Bees, Fences and Chooks, NZ style.

It's been a very enjoyable holiday so far, particularly since The Wife, darling that she is, has volunteered to do the bulk of the driving. Some people who drive for a living can't relinquish the steering wheel on holidays, but I'm more than happy to give it up, I love the veiw from the passenger side.

NZ is a great place for a driving holiday and these campervans are sweet as to do it in. The landscape changes so quickly and in a massive way, I've done six hundred Kms for work in pretty much the same landscape, but here you might see four or five contrasting veiws in that time.

Being a wannabe smallholder I also have an above average platonic interest in animals and I'll tell you the sheep is not the national animal of NZ, the bee is. I must have seen over a thousand hives in the last four days. A freindly sheep baron who rescued us from being bogged (I did mention The Wife's been doing the driving, didn't I?) told us that every man and his sheep is trying to cash in on the Manuka Honey craze. Unfortunately there are now more bees than pollen and we had the sad sight at last nights camp of bees trying to pull a flow off the grass, The Wifes hair and our campervan.

There has also been lots of Chooks by the side of the road, more than I've ever seen in Oz. Maybe the predators here are less frequent or a bit soft, but if I moved here I wouldn't be buying chooks, I'd just go for a drive.

I've also figured out that Ian Fleming holidayed in NZ before writing his novels. He got all his good bad guy ideas here, beautiful, isolated, rocky islands rising out of brilliantly clear water. Bubbling mud pits and mad boiling pools of superheated water, he's ripped them all off from the local landscape.

The only other thing that has caught my interest is the fences. I know, I know even for me this might seem a bit boring, but they are mad, eight strings of wire and a post every 30cm. I don't know if it's a trick the first fencing contracter here played to make sure he got enough work or what, but it makes all the landscape look that little bit different.

Lantanaland from the iPhone