Sunday, February 26, 2012

Swapna and Ryan, Part I

Back in November, we got a much anticipated visit from our wonderful friends Swapna and Ryan. All up, I think they were away for two weeks, including travel time. It was great to finally get them down to this part of the world, and great to get to travel around a bit with them. We got to see a lot of new stuff while they were here!

Since somehow we had five sets of visitors in 2011 (!), we couldn't take the full time off with them. So, on the North Island, we did a couple days trips together, and Swapna and Ryan did a couple day trips on their own.

We joined up for a trip to the Coromandel Peninsula to go to Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove. HWB was a new stop for us. The deal is that if you go an hour or so ahead of low tide, you can dig a pool, and the hot springs under the beach fill into your pool, and you can regulate the temperature with ocean water. It's a really popular spot on the backpacker circuit, so real estate is at a bit of a premium.

It's pretty sweet though - you go lie in hot spring water, and let a little more in when you get too cool. Not a bad way to spend a Wednesday (I think).

From there we shot over to Cathedral Cove, which is worth a look if you're already over. We had been before, but I think it was a hit with our guests.

After a little interlude back in the office, we rejoined Swapna and Ryan in Wellington. Shannon and I hadn't been at this stage, but it had been majorly hyped, as the word on the street was that Welly is just like San Francisco. It is.

It's got cable cars, nice gardens, and funny shaped buildings. It's got a slower pace of life, friendly people, and a vastly improved beer culture - more selection than anywhere else we had seen in New Zealand.

It's got the waterfront and mountains in the background. It's got more cultural events and arts going on. It really is just like SF.

We loved Wellington. Being there for only a day was the real shame, but, we had to move on to the South Island, from here.

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