Sunday, 14 December 2008

Back to Reality

New Zealand was every bit as magical as other visitors had told us to expect. We did far too much to recount in detail, but highlights were the drive from the east to west coasts of the south island, and driving through the West Coast Mountains in a storm; better than any thrill ride! Our favourite city was Queenstown. I’ve marked our route and stopovers on the map.

We flew back from Christchurch via Auckland, breaking our journey with a couple of days in San Francisco, staying in Fisherman’s Wharf. We did a city tour, including landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, rode the Cable Car, visited Alcatraz and explored Pier 39, North Beach and Chinatown. After two weeks of mainly self-catering in a campervan, dining out was a real treat!

Our arrival back to a cold and dismal London was back to Earth with a bump!

I read “The English Assassin”, a competent thriller by Daniel Silva, and Dee Brown’s “Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee”, which Simon Berlin recommended. This moving and humbling history of “how the west was won”, from the Indians’ perspective, should, if it’s not already, be a part of the US schools’ curriculum. I was reminded of the movie “Soldier Blue”, which must have been based on one of the accounts. When, in the early days of our marriage, I took Chris to see it, she didn’t speak to me for a week afterwards. I have yet to find anything else quite so effective!

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