Monday, 31 December 2007
Wednesday, 26 December 2007
Then off for a walk in the national park at Noosa to see if we could see a wild Koala. We failed, so we had another swim in the sea
Monday, 24 December 2007
Today is Christmas Eve. So ... Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We look forward to catching up with you all in 2008.
Love the Travelling Gerrishs.
Wednesday, 19 December 2007
Tuesday, 18 December 2007
Sunday, 16 December 2007
Wednesday, 12 December 2007
Anyway - after leaving Doubtful Sound we travelled to Mount Cook where the weather broke. We spent the night on a campsite where we heard the sounds of icefall and avalanche all night on the glaciers high above us. The next day we walked up to the Hooker Glacier in the mist.
The view West.
The view East
Friday, 7 December 2007
Sharon on Doubtful Sound
Wednesday, 5 December 2007
Monday, 3 December 2007
We have just returned from an overnight cruise on Milford Sound in Fjordland. The views were amazing with 700m cliffs rising sheer from 200m deep water. We saw three Fjordland Penguins and lots of Fur Seals. In the evening we anchored and then kayaked from the boat. At 4am, unable to sleep because of the hum of th generator, we got up and watched four seals hunting fish around the stern of the boat, attracted by the lights.
Friday, 30 November 2007
In our quest to visit schools we contacted the Principle of this college to see if we could see round. He agreed and suggested that our friend Kay showed us around as she works there part time.
It is a school of 650 students years 7 - 13 (like England). The big difference is that years 7 and 8 are taught in home rooms by a small number of teachers along the primary model.
In year 11 they sit level 1 exams (GCSE equivalent) and in year 12 they sit level 2 (AS level equivalent) and in year 13 they do more level 2s and some level 3 qualifications (Scholarship level). They do a lot of outdoor education ... in the timetable! There is a national curriculum but it seemed to outline key concepts and areas to be studied and left school to fill in the scheme of work as to how it would be covered. All exams are set nationally by one body.
The school was very relaxed and the staff and students friendly but ... they were only two weeks off their 8 week summer break! The seniors were in the middle of their exams.
Wednesday, 28 November 2007
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
Here they have comfy old sofas, 3 seats in an old Morris Minor, a cafe and bar serving meals before, during or after the movie, homemade icecream and hot cookies for the intermission (do you remember those?) and an expectation that you will go and get a drink (alcoholic of course) during the film! It was a real experience and one that we wish to repeat.
Wanaka is a beautiful place in the Southern Alps surrounded by big mountains and next to a large blue lake. See some pictures of it here.
Sunday, 25 November 2007
At the resurgence of the river below Fox Glacier
The 'chimneypot' in full spout
Sunday, 18 November 2007
We have just returned from a three day kayaking and walking trip along the Abel Tasman coast with our Israeli friends Sara and Yuval. We canoed among seals as they swam and showed interest in us, saw a penguin fishing, camped on beuatifel white sand beaches and ... got eaten badly by sandflies (a cross between a midge and a mosquito, whose bite itches vadly for ages afterwards!). After the second day our kayaks were picked up by water taxi and on the last day we walked the remaining distance (that involved an estuary crossing, which was tide dependant) to a beach where we were picked up by water taxi and taken back to the start. The weather was cloudy and cold on day 1 but the other days were blue skys and sun. Beautiful.
The seals were as interested in us as we were them
Monday, 12 November 2007
Sharon high above the river after we had struggled up through the bush to get to the viwepoint
Saturday, 3 November 2007
Rained last night and the mozzies were bad but today went kayaking around Cathedral Bay in a double kayak. the sun came out and the sea was blue.
Thursday, 1 November 2007
Security in NZ was interesting as they are very hot on bio-security not wanting alien species to come to their country (understandably). Because we had been in the desert an forests we had to unpack our bags and have our boots and camping gear checked. They took the tent away for twenty minutes and thoroughly checked it for insects and pollen. We passed! People who had been on farms or were fishing had their gear taken away and sprayed!
We are now in a coffee shop in Auckland, staying at Base Backpackers. Campervan tomorrow.
Tuesday, 30 October 2007
Mike is an aeroplane mechanic and flying instructor so this morning he borrowed a plane and gave us a two hour lesson, so I now have a log book with my first lesson logged in it! We flew up the coast to
The sun sets for our final time this trip in California