Subject: French Travel Costs
G'day Richard,

A fellow Kiwi arguing with a Kiwi/Australian? Is this world completely crazy? Okay, so you can get at me for abandoning my country of birth but I needed a change 15 years ago. Please forgive me?

Seriously though, I agree that fuel costs are horrendous in Europe. We moan at 82c a litre but in England we were paying 84p. However apart from the fuel costs I stand by my statement. This year our 4dr Renault worked out at $A31 a day (or there about), that include all insurance, unlimited mileage and 24hr breakdown service. That's hard to beat.

I travel regularly to Wellington and Hawkes Bay. Finding a motel for under $NZ90 isn't easy and certainly here in the West anything under $A85 is impossible. Last year we had a gite in the Loire for $A31 a night and this year paid around $10 more a night for one in Burgundy and another in Alsace. Motels can be found for a little more. See Formule 1 site.

You've got me on restaurant prices. Because we're usually in places with full facilities we delight in buying from the huge selection of delights available at supermarkets or other shops to prepare our own meals.

In comparison to France we found prices in England and Wales unbelievable. We have a rule of thumb - what costs a dollar here, in England you pay a pound. [Moderator's note: Around 2.5 or 3 Australian dollars to one pound sterling, current exchange rate.]

Before signing out, I thoroughly enjoyed your travelogue on the South Island. It brought back so many memories. (I went to university in Canterbury and have travelled the same country on other occasions) I hope others read your account as after travelling in many far flung places in the world it's only now that I've begun to appreciate how diverse and scenic N.Z. is. Sometimes you have to have time out to begin to really see what is familiar.


James Perth, Australia