Well I made it here and let me tell you it is beautiful. Shannon (another PCV group 73) and I are driving around the South island and doing hikes and such wherever we find something cool. The first thought I had though, Wow is it cold! Imediately the woman in the airport (the point I discovered the temperature) said "it's nice in the sun!" A nice way to say it is cold. Several other kiwis describe the weather as 'fresh' again a nice way to say COLD. One day it started to precipitate and Chris insisted it was rain, My vote was snow. On closer inspection we agreed on sleet so again, cold. Funny thing though it is getting warmer as we go South. strange but I will take it.
Some highlights so far:
Shannon and I went to the grocery store. Ok I get that this is not that exiting to you, but for us it blew our minds. Spinach, lots of it and we can buy as much as we can eat! Yogurt, and it only took us 10 minutes to choose one, not bad. Olives, good bread, cream cheese, oranges. Treats at every turn.
We met up with Chris (a kiwi friend I met in Samoa) and headed to the mountains. We climbed around on these rock outcroppings (not climbing with ropes and stuff mind you) and after much debate about propper clothes temperature and ability level we decided to hike through this cave. I am so glad we did it, even though the first 10 steps took us waist deep into a river feed by snow melt. Again with the theme, NZ is cold, but the cave was really fun.
The best thing yet though was something I didn't notice, not for a while anyway. After hiking various trails in several parts of the country I saw a candy wrapper. The amazing part is it is the only litter I have seen yet. I love this country. So more to come later, I have more adventuring to do. Love you all. Peace