From Upover to Downunder and Back Again...

August-September 2007

From time to time some of us are let out from under our dank, stone bridges and let fly about the mundane planes. Sometimes we stop and linger here and there to smell beverages, taste the air or even buy souvenirs like plush toys, placemats or fudge. Although, fudge makes a poor souvenir since it never seems to make it home.

The original plan was to go to Leeds in what used to be called Yorkshire. We didn't go so far astray because they reorganised the British counties (although it certainly didn't help... I'm pretty old fashioned in some ways).

A trip downunder to New Zealand and Australia may have been our second choice (well third choice actually) but it could never be something to regret. I am reasonably convinced that people are pretty much the same, kind, helpful, wonderfully eccentric, generous and hospitable just about everywhere, but damn... some of them certainly do talk funny!

I know... Leeds is the other way

The plan was to go to Leeds, but the airlines wouldn't let us. So we had to go downunder and suffer though antarcticy winter. Sure, the snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef wasn't that cold... but some of the rest was. I actually had to put my sweatshirt on a couple of times.

World's Largest Leggo

I often think it's better to stop six times en route than to fly halfway around the world in one hop. In this case, it didn't much matter what I preferred. We had a five-hour layover in LA.

Five hours is an interesting amount really... it's enough time to get a meal or walk about a bit, but it's not enough to visit Disneyland or Universal Studios. We'll do that another time. So, wandering around the airport it is.


It's not usually very easy to take a picture from the porthole of a 747, but this one came out pretty well. Taking it involved holding a hood made of sweatshirts over the photographer's head, much like the pioneers of the art might have done.

Flying across the Pacific from LA to Auckland gives you plenty of time for sleep, and there were actually several decent movies available.

Photo: S.MacLeod © 2007

I'm Lost Already (Auckland)

The fist thing I do when I arrive somewhere is find a map so I know where I am. I have one in my hand, but I haven't looked at it yet. This is why I still look lost.

Photo: S.MacLeod ©2007

Donkey of Otorohanga

After we picked up our car from the airport in Auckland, we drove south to the Waitomo Caves (where we couldn't take any pictures) and on to Wellington to meet Jeremy.

On the way, it is our habit to stop at almost every possible scenic viewpoint, pull out, layby, resturant or cafe.