Since we arrived in New Zealand, our travel tempo has changed dramatically. When we were crossing the Pacific, we had a more regular tempo where every few days (usually no more than a week) we would pull up anchor and move to a new island. Sometimes we would move to an island in the same country, and sometimes it would be entering a whole new country. But, we would rarely stay in the same location for a long time. This meant we had a short window of opportunity to get to see the best places and get to meet people and know about their way of life. It also meant we had a big change in our environment every few days. We had a sometime frenetic pace of sightseeing while we were visiting each new place.
In New Zealand, we arrived in November with the plan to see the entire country over the course of 6 months. It seemed we had all the time in the world compared to our previous tempo. Of course, we planned to go home to the US for a few weeks, but still we would have MONTHS to see things.
Well, first we ended up going home longer than anticipated (7 weeks). We spent some time fixing up the boat for storage, and repairing a few boat parts. Karen caught a cold/flu and then later I caught it – so we were much less active for about 2 weeks. And, suddenly we found we only had about 2 months of sightseeing time before we have to get back to the boat and start doing a big maintenance job before heading back up to the Pacific Islands. Still, that’s a lot of time right?
We have enjoyed spending time in Christchurch. It’s a medium sized city without the big-city feel, and without big traffic problems. It has lots of cultural activities and museums. And, the weather has been very pleasant. They have a couple of nice malls and movie theaters. And modern grocery stores. And broadband Internet! I guess its only natural we find ourselves wanting to hang out here for a few days at a time.
Well, our trip last week through a small section of the southern alps of New Zealand has shown us how big this country is with a lot of beautiful scenery. We are going to need to watch our time and start putting more miles beneath the camper van if we’re going to see all the sights we had planned. So, we need to balance things so we get the sightseeing goals met. We are going to have to increase our travel tempo.