Thursday, January 15, 2009
Fresh Air And Dancing Winds
Summer in New Zealand is wonderful. It barely gets hot, there is plenty of fresh air, and dancing winds carry the scent of sea, forest and field. Moreover, well kept highways meander across beautiful and changing landscapes, and the sea is never far away.
Driving north from Queenstown on the South Island, I had my first and only “accident” on my world tour. I pulled off the highway to investigate a waterfall and fell down an embankment in the woods, landing with my head against a rock and momentarily knocked unconscious. Some Germans who had pulled off the road at the same spot helped me bandage a deep wound on my arm and suggested I needed stitches. My camera lens got smashed. As I drove north toward Greymouth on the coast, I realized it was my only serious accident and it had happened on Naomi’s birthday. Something similar happened a couple years ago when I had an automobile accident on her birthday. It seems something comes over me, and I blank out momentarily—then crash. Now that this has occurred more than once, I will have to watch out next January 11. My stitches were done at no cost in a hospital. The next day, I made the inter-island ferry with only two minutes to spare.
The drive north on the North Island took me through Rotorua, a place on the edge of a grand lake with outdoor activities of every kind. I soaked in hot springs, and then took off for Whangamata to stay nearby a beautiful beach. Salt water is good for wounds, and I relished the sun, surf and sand.
Now I am at the Auckland airport, waiting to board my plane at 7:30 PM to fly to Los Angeles, California. After flying overnight, I will catch another flight to Santa Barbara where I began my journey almost one year ago, and visit with my family for few days before heading on to Santa Fe.