Here's the deal. My mom and I leave on Jan. 27, 2011 and don't arrive until the 29th of January. SO, don't expect many blogs to happen during that time. We take about 6 planes and hope that our luggage makes it safely. Also, all the words in BLUE are links to websites explaining the location. Enjoy!
Planned itinerary for the epic beginning:
Location 1: Stay at the Frauenreisehaus in Christchurch and chill out. We'll probably spend the entire day trying to recover from 24+ hours of flight. If we feel up to it we might go and work on some surfing skills. Yes, we will avoid being eaten by sharks or stung by jellyfish. No, we won't wear helmets.
Location 2: If surfing goes well, we'll stay and play the rest of the day away! Also, traveling outside of the city to look at the mass amounts of sheep in the hillsides. LKF (Little Known Fact) New Zealand has a 9:1 sheep to human ratio. I hope they perform the LED sheep choreography like in this video!
Location 3: This day is a little fuzzy. We could catch some rays at the beach or we could start our adventure to the wonderful Abel Tasman Park. We'll stay in the huts on the long sandy beaches and hopefully see some dolphins while tramping. Sea kayaking might also happen here. There are supposed to be some awesome sea caves to explore.
Location 4: We'll then travel down the west coast and try to see the RAINFORESTS!!!! Wow. I am super excited to go there. We'll going to go hiking there. The surrounding city is called Punakaiki, but the rainforest is in Papora National Park.
Location 5: We might stop at the Okarito Lagoon which is host to the only white heron colony in New Zealand. It is also the countries only unmodified tidal inlet. There are orchids, rainforest and more than 70 species of birds. Some people compare it to the Amazon.
Location 6/7: We'll hopefully stay and hike on the two main glaciers that are accessible to trekkers. One glacier is called the Franz Joseph Glacier, and the other is called the Fox Glacier. Both are supposed to be spectacular where the terminal face of the glacier cuts right through the rainforest. So, a super hike that day!
Location 8: Since it is a 6 hour drive to the Glaciers to Milford Sound, we might take a break at Queenstown. Queenstown is one of the locations where Lord Of the Rings was filmed. Pictures will be taken, don't worry LOTR fans! :) Queenstown is also the place where most of the extreme sports occur. We'll see how adventurous we feel!
Location 9: Milford Sound is the 8th wonder of the world according to Rudyard Kipling. The sound is the most stunning fjord in a park full of them! The sheer rock walls plunge thousands of feet to the sea and friendly seals and dolphins are eager to visit. The whole sound is surrounded by snow capped mountains! I can't wait!
Location 10: We'll head back to Christchurch to meet with my host-mother. Her name is Michelle Meynell. This is the address and description that I was given:
1 Nunweek Boulavard
PH: 3533 429
Time to University: 10 minutes walk 10 minutes on the bus.
Michelle has a lovely modern home in a new subdivision. She enjoys
gardening and is part of a vintage car club. Michelle worked for Quanta's
airways in Australia for many years but has come back to NZ after the death
of her Father a few years ago to support her mother.
She seems like a really nice person. The address given is the address I can receive mail at!
Well. That's it for now. I'll post when I get there! :)