Last week we told our readers that we would be suspending our diving tales for the remainder of 2007 because we were going to be traveling for the month of December. Then we posted a photo from Australia, but that was a tease. Our stopover in Sydney actually was quite brief.
The photo here (click on it to enlarge) should give a clue to our true destination. What country is known for rugged coastlines, magnificent scenery -- and sheep? (Lots and lots of sheep!)
In case you haven't guessed, we are in New Zealand. More specifically, we are on the South Island where we will remain for the rest of the month. Here's a link to a decent map of New Zealand's South Island.
We arrived in New Zealand several days ago, having flown from Sydney directly to Christchurch. We decided to base ourselves in Christchurch for the first few days in order to adjust and get our bearings -- and, since this is a driving trip, to get more practice driving on the left side of the road before we venture further afield!
As a rule, we are not so fond of cities and we are more inclined to spend our time in the countryside when we travel. We also seem to have a built-in water sensor that reliably draws us to the nearest seacoast, lake shore or river bank wherever we go. For this trip, our intention is to see most of the coast of the South Island, as well as some of the mountains and lakes.
A major focus of this journey is to see creatures that we have never seen before -- and may never see again, at least in their natural habitat. It is one thing to see such animals in zoos and marine parks, but another entirely to see them in the wild. We are hoping to see fur seals, several species of penguins, Royal albatross, and other marine birds indigenous to New Zealand. We're calling this our South Island safari.
Over the next several weeks, we will be posting photos and stories about New Zealand's South Island whenever we find ourselves with a good internet connection, so stay tuned. This is the beginning of the tale.
Today's photo is of a sheep farm near Port Levy on the Banks Peninsula, not far from Christchurch. Lucky sheep to have a view like that!