockwise Drains

Yes, water really does spin down drains clockwise south of the equator and counterclockwise north of it. This happens because the water, going down the drain, is pulled by gravity toward the earth’s core. The earth always rotates toward the east. If you stood on the North Pole and looked down toward the earth’s core, the earth would appear to rotate counterclockwise. If you are on the South Pole, the earth would appear to rotate clockwise. Stir a glass of water counterclockwise. Now hold the glass above your head, and keep stirring in the same direction. As you look up, the water will appear to be turning clockwise. (Taken from: New Zealand, Enchantment of the World by Donna Walsh Shepherd)

This place was massive. That is Gregory in the center crossing the pool.

Lazy River

April 10, 2010

Today was our last full day in New Zealand so we had to take care of last minute packing (Mike made sure all bags met weight requirements), we did laundry, homework and I have been furiously trying to post all of my New Zealand journal entries before we leave the country. I need to start with a fresh slate.

Doug went on another long bike ride this morning (he is serious about his biking) and we had the afternoon together. He took us on a drive with stupendous views and we got to see over half a dozen paragliders sailing over us. That is one sport I would be interested in taking up. It would be so quiet and peaceful up there. We also saw kite surfers skimming across the water with their brightly colored sails whipping about in the sky.

After being very patient Gregory even got to go to the QE II Park Recreation and Sports Centre (aquatic park) where there were five hydro slides!! He also enjoyed the Lazy River and Whirlpool (that looked like a toilet bowl going counter-clockwise of course since we are in the Southern Hemisphere), and a water wonderland playground. Mike and Doug chatted in the bleachers at the lap pool while I took video and pictures of Gregory having the time of his life.

We picked up some fish and chips on the way home all deliciously steaming hot and wrapped in paper like a present. Though I know deep-fried is bad for me I partake once in a while and it was oh so good but oh so much. We were stuffed and couldn’t finish the enormous portions of chips (fries). Now if we were biking I might have been able to. Mike says we need to go on a diet in Australia. I’ll believe that when I see it. Does that mean no more chippies (potato and corn chips), biscuits (cookies), chocolate and ice cream for Mike?

This morning I ran a total on our expenses over the last 47 days and we averaged about $90US per day. That includes buying (and selling) the car, petrol, food (including ice, chocolate and beverages), lodging (camping, 2 cabins and a caravan) and misc. expenses (chilly bin, insect repellant, postage, books, wetsuits, t-shirts, batteries, kayaking, admission to museums and aquatic parks and other activities, etc.). We spent $29.11/day on food, $37.61/day on misc. (includes car), $11.91/day on petrol and $11.57 on lodging. Now you must keep in mind that we stayed with many SERVAS hosts, in a couple of baches (holiday homes), freedom camped and stayed many nights with friends. I guess I should figure out an average for how many days we paid for lodging. I’ll have to get back to you on that! Anyhow, we feel pretty good because we were targeting $100US per day. We expect it will be more expensive in Australia so we are glad we came in under budget for New Zealand!

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