New Zealand Wrap Up

Ok, so I've been back from NZ for a while, but sometimes it takes me a while to do a wrap up. I had the standard two weeks of jet lag on the way back, which was only interrupted by the mini stop I made in Vegas  after I landed back in the States. I am thinking this weekend pit stop did not help my lag at all and possibly confounded it considered how confused I was time-wise. When I finally did get back into my own bed, I woke up the next morning completely disoriented and not sure where I was. This obviously passed but it was a whole new experience.

Here are some final notes from my journey. 

Total Pictures Taken - 5,266

Total Miles driven - 2,540.78
Total KM driven - 4,089
This total is for both island combined.

South Island Total - 3,080km/1,913.82mi
North Island Total - 1,009km/626.96mi

South Island Car - Toyota Corolla
North Island Car - Toyota Hybrid Camry ( I got upgraded randomly, see earlier post about said Hybrid)

Toll tip - I didn't see any tolls in the South Island, so when I randomly went through one in the North I was unprepared. Especially since there were no booths. I assume it was an automatic type sensor one like there are a lot of other places, but there wasn't much warning or the option to pay at a booth. As I was zooming by I saw a sign for paying online at some website that I had no time to write down because I was driving. I thought about searching it out when I got back, but it just got away from me. A week ago, I got an email from the car rental company saying that I had neglected to pay the toll during my stay and that they had paid it for me. In addition to that, per the rental contract I was now subject to an administrative fee for this transaction. The toll was a couple of bucks at the most, the fee was $45.00. So if you see one of these signs make sure you find it online and pay. Lesson learned.

The one thing I wish I brought that I didn't was a pair of binoculars. 

Language Notes

One of the things that I kept meaning to write about but didn't was the accents. I mean on the base of it accents are interesting everywhere, but I seemed to really really listen in NZ because I have never been able to tell Kiwis and Aussies apart by their accent. But after this trip I totally can and here is why, the way they use their vowels. They change them in their pronunciation.

I have always been fascinated by the way people use language and always try to figure out where people are from based on just listening because it is interesting to me. The accents in any given country are very different from region to region, but a while ago I couldn't tell the difference between the Brits, the Kiwis and the Aussies, and I think generally speaking a lot of people have a hard time with it, especially if they are not around these accents a lot. I've been around a lot of Brits in my life and a lot of times I don't hear the accent anymore at all, but when I do it's not that the letters are changed or anything like that, they are just simply saying the word different.  But here is the key to finding the Kiwi's in the crowd. The vowels, they change their vowels. Here is an example, a's become e's, e's become o's etc. And the emphasis on words especially town and city names are different than where you would think it would be by reading it. Examples, Dunedin is pronounced Done-Eden, Te Anau is Ti Anew, Wanaka is Wanna-ka, Whangarei  has an h/f sound at the beginning and so many more examples. My guide on the Franz Josef glacier really sealed this observation for me. He had probably the thickest accent of anyone I encountered the whole trip. As I was climbing the glacier I was mentally taking notes on how he pronounced his words. I had more examples too but now that it is a few months after they have sadly left my brain. Reminder to self to blog in a timely fashion.

Here is the journal I used during this trip. I made it before I left.
A simple project really, all it took was a plain notebook, a color copier,
an old passport and some tape. I pretty much love it. My thought was
why buy a journal with passport stamps when I can use my own
to create the same thing.