New Zealand Day Twenty One: Farewell To New Zealand : A Final Hike And A Long Flight Home
I awoke with a feeling of both excitement and regret my last morning in New Zealand. I was excited to be heading home after three weeks of grueling travel. It is always good to go home. But I also regretted leaving this beautiful country and the friendly people who live here. I had an afternoon flight so I was able to get in one last hike.
I chose this hotel since it was near a coastal walkway and looked like a good place to search for wildlife one last time. . I left early in the morning twilight hoping to watch the sunrise.I couldn’t find a location with a good view of the eastern horizon but I did catch a glimpse of closest star rising in our Southern Hemisphere.
A few white-faced herons were also wading along the shore or soaring above the canal. Here is a link to some more of the birds I saw on my morning hike. New Zealand Day Twenty One morning hike birds.
It was a delightful place to spend my last few hours in this beautiful country. I learned from an informational sign that there was a migration and nesting center about a half mile further down the trail. Seeing all these birds on these canals I would have loved to visit this area. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time. I had to return to my hotel, pack and get to the airport for my afternoon flight.
I took a slow walk under the intense morning sun, knowing it would be some time before I will be this far south on this planet I share with all my fellow creatures. I noticed a hill in the distance and learned it was once a volcano. Here is a link to some more photographs from my last walk in New Zealand. New Zealand Day Twenty One morning hike
I returned to my hotel, had breakfast, and took the shuttle to the airport. I was soon on my plane and embarking on my first of a series of flights to return to my home in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
The first flight was a 12 hour flight over the south Pacific. I landed in Las Angeles at sunrise. I was very fortunate to have a Global Access card or I would never have made it through immigration for my 5 hour flight to Charlotte, North Carolina.
After a short layover in Charlotte I had another 2 hour flight to Newark. It was around 8 p.m. when I arrived. I was still over a 100 miles from home. I wasn’t going to take the 2 hour drive at night and settled in to hotel at the airport for the night. I awoke early the next morning and was soon on the interstate highway. I was happy to be back home.in Northeastern Pennsylvania a few hours later. I was to share another adventure with my friends that follow my blog. I hope there will be many more.
“…every person, when he or she is young, dreams of finding some enchanted place, of beautiful mountains and breathtaking coastline and clear lakes and amazing wildlife, and most people give up on it because they never get to New Zealand.”
US President Bill Clinton, Auckland, 1999.