14 August 2013
Just a quick note from the Sydney airport - we left Cairns this morning for Sydney, and we have a bit of time here. But only a wee bit of internet time, so I'll make it short.
We've had a wonderful six months in Australia, as well as our three fabulous months in New Zealand. It's almost difficult to leave this part of the world, we've both grown quite fond of the quirky pioneering spirit and offbeat humor of these two countries who, like most siblings, are more similar than they are willing to admit, and who also have a sometimes-friendly, sometimes-not rivalry going.
Australia, you are a gorgeous country with varying climates and topography, amazing beaches, and legendary (and iconic) animals. Your pubs and pokies are fun, people are friendly, and even the whales want to stay and chat a while. We went to every state and territory except the capital, and enjoyed every place we stayed. That says something about a country!
New Zealand, you are also a gorgeous country with the crazy geothermic center and wild volcanoes. Your people are even friendlier, and have a wild sense of adventure. Plus we loved the incorporation of Maori culture into the every day of the North Island. And your penguins totally rock! I can't think of a town or city we didn't enjoy, even when freezing our tushes off. Oh, and Wellington's Guy Fawkes fireworks are the best!
Australia, you've gotta work on the bathrooms. I'm sorry, but you really do. Some of your cafés and such have scary bathrooms. I used an outhouse for two years in Liberia, West Africa, with the occasional snake - and I've found scarier bathrooms in Australia. Sorry. Just the perception of a middle-aged woman who needs a bathroom more often than she used to.
New Zealand, we need to warm things up. You have lovely beaches with seriously cold water. And air. Even the sand is cold. Granted, we didn't see you in the height of summer. But even early summer was way cold. Not something you can fix, but we'd like to do so. (And you have some amazingly beautiful bathrooms - I'm thinking of the award-winning designs in Wellington as well as in Kawa Kawa.)
All in all, we've had a terrific time in both nations, and would consider returning. Maybe after a few Pacific islands. We're on our way to Samoa, then American Samoa (think Pago Pago), and on to a few other Pacific islands. If the people we met at the airport, checking in for the Samoa flight, are representative of Samoans, they are gorgeous people! Creamy latte skin, huge dark almond eyes with thick thick lashes, lustrous black hair. And they make Richard look short.