I just wiped out my message with an unknown shortcut key, so I apologize if you already got one just now. Last time I wrote, I was between Madagascar and Mauritius in Nairobi. Madagascar was great, but the last day while I was hiking, when the rain stopped the mosquitos attacked me so have a plethora of bites on my calfs (or is it calves? I think calfs).
The flights have all been fine - only one with a mother I wanted to belt for not attempting at all to hush up her screaming child (who was too old to be putting up such a fuss, if you ask me and all the passengers around me). Mostly I read - 'Circle of Friends', a good book!
When I landed in Mauritius, I realized that I had not been surrounded by Westerners for over a month - it was kinda weird to be in a crowd of people I could understand. Most of the tourists there were British, plus a healthy dose of French and Indian. It's a very touristy island, as evidenced by the fact that Prince William was on holiday there a little while before I was there. The water is beautiful, as are the mountains that fall into the sea, but I guess I have been spoiled by being in places that have more raw power. So the night there was fine, but I was not overly impressed.
The next night I spent in Perth Australia, but after a late flight and all the customs rigamaroll, I checked in at 11:30 pm and had to leave at 9:30am. So what I saw of Perth was through a cab window. It did look similar to San Diego, as Tony said it would!
Last night I arrived in Christchurch and again went through alot of customs stuff for a few small wood things I bought in Kenya, and here they checked my boots to be sure I didn't have mud sticking on them. The Aussies and these guys are very serious about quarantine stuff. I had picked up 2 feathers - one in Ireland and 1 in Kenya and I have to have them fumigated before they can leave the country. I guess it is good to be careful - look what kudzu is doing to the southeast. Well, I guess none of you would know that story (imported vine for erosion control, took over uncontrollably, climbing on trees, killing them, decimating forests).
Anyway, I got into the hotel at 3:30 and had to get to the train station at 7am, and including jetlag I got 20 minutes of sleep. So I'm ready to greet the dolphins! In an hour, I do my swim in the ocean, and hopefully we'll see some whales as well.
I'll tell you about that next time! Brigid