Subject: New Zealand
Hi Erica,

>Richard:: Great explanation on New Zealand. How can it be so long when
>its only the South Island! You approached it from a different angle from me. To try and answer your question - I learnt a long time ago that, because the expense to go anywhere in the world is so great for us Kiwis, I do not try and cover too much ground at one go. If you do you will invariably be disappointed. Once Rachel and I took a bus tour through several countries in Europe. That was the last time we undertook such a tour. We were herded on and off the bus like cattle, told what to do, what to think and we were so tired at the end of the day, all we wanted to do was sleep. We passed many attractions that we would liked to have visited and when we did visit a site there many buses there at the same time. You were hurried through the site and were told by the tour director that we must keep to the schedule. Consequently we actually saw very little of each country and returned home somewhat disappointed. I am not saying that every bus tour is like this but it was with this one. Now we choose one country or an area in a large country, either hire a car or use public transport and travel independently. We usually only book the first nights accommodation and trust to luck with the rest. We also travel a wee bit out of season so the crowds are less. Last year we spent six weeks travelling through the south of France and loved every minute of it. Even then we did not do justice to this area. Much as we would have liked to see the rest of France we knew that this was not possible in the time frame. To summarise, my wife and I would much rather travel independently, take our time and see as much of the country that we possibly can. This is not to say that this type of holiday would suit everyone, but it does us. I know that organised tours suit a lot of people, including some of our friends, that is fine and I am not attempting to alter any ones preferred way of travelling. The four weeks that we are taking to travel the South Island will definitely not allow us to see all that this area has to offer. We started off by writing down places we would like to visit and things we would like to do. To keep within the four week time frame we were forced to trim this down quite considerably. Erica I hope this long winded explanation answers your question.

Regards, Richard Bloomfield.(New Zealand) ricardo