Overland Oamaru to Auckland

Whenever we can, we like to travel overland.  One of our first ventures on this retirement trip involved traveling Zurich, Lugano, Trieste, Ljubljana, Zagreb and the rest of the Balkans all the way to Istanbul.  Then after a short flight to Izmir, overland through the center of Turkey including Konya, Cappadocia, and Trabzon on to Batumi and Tbilisi in Georgia.  Finally, taking a Marshrutka (shared van) to Yerevan, Armenia to catch a flight to Dubai and India. These two sculptures by Botero provide nice bookends for our trip of the last four years.

In New Zealand, we flew from Auckland to Christchurch and then worked our way back up to Auckland.  In Christchurch, we rented a car for four days to simplify seeing some of the East Coast and the Southern Alps.  Then by train and ferry from Christchurch to Wellington.  After three days exploring Wellington especially around Victoria University, we sat in the front seats of a double decker to Rotorua.  Rotorua is a hotbed of volcanic activity as evidenced by the sulfur smell around the city and bubbling mud springs.  After another three days, we continued on by bus to Auckland for a night before flying off to Chile.