But it was not just the land that called to me but also the first people, the Maori. Being able to sit and talk to these proud people and hear their history told in their own words is something that shall live with me until the grave.
New Zealand is a country of contrast, where in modern cities such as Auckland there is a richness of cultures and people yet without having the same greyness or despondency I find in our own cities such as London, Manchester and the like. Yet further afield when driving upon south island we came across small communities that seem a throwback to days of yore where everyone knows each other and walking into a bar we cause the room to fall silent for a few seconds as all n sundry crane necks to take a look at the strangers. But everywhere we went we were greeted openly and with warm smiles, although sometimes also pity when they realised my passion was Welsh rugby (after all the men in black are revered as gods there).
And why is it called the land of the long white cloud, well just take a look......
....you can see why it spoke to me, it's like Wales but on steroids! Will we return? the answer is most certainly yes as it has a piece of me still left there. There will of course be more posts about our adventure in due time, but for now tis time to sign off and curl up by the fire.
Until the next time take care,
John the Adventurer