Star Date:  February 2005
South Island: New Zealand


Hello Dear Family & Friends!


Kia Ora!

(Maori greeting)


" The greatest gift you will ever have is your life, and the second greatest gift- which you give yourself- is courage to live it to the fullest.  Time goes by quickly, and you cannot take it for granted. Appreciate how far you have come, and give yourself the gift of discovering how far you can yet go.  "

Dr Sonya Friedman


I thank God daily for our gift of a wonderful life.  We all have so much to be thankful for. The people who survived the recent Tsunami are thankful for their gift of life.  May our prayers, thoughts and help go out to them.

We spent this past month exploring the rest of the South Island.  The master artist's hand is at work down here.  At the risk of sounding like a travel brochure this island is a magnificently spectacular place.  Summer came late this year and we were snowed on, hailed on and rained on many times.  Just when we were fed up we would wake up to a clear sunny day.  Like yin and yang we would appreciate the contrast and spend every waking moment out hiking, exploring and taking photos.

One such day was our journey up over the Southern Alps to Milford Sound.  Each bend brought a new beautiful scene from raging rivers, to lupine covered river valleys, to snow capped peaks. Don't miss this trip in January.  It was like being in a flower filled enchanted land. 

We then explored the Otago region on our way to Mt. Cook.  Again we drove for a day in grey rain only to wake up to sunshine and a lovely drive to the highest peak in NZ.  The colors and contrast were amazing.  We had 3 days of sun in a row and almost forgot we were next to Antarctica.

We worked our way through the interior to Christchurch.  We enjoyed being back in the city and set our mind on selling our beloved Blue Dragon II.  Surprisingly we sold it to 2 girls from Canada within 3 hours of parking it outside a Backpacker's car mart.  We got all our money out of it plus a little petrol money to boot.  It's the way to see New Zealand. There are endless free places to pull off and camp all by yourself. We had a great 3 months surrounded by Nature!  Having sold the van earlier than we thought we decided to stay around Christchurch and enjoy Cathedral Square, (complete with the pontificating Wizard),  the Arts Centre, the Lotus Heart and Hare Krishna's cafes, and street buskars entertaining at every corner.  Like Australia we could say that one of the best parts of New Zealand are the people. We met many new friends, like Bill, and were warmly welcomed into the homes of Servas hosts throughout the city.  We left this friendly country with smiles on our faces as flew into the dawn.  By sunset we would be in Brunei.  From close to Antarctica to the equator in hours!  Next month the Muslim Sultanate of Brunei and the deep jungles of Borneo. 

And so it goes...........................................................We may be out of communication while lost in the jungles of Borneo so until next time Keep Smiling, Keep in Touch and Live Each Day to the Fullest!



Love, xoxoox  Nancy & Joseph





Lupine filled valleys on the way to Milford Sound.


Early morning mountain reflection.


We spent many magical hours among the lupines.


A notorious Kea.  Those sharp beaks will make quick work of
anything rubber on a car.  "Feed me or else!"


The endangered yellow eyed penguin- a  reminder how close
Antarctica is!


Bungee jumping off the bridge near Queenstown. 
Better them than me!!


Rainbow at dawn.


The happy travelers enjoying a sunny day at Mt. Cook.


Check out those untouched colors.  From one postcard to another!



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