The best views in NZ are from the loot. New Zealand

Fuck Yeah, New Year.
“Your legs were wrapped around him, he was barely holding you, and you were both kissing passionately. The crowd was whistling and clapping, as the two of you were putting up a show in front of the clock tower” Arecki said laughing on the morning of New Year’s day. “Like the scene in ‘The Notebook’ movie, except there was no rain, and you guys just met.”

“OMG I really don’t remember that. I don’t remember midnight, but that sounds good, tell me more.”
The day of New Year’s Eve we decided to stay one night in the Duke hostel in Graymouth, which had a bar and people. The NYE night came faster than we expected, before we knew it we were downstairs sipping on Jack&Coke, and chatting away with a group of Belgium guys, who spoke extended French and English. One drink led to another and another and few more, then to one too many where Iza and I lost our memory, and my brother lost us.

New Year’s Day? A day spent on the beach, beer, champagne and hot boxing the buzzing continued. Couple laughs and smiles but mainly on standby mode, only woken up when needed from the hangover misery. New Year’s Day is the The National Hangover day!”
From New Zealand. South Island
From New Zealand. South Island
From New Zealand. South Island

Rolling Deep
We are rolling deep, 4 campervans deep, two red, one minivan and our Flyniqua. We scooped up the Belgium guys (three guys and one chic) from the Duke Hostel and somewhere along our free-range camping we picked up Peter from Austria, who is traveling solo in one of the red campervans.
Nice company at night and someone else to talk to beside the trio. Peter and Marc one of the Belgium guys rocked out for us on their accordions. Yep an accordion, what are the chances that you will find two random guys who are traveling separately with their accordions and love to play? Quite a nice setting, Fox Glacier peeping through the rainy cloud, fast running river nearby and us listening to the sounds of Marc and Peter. A site I won’t forget.
We travel for few days together, drank, played football, free-ranged and one night celebrated my brother’s birthday. Arecki turned 35 years old, the oldest in the crowd who enjoyed the early 20’s company. For the first time he spent his b-day not in a bar, but on a camping chair and sipping on beer, wine, and Champaign while chatting away. His birthday song was played in German, French and English, He blow his 35 year old candle and made a wish while digging into a Carrot Cake.
“What kind of cake is this?” asked Marc.
“It’s a Carrot Cake”
“A what? A Carrot, like the orange carrot? Wow, interesting, a Carrot Cake. Does anyone want my piece of Carrot Cake?”
I guess Carrot Cake is not common in Belgium or maybe too sweet as he later said. But I just think he was picky and the idea of carrots being in his cake seemed odd. The most important part was that Carrot Cake is Arecki’s favorite cake, and I only learned that on this 35th birthday.
As the good times kept rolling fast, it was time for us to boogie and leave our new friends behind as they had a lot more time to travel.
Rain and more rain we packed our shit and headed towards Queenstown. No chance of saying bye we left our Belgium guys without final smooches. I am sure we will reunite somewhere down the road.
From New Zealand. South Island
From New Zealand. South Island
From New Zealand. South Island

Jurassic Perspective
We continued to cruise south, passing Queenstown in the rain, and more south till we hit the Petrified Forest. Years of ponding by the sea has warn away the soil to reveal the fossilized trees. The stumps are all that remain of the Jurassic forest. They were fossilized by the silica in the ash-filled flood waters. A place that can take your imagination to another level, I stared into the water and the clay looking stumps imagining dinosaurs and how things could have been millions of years ago.

From New Zealand. South Island
From New Zealand. South Island

Aoraki Mount Cook the giant in NZ.
At 3754 meters, NZ’s highest mountain, Aoraki Mount Cook is dazzling, yet there are 27 other mountains in this alpine backbone which peak at over 3050 meters, and hundreds of others not far short of that – all making up the famous Southern Alps. On a clear day, this view of this famous mountain is just stunning. As we were coming to our last leg of touring around in Flyniqua, we didn’t want to miss this site.
Camped out in the Hooker Valley, and in the morning headed for a 3hr Hooker Valley track which apparently has the best sceneries in town. Unfortunately we didn’t get that lucky with the weather and the sun was not in the mood. But I really enjoyed the gloomy, dark brownish and grayish surroundings. The mountain shapes were standing out in the grayness, the gray muddy color water made it yet another site that I have never seen. We passed few hanging bridges and jumped around on pebbles, up the hill down the hill till we reached a creator with a glacier.
“Let’s sit right here and not move, the air pressure is getting to my energy level” So we sat there and just unwind, listened to the nature and passing tourists. Freaking people, they are everywhere! Curious, creatures we are.
Back at the camp, we enjoyed our tuna wraps outside on a picnic table, when the sun decided to shine and made the surrounding mountains appear crystal clear. Beauty focus! I freaking love where we eat our lunches, it never fails the views are just breath taking; I should write a book about where is the best place to have lunch, or, “Where did Hot Toddies eat their lunch today”.
Ohh my god, I almost forgot to mention, so on the way to Hooker Valley, driving we passed Lake Pukaki, holy shit, I have never seen anything like this, well maybe once before but not in such massive quantity, the lake’s color of the water was overwhelming. Turquoise? No not turquoise, but blazing turquoise, sky, milky blue tone turquoise. A BLUE-MASTIC-FANTASTIC. This blazing turquoise is due to the “rock flour” (sediment) in the water. This so called flour was created when the lake basin was gouged out by stony-bottom glacier moving across the land’s surface, with rock-on-rock action grinding out fine particles that ended up being suspended in the glacial melt water. This sediment gives the water a milky quality and refracts the sunlight beaming down, hence the BLUE-MASTIC color.1
From New Zealand. South Island
From New Zealand. South Island
From New Zealand. South Island
From New Zealand. South Island
From New Zealand. South Island
From New Zealand. South Island
From New Zealand. South Island
From New Zealand. South Island

