Not only has the southern point of the North Island brought refreshingly cooler and windier weather, but it happens to be home to the proclaimed "Coolest Little Capital in the World", Wellington. With a population of just 400,000 in the area, New Zealand's capital city, nestled on the water at the foot of the local mountains, is easily navigable by foot, surrounded by lusher landscape, and is a hub of activity (This weekend? The Dragon Boat Festival! Dragon Boats basically being 20 person, sleek racing canoes.) In a light cardigan and cotton scarf that had yet to see the light of day from my suitcase on account of the warm climate, I strolled the wharf with an air of coolness.
And as I ready myself to cross the Cook Strait via a three hour ferry ride, I'm looking forward to feeling the colder temperatures and wandering in the shadows of the snowy peaks of the Southern Alps on the South Island.
When every bit of coolness flees me like a rejected girl at the first rose ceremony on The Bachelor? Driving. With all-things-backwards on the road to me, the only thing that's cool is my car's air conditioning. I have to chant "Stay left, stay left, stay left" constantly. It's common to see me driving down the road with furious windshield wipers (accidentally deployed thinking it was the turn signal) during the drought conditions here. Days could go by without seeing a streetlight which means my panic-meter is frequently on tilt through the cars-coming-from-every-direction roundabouts. Not a day goes by that I don't try to get in the car on the wrong side. Plodding back around the car to the driver's side gives a whole new meaning to the walk of shame.
Who knows? Maybe my new car on the South Island will keep me cool as a cucumber behind the wheel. Luckily I can always roll down the windows. :)
Po marie! (Good night)