01/11/13 9th Month- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Nelson, New Zealand

9th month thoughts- 01/11/13 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Nelson, New Zealand. “Down under”. Reefs, rainforests, sun, surf, hikes & scenic drives in Oz & NZ.
8,396 Miles traveled this month
3 flights
2 Countries visited (Australia, New Zealand)
12 Cities visited (Kuala Lumpur, Surfers Paradise, Byron Bay, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Airlie Beach, Port Douglas, Cairns, Sydney, Dunedin, Queenstown, Nelson)
8 Craft Breweries visited (Monteiths, Speights, Harringtons, Monkey Wizard, Stoke, Lighthouse, Moutere, Golden Bear)
8 nights sleeping in car (chose to go to Craft breweries instead of hostel)
40,123 Miles traveled total

I’m currently sitting in our “super” compact car/ freedom camper-car in one of the many small towns of New Zealand while we kill some time before moving on. We’ve had this car for a week now and have already logged 2,800 kilometers around much of the south island. While this country is one of the most scenic I’ve ever been to, which is great for the nature lover, after a few days of hikes and scenic viewpoints, we soon realized there was not much else here. With so few people on this island, we find ourselves driving on windy roads for hours at a time without any radio channels or passing other cars or towns. When we do run into a place with more than a gas station and a few general stores we try to soak it up by spending time in the local library (for the only free Internet we’ve seen aside from McDonalds), local craft breweries, or browsing the stores even though we never buy anything. Naturally we’ve had WAY too much time to think while driving and are starting to plan our next adventure in life. With about a week left before we take a long break with Wendy’s mother in Hiroshima, my thoughts are far from the here and now. “What do you want to do today”, Wendy will say. My answer- “I don’t really care. I’m checked out”.

Before I checked out, earlier this month we had an amazing time exploring Australia up the coast of Queensland in our rental car. We stopped long enough to pet a koala & kangaroos, visit my old Uni, snorkel the great barrier reef & stroll whithaven beach in the Whitsundays, take an acrobatic biplane ride, sleep in our car a bunch, and then spend a great week which culminated in watching New Years Eve fireworks from the Sydney opera house in Sydney. As always, w packed it in this month, but with 2 weeks of freedom in a car, we really went balls to the walls.

9 month highlights: Byron bay & lighthouse with Wendy’s friend, day at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Whitsunday fast boat day trip, Biplane acrobatic flight gift from Wendy for my birthday, super yummy chocolate birthday cake and outdoor BBQ, watching the hundreds of huge bats in Cairns, NYE camping out at the Sydney Opera house, Milford sound camping and cruise, “saving money” by sleeping in our car yet having $50 picnic’s and microbrew sampling.

9 month ‘other’ moments- HOT Australia nights in our car, booking the wrong day in a Sydney hostel, getting bitten up by gnats during a picnic, reading a sign above a hostel toilet that said to “please use the spatula to flush the toilet button” and complying, getting crazy weather in New Zealand, trying to stay sane on LONG boring drives.

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