“The Cannibalism” Free-range Campground
“huh…freaky, all these 50’s caravans, looks like people were here, but not a sole around. This is spooky” I though after we parked our Flyniqua in some random area where we thought it would be perfect for free-range. No one around, super strong wind, afternoon sun glowing orange and we are wondering where everybody went, perfect setting for a horror movie.
“No one is around here because there is some serial killer that likes to feed on chunky humans.” Iza said.
“Ohh boy, I freaking got a little chunky lately, he is going to eat me first!” I though. But I didn’t let the rest know that I was weak and scared as shit, instead I pretended like they were crazy. “What, are you guys crazy, you have nothing better to think about then about some psycho on the loose. Let’s make dinner.”
Boy, o boy, the wind is not helping the free running brain. Whistling wind and the shacking Flyniqua this is how it all starts. The darkness came over, still no soul around and we are getting ready for some zzz. Now, I am glad that I am sleeping in the middle. As we watched “The Big Bang Theory” on our mini laptop I fell asleep, sometime in the night, Iza had a furious jump, where she made the bed make foreign noises, and put Arecki and I on our feet. “What!? Who? What was that? Half of my head peeping from the covers, I was shacking, scared and vulnerable. Fucking mind was fucking with me! DAMNN it.
The morning light brighten our bedroom, I stumbled out, jumped into my running gear, and ran, far far far, passed a dead rabbit and kept running. At one point I turned around, again passed the dead rabbit and returned. Iza was doing sit ups, the sun came out from the cloud and the psycho thoughts disappeared. The dead rabbit cleared my mind.
Sole-less we veg’d out all day, and I sang happy songs in my head.
From New Zealand. South Island
From New Zealand. South Island
From New Zealand. South Island
From New Zealand. South Island

Fare well, Good bye, Adios, Ciao, See ya…
Made it to Christchurch, the major city in the south island with 344,000 living people and more passing through. Know to be the most English looking city in NZ. And this is our destination place; from here we will sell the campervan, send off my brother and plan our next part of the journey.
Turns out that selling a campervan is not that easy, especially where most people start in Auckland and finish in Christchurch. Christchurch is definitely buyers’ market not sellers. If you ever plan this trip I advise you to start in Christchurch and finish in Auckland. January, apparently is supposed to be the high season yet no freaking buyers around.
We arrived to Christchurch one day earlier then my brother’s flight, and immediately put the car into the Backpackers market, hoping to sell it before my brother leaves.
NOW, you see, I was becoming stressed and my dilemma was forming. Yes, I drive, and I love driving, back home I drove on the right side of the road and automatic. In NZ, they drive on the left side of the road and Flyniqua is manual. In the past I have driven manual but not much practice.
Ohh how I was hoping to sell the car, but of course that was not the case and at the last I was faced with my dilemma and forced to drive.
We paid the Backpackers $85 to keep our Flyniqua for 3 days in their garage where most backpackers supposed to come and buy them. Nope, no luck there, as there was barely any buyers.
Sunday came around and we put it in the Sunday Car Market. Nope, seen the same buyers, and same sellers, no one interested. Slowly we started to freak out, how are we going to sell this freaking car, where are we going to be staying and when can we finally start focusing on the next destination.
We finally did our first couch surfing, where Richard took us under his wing and made us feel at ease as we occupied our brain with stress.
The day came, Thursday, when we said good bye to our Flyniqua, one of our flyers made in Microsoft Word sold it to three Swedish guys who were eager to explore NZ. YES, it’s sold! What a freaking relief. Let’s party.
“Ohh shit, what are we going to use now to get around?” The day we sold it was the day that I had no fear and I was flying FLYNIQUA with confidence. Switching gears as fast as a fat kid eating ice-cream. I was ready to fly, fly away, far far away.

