Traveling again and for a long time, I feel the need to keep my blog going, but that takes time, and thought. All seems compressed while sight-seeing, eating, walking, eating, driving, eating, sight-seeing, eating, eating, eating. Oh, yeah, and drinking. Soon the pants don’t fit and the words won’t come.

So, brevity seems the best option to handle blogging and traveling simultaneously. Perhaps, I might curtail my eating as well. Maybe not. Heck, why be hasty?

Where are we today? The Chateau Tongariro Hotel in the Tongariro National Park. It’s beautiful and incongruous. I say “incongruous” because of its style and abrupt footing in a landscape spectacular with volcanoes and endless lakes.

This country, this land, this New Zealand, bears little resemblance to the European tradition, except in the faces of the recent arrivals, the Europeans. 

The land feels as if it’s still being born, still growing, literally bubbling from steaming lagoons.

It’s the opposite in every sense of the Old World. It’s not even the New World, as so many other colonial conquests are. Instead, it feels as if a child has walked into the sky-scape and is beginning to crawl.

The way Annette and I travel, we read at bit about the place we’re headed, but not too much. We want to discover the “it” when we get there. Here’s the surprising and spectacular “it” of New Zealand for us.

No human being of any kind stepped foot on this landscape until approximately 700 years ago. Yes, that’s right. Not 7,000 years ago when early humans were rocking out in Europe. Not 700,000 years ago when the eager Homo Sapiens were already leaving Africa. And not 2,000,000 years ago when Homo Erectus was walking upright and feeling like a badass in the African Savannas.

No, 700 years ago. Think about that.

To me this is the astounding fact to understand about New Zealand. It’s a child among nations. A baby really. Holy moly, monks were translating scripture in some cold European cloister centuries before anyone disturbed the love dance of two Tui birds in a noisy forest of majestic Kauri trees!

When you drive through the open landscape around Lake Taupo, the present disappears and the deep geographic past rushes in. Volcanic fortress look down on you. The broad open sky challenges from above.

The Maori were the first to arrive from Polynesia. What an amazing landfall that must have been after weeks or months of sailing or paddling in open ocean.

There was no one here for them to meet, to negotiate with, or to conquer. As if traveling to the moon and stepping from the capsule (in this case an ocean going canoe), the Maori stepped into a virgin world that had been cooking evolution untended for millions of years. Amazing!

The Maori made the land theirs quickly and successfully. Their footprints are everywhere figuratively and literally. Their breath is the spirit of this country…or so it seems to me in the short time I’ve been here. But more about that later.

Brevity, remember brevity. This is a travel post. I’m getting a bit hungry or thirsty or both. Time to check out the civilized side of life in New Zealand.







5 Responses to New Zealand – A Beautiful Child

  1. Anonymous says:

    Glad to hear you got safely to the Land of the Long White Cloud. It’s beautiful isn’t it? Make the most of the peace and serenity before you hit the madness of Sydney roads 🙂 As for the accent, do not mis-understand if a Kiwi brings the number 6 into the conversation! Wonder how all the vowels got so mixed up? Continue having fun. xx MM

  2. My husband and I loved our NZ trip back in 2010. So fun to see your take on it. Wishing you and Annette tons of fun and amazing discoveries!

  3. Anonymous says:

    wonderful fun.
    when you are in a restaurant ask for:
    “Fush and chupps” and see what you get!!
    Wonderful accents they have. Stunningly beautiful islands and such nice people.

  4. Parag Patel says:

    Keep sending the updates on your travels in NZ!

  5. HUGO GARCIA says:

    Sounds wonderful

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