Dr. Mike reports from NZ

My fellow horsemen,

So I’ve been in NZ for about a day and have so far succeeded in forcing myself into the daylight schedule…jet lag is weird. It was a long day of travel, and it was particularly weird in that I left on a monday afternoon and got here at the buttcrack of dawn on wednesday… Ohope Beach, where Jen lives is a tiny town on the ocean. If you drive over the nearby mountain (which is the windy, steep road that Jen rides to work each day) you get to Whakatane (pronounced fuck-a-tan-ee — sweet), still a small town by US standards. The hospital is in Whakatane and it the little “strand” which they call downtown here has a gorgeous little overlook in the middle of it. You can see 2 mountain ranges, an active volcano and the pacific, which has a bunch of cool volcanic islands that are apparently reserves where people are not allowed except on a limited basis once a year. NZ is pretty laid back and people don’t work long hours, so pretty much everything including most restraunts close at 5pm, which is weird–there is an irish pub, and I have already identified a few signs that are going down hard the first time we go out…

Yesterday, I got the tour of Whakatane, had some lunch, hiked up to the overlook, then came home to Ohope Beach, saw the town, the house and went for a swim in the Pacific for the first time…water was nice and we didn’t see any of the sharks that are apparently somewhat common at that beach. I’ll get some pictures as soon as we have a good clear day where you can see everything. The beach is kinda nestled between two mountain ranges that run down to the ocean…when the light is good and the sea spray isn’t too much, it is just retardedly scenic.

Jen has to work today, so I’m going to explore some more and will make my first attempt at driving on the left later today…we’ll see how that goes…I was paying good attention yesterday so I think I understand how things work. Whakatane is big on round-abouts, which I find weird under the best of circumstances, much less doing things on the left… If all else fails, I’ll just hold my middle finger out of the window and hope people get the message to get the fuck out of my way.

So that is about it for now. We have a 3 day weekend coming after today, so will probably run and have some sort of adventure, or several mini-adventures. There is a really cool mountain-bike park about an hour away (rotorua)…it is in the midst of a huge redwood forest, so I think we’ll certainly do that. I’m not sure if the shuttle is running or not so we may have to do regular pedal-biking around the lower part of the mountain…either way, should be fun.

Ok, I’m sorry that was so long…I’ll see what I can do about pictures and stuff soon.

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~ by milkman on February 5, 2009.

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