I don't really know why I haven't written in so long. I have no excuse. I've had plenty of time, plenty to write about, I just haven't done it. Thanks to everyone who has sent me messages and emails telling me just how much my blogs have been missed. I will try not to leave you hanging for so long in the future. So, for the sake of getting caught up, I will go over the highlights of my time since then, which has been great, although nothing has quite compared to hiking Fitz Roy.
Leaving Patagonia - Not having much time, and not wanting to spend 30 plus hours on a bus, I took a plane. And it only cost about $20 more than the bus. So my journey took 3 hours, was comfy and hassle free. Except they confuscated my cooking fuel. I made it through 4 flights with that stuff. Oh well...
Buenos Aires - Probably my least favorite place so far. No offense to the great friends I made there, the city just has nothing I really look for in a place. It's just a big city. I don't like being so far from nature. I couldn't even see outside the city the entire time I was there. We were by the ocean the whole time and I never even saw it. Santiago was huge, but at least I could see mountains in the distance.
Auckland - By far my favorite big city in the world. It's just awesome. Everyone is amazingly friendly, there's lots to do, and if you drive north, west, or east you hit amazing beaches. Drive south and you get the rest of New Zealand. Plus, it's so spread out that you never really feel like you're in a big city. It is definitely a place I could live. Maybe one day...
The Car - During week 2 in Auckland, we finally gave in and bought a car. Everyone we talked to had said it was the only way to travel New Zealand. A 92 Subaru Legacy Wagon. It's old, ugly, and slow, but I love it. Maybe it's being in such a great place, or that it's basically an old version of my dream car, or simply that I haven't driven in 3 months, but I've been driving it around New Zealand for a week and still get excited every time we go somewhere.
The Northland - After we bought the car, I was really excited to go exploring with it. Finally we had the freedom to go where we want in this country. Sam and I sit down to plan our trip and he tells me he needs to stay in Auckland for a few more days to finish web projects. Grr... So, I took the car north by myself. For three days I drove around the Northland, checking out beaches, meeting locals, and doing little hikes to the numerous landmarks.
My second night I ended up camping at a place called Sandy Bay. It is basically a perfect little surfing beach, with gorgeous waves and soft sand. Wishing I had my own surfboard, I settled for watching the surfers as the sun went down.
On my way back to Auckland the next day, needing a break from driving, I stumbled across a little Miners' Museum in the town of Hikurangi. Seeing that it was closed, I was about to drive off when a little old lady came out and told me she would open the museum for me. Not only that, but when she let me in she then gave me a personal tour of the whole place. It was great to listen to her tell all about this former mining town's history.
Heading South - Since then, we've been driving south, stopping in different towns throughout the North Island. We've been in Taupo for a couple days now, which is basically the tourism center of the North Island. Basically, any outdoors activity you can think of, you can do it in Taupo.
Soon - We'll be heading to the south island, for backpacking, more beaches, and who knows what else.