Shacking Earthquake Couch Surfing
We love to mingle, we love meeting new people and we love to save money. Solution! Couch Surfing. Members since last year, but only now we tried it out. Send out lots of requests and got some people that actually want to meet us. Sweet.
We end up at Richard’s house, late 30s, lives alone with his one eye cat and knows about everything! I love people that I can learn from, and he has lots to share. He loves gliding, tramping, drinking wine, playing pinball and enjoying the natural side of life. Initially we were supposed to stay with him for only three days, after learning our car dilemma he popped the magic question.
“Do you guys want to babysit my cat? I will be tramping the Milford Sound track for 5 days?”
Do We?? Ammm YESSSS. This is the best thing that could have happened to us, as we really needed some time to get our thoughts together, catch up on life, friendship and blog which is our diary. We have a fluffy bed, a bathroom with a shower, blow-dryer, kitchen and an amazing view of Christchurch. The house is located on a hill overlooking down Christchurch with a KICK ass sunsets, and a terrace where we unwind with wine and fancy food. “Life is good” as Iza says.
On his time off he took us to a special place, the Hinewai Reserve where native NZ trees are living freely. Most of native trees have been burned down to make room for feeding sheep. After they burned the forests only the fastest plant grew back, the Gorse, which was brought from Scotland. The Gorse plant took over and the only way that people have been dealing with it is to continuously burn it down. A project was set to let Gorse grow and die out while the native plants will grow in its place. Years later, it turned out to be success and the Banks Peninsula has more native trees. A very different site from most of NZ, the mountains have trees. Richard is very active with the reserve and loves to visit this truly magical place.
Our third or fourth night at Richards and we got woken up by a massive shake. I almost fell of my bed and I had no idea what just happened. “OMG, was that an earthquake??” Did we just experience our first earthquake?? In the morning we found out that the shake was quite intense a magnitude 5.1 and only 10km away. That is big, the largest ever earthquake was in Chili in the 1960 of magnitude 9.5. And the Haiti earthquake was the 4th worst and deadliest, where 222,517 people died. It was magnitude of 7.0, so 5.1 is big! people! Shake it, shake it… but not like that please.
While in Chirstchurch we also visited the Ron Mueck exhibit held at the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu. He has become internationally recognized for his unique sculptures, which replicate the human figure with unrivalled technical skill. His work has a powerful psychological range, focusing not only on universal experiences like birth, life and death but on emotional states such as isolation, fear and tenderness. His startling manipulations of scale are key to our experience of each work.2 Really, really cool stuff, if you enjoyed the Body Exhibit you are going to love this one, It’s actually nothing like the body exhibit as Ron is a hyper realist sculptor and does not use real Asian bodies, but somehow these two exhibit fall under the same category for me. If you ever get a chance to see his work, it’s worth the 15 or so bucks to see it. Realistic and detail oriented, his work is a must see, no pictures can explain the work of art.
From New Zealand. South Island
From New Zealand. South Island
From New Zealand. South Island
From New Zealand. South Island
From New Zealand. South Island
From New Zealand. South Island

I am one year older from last year. Big Deal.
Bottom line, I celebrated my birthday here, Christchurch. It was Saturday, WHAAAT a Saturday sweet, party time. Went out to “the Strip” entered like 10 bars, listened to random music, drank around 10 drinks. Outcome, it sucked, I barely got buzzed, Iza was totally not in the mood and I felt like I am forcing this entire birthday thing.
Got back home, played some music, checked my Facebook and I could not believe that I had all these hits on Facebook. I got “happy birthday” wishes from people I don’t even know. Soon technology will automatically send out gifts as well. Now I feel bad for all those people’s birthdays I missed, as I never look into the birthday section on Facebook. lol
This year my birthday, was technically in the future. I am one day ahead. I am the FUTURE! Boooo-ha-ha.

New Zealand in a nut shell, crushed by Aga

NZ’s landscape can feel a bit digital. It looks and feels unreal, the greenest grass, the perfect shadows in the valleys, the carless roads and the unreal color of the clouds, perfectly groomed sheep’s and the shitless cows. Very overwhelming. This is the perfect landscape, as perfect as you can make it. All CG artists should visit a land like NZ. It will enlighten you to perfection and give you a salary raise.
This place also gives it to you big; everything comes in a big package. When it rains it pours, one mosquito equals millions of bugs, the sun burns, the wind really blows, 11 sheep’s to one Kiwi, one ice-cream scoops really equals two, see one rainbow you will see 7 more, green is brilliantly green, water is gorgeously tortuously, spend $1 you will spend $10 more, and Germans are fucking invading NZ.

Free-range camping means free-range shitting. Nothing, absolutely nothing beats my views from the loot in NZ

From New Zealand. South Island

Whats ahead?
Taking off on Friday January 28th and landing in BALI.

1.“New Zealand” by Lonely Planet.

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