Sunday: January 12, 1997

The weather is still the main issue. Another cyclone blew in on Saturday. That makes it two in as many weeks. Staying at the downtown hostel in a closest with three men and gear was a bit cozy. The people of Wellington were friendly in nature. This city is much nicer then Auckland in numerous ways. My mates were a bit down with the nasty weather. Also, the lack of ethnic diversity in NZ makes for a socially lacking society. Many Kiwis are hospitable in public.

It is a bit of a *Wonder Bread* society. The two main influences in NZ are the British and the Americans. The NZ people have very dry personalities. However, since the end of WW II the Americans have been the main influence on their country. The older generation of people are still Thankful for the saving NZ from Japan. Well, we'll be cruising into Marlborough Sound soon, the ferry ride is about 4 hours. European settlement began in this region in 1827. The main wealth of Marlborough is its sheep, but tourism is important in the Sound, and the Wairau Valley is becoming known for wines. They tell me Marlborough is one of the sunniest region of the country. I can only hope. Stay tuned for more details.

Tuesday January 14, 1997

Spent Monday in Picton gathering information. Rode through killer trail in tropical rain forest. Set up camp on beautiful north Marlborough Sound. The sunlight lasts until 9:30 p.m.. Then this nocturnal animal came to visit us for the dinner. I was surprised because they were not afraid of people at all. They were quite cute about the size of a possum. But, looked more little bears. Today I planned on hiking in the forrest. However, the rain had a bit to say about that. Shawn's tent named "Hillbilly Heaven" for its look, is not the best in the rain to say the least. He is SWIMMING at the moment. Tomorrow will catch train from Pictin to Christchurch for an evening. Then suppose to go to Queenstown for epic trails. I hope so because Ara is shouting... FIJI, FIJI, FIJI, FIJI! in reference to all the nasty weather. Stay tuned to see what happens.

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