Wanaka, New Zealand: Another Short Goodbye

The next few posts are gonna take you through about three weeks of spending time in New Zealand. It’s not always stunningly exciting, but it’s worthwhile, especially for the grand finale.

I spent a week in Wanaka with my friends Wanaka, packing up my gear and catching up with everyone who had come back to town for the 2008 winter season. When I arrived in town, I was surprised to find that all the things I had left behind had been preserved. And just how much had my faith in mankind been upheld? Dig on this: I bought a bottle of New Zealand whiskey which I was gonna send home along with my snow equipment. Of course my schedule didn’t allow for any time to ship those things before I left, but the bottle was untouched when I arrived at the house on Mt Iron.

Apart from a week of drunken and disorderly conduct, I can’t say that much happened. Mike and I even attempted a round of 9-hole golf at the Hawea course in the freezing cold, and on the fringe of a storm. But my last night in town brought the biggest surprise: I actually stayed in and packed. It was my greatest achievement since walking into Kobold and landing a lucrative software engineering job. I actually packed up my clothes and gear and was well prepared for not only leaving the next day, but meeting the gang for breakfast first.

The next day we all met for a meal in the morning at Gusto, and then Garth drove me to the Wanaka airport for my flight out. It was great to see the guys, almost like a family reunion, and it was even harder to leave them again. As I boarded the 18-seater, propeller-driven “plane”, Garth took a position outside next to the terminal. And wouldn’t you know it, as I waved like a goofy idiot through the porthole of my flying cigar tube, he stuck around until my plane left the tarmac, waving back.

There was some confusion in Christchurch because not only was my flight from Christchurch to Wellington cancelled, but I had missed that cancelled flight. After some rebooking and running around the domestic departure terminal, I got on a flight to Wellington and met Jess at the airport at long last.


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