[Editor's note: Clearly one of my stories was lost from early October 2002 even in our digital world, things still get lost]

Subject: My week addendum
Date: Fri, 11 Oct 2002 06:00:31 +0000
From: "-= Audacious Adventurer Al =- "

October 11, 2002 . . . Dunedin, New Zealand (The Scottish city)

Hello, I didn't feel I shared enough of what I've been up to this past week and a half, so I felt compelled to share some more.

Right now I'm sitting in a cool cafe called 'The Arc.' I have FREE internet, just in 25 minute spurts. There's hip house music on and I'm sipping fresh licorice tea as I jam here in my seat.

It's about 6:30PM here and I must say I can hardly walk. Why, you ask? Well, I ran up the steepest street in the world today -- TWICE. Yes, New Zealand has the steepest street in the world and the runner in me emerged to the challenge. In fact, as soon as I heard yesterday the steepest street was in town, it became my passion. My first run up the hill I took the stairs. I climbed that baby pretty fast although I was tired. I felt I wu$$ed out on the stairs, so I took to the asphalt for my second ascent. A group of Japanese tourists saw me coming down the first time. When the saw me going up for seconds they became my cheering section! Whew Who! When I got to the top the second time, lazy tourists in a car pulled up and asked me how my run was. "Almost as good as bungy baby, yeah!"

I've hiked up some of a glacier earlier last week which was a real kick in the head. Glaciers can be beautiful sights. I was the only nut to wear shorts on Franz Joseph glacier, but it was warm as all heck. All the guys in the pictures in the glacier center and the guides were wearing shorts - thus I followed. Remember if you ever do any glacier hiking to wear shorts.

Let me explain how I'm getting around New Zealand. I've started from Auckland, New Zealand with a coach company called Magic Bus. It costs about $300 USD to peruse the whole North and South Islands of NZ with free ferry. Most of the people (usually 10-30) on the bus are between 25 and 32 which is total cool to me. Mostly all of them have given up their jobs to live a little. While there's primarily English blokes here, there's tons of Swedish, German, Dutch, Canadian, and Irish people. My fellow Magic Bus travelers and I spend various lengths of times at stopover points, but I always seem to find a friend or someone I've met when I'm looking for one. After my bungee jump I became a bus celebrity and my bus driver nicknamed me 'Danger Al.' I went out in Queenstown and 'Danger Al' kept getting bought drinks. I'll share no more :) Actually, despite the older age of most of my Magic Bus pals, they seem to need to 'take the pi$$' every single night. Although I go out once in awhile, I ponder how these lads can enjoy getting sloshed constantly. Oh well, to each their own.

The Kiwis (New Zealanders) are hip people. The girls wear dread locks kinda hippie like and they don't wear a lot of makeup. The consensus with my mates here are that most Kiwi girls could do a little more to make themselves look a little better. As for me, as a general standard, natural beauty (ie. no makeup or not noticeable) usually takes my fancy. One typical type of Kiwi guy here that I perceive has long curly hair a gray sweater and a necklace. However, I prefer the surfer look and there's a lot of Kiwi guys looking like they just hung ten on the beach. The Kiwis certain love their beer. It's their nectar of the gods. Of course, I only met a small sample of the 3.8 million population, but I trust my instinct.

The Kiwis have a special drink here called Spirilina. It's like kiwis, bananas, and oranges all ground up in a bottle. It's like a Fresh Samantha in 'the states' Buy the green one and you'll have something like Spirilina. The Kiwis love their ice cream!!! It's really creamy to me. I bought their highly acclaimed Hokey Pokey ice cream and read the ingredients, milk fat being #1. The government actually has a rule about the minimum cream content of the ice cream here. Thus, even when I go to McDonalds for a really cheap sugar rush, the ice cream cone tastes rich! So, yes, the ice cream here is good, but it's HEAVY!

Alright, this Macintosh keyboard is hurting my left hand and I don't want Carpel Tunnel syndrome. My knees, heel and body are already aching from my escapade today. 'Pain is temporary, pride is forever' The older I get, the more I'm going to have to worry about pain. I tell ya - 27 is just around the corner, but I'll do everything I can to stop nature from slowing me down.

Thanks for reading my weekly rambling. I'll be back in Wellington on October 16, which shortly after you'll be reading from me again!

Have a spectacular week! Aching Al :)

"Life may not be the party we hoped it would be, but while we're here
we might as well dance!"
You've got a friend in . . .
| Allen Rue - traveling extraordinaire - joy seeker          |