Like everything else in New Zealand, we discovered some spectacular traits in the people of New Zealand.
”Outdoors” – isn’t just a part of life, it’s a way of life
Indoor rock climbing places are common, and packed. As are camping sites in the summer. Not surprising, considering it’s a country meant for a life of adventure and activity.
A passion for arts – even quirky ones
To which he said, “It isn’t as simple as that”, and proceeded to pick a wire and his tools. For a moment, we thought he was probably lost in his own thoughts and the comment was in relation to that. What couldn’t be simple about giving an email id?
“You see, the email is on a bag. To give you the email, I’ll have to give you the bag. And I can’t give you an empty bag, can I?”, he said in the sweet lyrical Kiwi accent.
Wow! We were stunned and amazed seeing the wire transform, in a matter of minutes into a beautiful rose ring fitting perfectly around my little finger.
Later, when we looked up the name on the bag, we realised that the artist, Mike Ward had also been an MP once, belonging to the Green Party which he had himself formed!
Kind, kinder, kindest
We had rented a car from her the previous evening, from Takaka in the Golden Bay – the most beautiful place we visited in the South Island. The next day, while returning it we expected it to be a matter of handing the keys and a car inspection.
Instead, it turned out to be a conversation of how our drive to the beach had been. She knew we particularly wanted to catch the sunset there and she had suggested we also check out the baby seals which are usually playing on the beach. We told her we had managed both – getting the sunset, and playing with the seals.
We couldn’t hold it any longer and asked her if she didn’t want to check the car. “Why, was there any problem?”, she said a bit surprised. “No none at all. We’ve also filled up the fuel tank.” “I am sure you have!”
What? She was going to trust us, just like that? We then told her we weren’t used to this trust-based style of running a business. “But it’s so much better when we are honest and can trust each other.” Who could argue with that?
Our most surprising encounter though was the day we decided to explore hitchhiking. This was again in the Golden Bay and our experience that day defied all the hitchhiking guidelines we had read.
Women generally do not stop their cars, they said. Well, our first lift was a single lady who went off her route to drop us right at the Pupu Springs, where we were headed.
People with expensive cars don’t usually stop their cars was another general guideline. A guy in an SUV not only stopped his car and picked us up but also spent an entire day with us.
He had thought we were Fiji-Indians when he saw us first. But on hearing we were Indians from India, he got super excited. He and his wife and spent a wonderful time in India. People had been so kind and generous, he was just happy that he now had a chance to do his bit, he told us.
We had met him at around noon, and place after place, he took us around the entire Golden Bay, which without a car of our own would have been impossible for us to get to. He took us to beaches, waterfalls and nature trails, sharing with us the story of Golden Bay and his life in the Golden Bay.
He answered in one line, “Just pay it forward”.
We were expecting our 6-weeks in New Zealand to be filled with beauty – of nature. But beyond that, what this blissful beauty revealed was a heart of gold.
More stories from our travel in New Zealand to give your ideas for your road trip
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