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New Zealand - From Auckland:

My view of Fiji from the airplane. After feeling that warm air, it might have been nice to stay a while! This is the view from the Auckland hostel to the main road. By leaving the driveway and turning right, you would walk uphill until you got to a road. A right would take you to the local restaurant area while a left would take you to the shopping strip. As you can see, January 1st has warm weather and clear, blue skies. Hot days!
This is the Skytower at night, all lit up an' everything. For New Year's we walked toward it until we were right underneath it looking straight up. The fireworks came out sideways from the roof, just above where the green lights give way to the red ones. Rockets and exploding stars shot out and pinwheeled for about ten minutes while crows of people stared up and cheered. 23 hours later, Vancouver had New Year's! This is the ol' Holden Camira sitting along the road on the way to the Cormandel. It looks like Katrin is in the driver's seat, but she isn't! 'Cause in NZ, the driver is on the right hand side of the car, which is wierd because I always went to the wrong side of the car whether I was the passenger or driver.
To the left we see me crawling through a tight cavern - clausterphobic people, do not attempt this, as it is so tight, you cannot move your arms to or from your sides! (Pictured is the much wider exit! The skull there shows how a previous caver got stuck for a very long time.) And to the right, I am pictured with a fairly large mollusc from prehistoric times - what would a snail that size eat?? Sleeping people maybe.



A hardened lava shoreline that once contained large stones that have fallen out as the lava rock has eroded. (Like raisin oatmeal?) Here is evidence that this is truly Middle Earth, though this Shire bridge has been renamed to reflect the encroachment of industry that sadly even the Hobbits could not keep at bay.
Here is a very typical piece of scenery along the highways ("highways") of NZ: varied.

I put highways in quotations because they sometimes transform from sealed pavement roads to gravel without warning! But the locals don't slow down on them, even in their little 4-door sedans. Think of all the wasted SUVs in Vancouver that could be used here.

Due to vocanic activity, the sand on this beach is BLUE! Blue Sand!
And here we have fishies, which I saw in Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World. These are pound-for-pound the most nasty fishies that call water their home: the Cow-Eating Pirahna!

I had to swim a long time before I got a good close-up like this one.