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Archive for February 16th, 2008

First impressions are often right but often they are only half of the story. As a result, we have an impression, albeit correct, that unfortunately closes us off to the rest of the person. The conversation got so bad in the hut that I almost suggested that we simply move on to get away from these guys. Many hours later as we all sat by candle light we witnessed all the posturing fade away as we discussed an array of subjects…we only then met the people sharing the hut with us. The older couple comes to NZ annually for 3 months to fish and travel on the cheap. They could have served as docents at any information center around the island as they love this county they call a second home. The young couple was equally nice and hailed from Jackson Hole Wyoming where he was a search and rescue coordinator and she recently sold a graphic design studio. How often do we never get past the rooster phase of a conversation?

One common question posed by people we meet from around the globe is the current political climate in the United States and how it impacts the world. The NZ airline steward summed it up best when she said unapologetically “What the hell is your King George thinking”. I do not know, but he says God is talking to him so I am scared as well. I voted for him the first time and now find my beloved country no longer holds its international prestige…only took a few short years to break something that took two centuries to build.

Warm and safe travels are spread around the next morning as we head towards the confluence of the Caples and the Greenstone River is where our car awaits.

I had NO idea sheep could jump as the Subaru helped the herder and the dogs move hundreds of wool creatures down the main route to Kinloch while we watched in awe as they leapt onto the hood, up the windshield, and across the roof of the rental car coming the other direction. Those hoofs had to do some serious damage to the car, and based on the look of the people inside I am guess some dirty Landry was created as well. At first we were maybe a bit concerned…and then, oh my god did we laugh.

Back at kinloch and an hour soak in the wooden hot tub before a, you guessed it, lamb stew dinner with Toni and her husband John. About half way through dinner we noticed that the tourist boat that brought guest over for dinner had lost its moorings and the John(s) went running to recover the craft. Toni and I had a good visit and it was obvious that her and Thunder had something special 20+ years ago while traveling in Morocco together. She is worried about him going to Alaska and wonders if he will ever settle down and find a long term partner. It is good to have people in your life who are also concerned about you. About the time the boat was secured, and dinner resumed, a staff member came to the house to report that a guest had locked themselves in the shower and was screaming for help (you cannot make this stuff up). By now everyone (less the teetotaler – me) was pretty lit and off they went for the second rescue mission of the night. Upon return the conversation naturally turned to what stupid things clientèle have done over the years….we laughed into the late evening.

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