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15 January, 2010

it's good to be back

Places visited (and photographed)After the cold and windy weather in South Island, I found the 20-something degree in Sydney pretty hot. Well, the weather is nowhere as good as beautiful Boston, picturesque Quincy or reputable Rochester, it is good to be back after 16 days holiday in New Zealand. And I miss my Nespresso coffee.

As expected, coffee is an issue when travelling. Obviously not every places we visited or stayed are large towns. Getting a good coffee in non-major towns is a kind of gambling. To my surprise, there are some Gloria Jean's Coffees in New Zealand, not as many as Don's American Starbucks Coffee. Unfortunately, not all coffees are the same. It is a good advice to stick to the restaurant chains you trust (or at very least, you know their taste).

Don started his day beautifully with Mountain Dew, I need to start my day with a good coffee. My search steps of finding my important morning coffee:
(1) Look for Gloria Jean's Coffee; if not,
(2) Look for Starbucks Coffee; if not,
(3) Look for McCafe (part of bigger McDonald's Restaurants); if still can't find a McDonald's in remote area,
(4) Look for good looking coffee stores with good looking (expensive) expresso machine; if all fails,
(5) wait until next (major) town.

In New Zealand, there are Wendy's Restaurants (Hamburger) which is not available in Australia, as well as Wendy's Ice Cream. Laurent and I, of course, dutifully visited both.

The screenshot on the top of this entry is where I took photos in New Zealand, it is generated by the Places feature in iPhoto 09.

Well, this is our tiny rental car in New Zealand. A very small car. We somehow can't afford a nice and comfy BMW, we decided to go for the cheapest automatic (with aircon) car available. (to Don: Antony is poor.) And we got a pink car.

rental car

The car was certainly not as petrol efficient as BMW, or perhaps the petrol is not as cheap as in the States. We spent $661.95 (NZD) on petrol in total with a total mileage of 6256km (about 3887 miles in American unit)

And to do something very un-Don, I used the Sony GPS tracker and recorded my own route. The grey/brown route is where we have been to.

Here's the route the above mini car has been driven to:
travel route

The main purpose of having the GPS tracking on is to record the places of photos taken. With about 3000 photos taken on this trip, it is simply very hard to manage the photos after the trip without some sort of modern day helping device. As mentioned earlier, the top screenshot of this blog entry was generated by iPhone'09. It is done with the help of GPS data on each photo.

As we all know, Sydney is not as nice as beautiful Boston, picturesque Quincy or reputable Rochester, and I got insect bites straight away here. It is still good to be back.

Also, after spending 16 days outdoor, Antony is now really dark. (to Don: Antony is black and poor.)

I will post photos in a few days time.

(to Don: Antony is poor.)

related blog entries:
it's good to be back (15 January 2009)
tracking myself with Sony GPS-CS1KASP (3 January, 2009)

This entry has Lightbox effect enabled. Click on the thumbnails for larger photos.

Posted by Antony on 15 January 2010 5:05 PM | coffee and food

more January 2010 blogs. (or 2010 blogs)
from iTunes Store:
Hi Antony,
Did you realise that this post is full of complaints about your holiday...? I hope you had a good one... Sam.
Posted by Sam on 15 January 2010 10:58 PM.
It certainly looks like you did extensive travel.
I don't envy you, as road travel is not my ideal mode!
You have not mentioned any major disasters, so I guess all went pretty well.
Welcome back.
Posted by Rev.Dr.Wu Yi on 15 January 2010 10:59 PM.
Again, the weather here is terrible. Freezing snow means broken limbs.
You could have easily made your own coffee by bringing along a coffee maker, even your fancy Nespresso machine if you really wanted.
German cars are not known for their fuel efficiency. According to NZHerald, the average fuel price is $1.76 per liter in NZ, so dividing $661.95 by $1.76 means you used about 376.1 L on your trip. 3887 mi / 376.1 is 10.3 liters/mi, or 38.9 miles per gallon. My car, by comparison, is only rated for 31 miles per gallon, and realistically gets around 29. Hence yours is better, and sorry for all the math.
I still don't see why you would want to track yourself and let people know where you were at any given time. I just sorted my 1000+ photos from Europe by the day they were taken.
Posted by Don_HH2K on 16 January 2010 3:14 AM.
Hey Ant, I made the first post last night and it has no been shown, please check your "vet" box.
Posted by Rev.Dr.Wu Yi on 16 January 2010 10:11 AM.
Well, yours is a well known BMW. There were hardly any BMWs on the roads we noticed. And I pointed them out whenever I noticed one.
I don't think I really need to repeat to you that I am not that secretive like you. I don't see any issues on pin-pointing where I took the photos. As for the exact tracking of the route, well, it was for fun, and to show you.
Posted by Antony on 16 January 2010 10:41 AM.
I even made a nice post, where is it????
Posted by Rev.Dr.Wu Yi on 16 January 2010 4:06 PM.
Thank you Rev. Dr. Wu Yi. The second comment in this blog entry? If it wasn't the case, it must be rejected by the system. (The comment would be rejected if you did not enter the number code.)
Posted by Antony on 16 January 2010 7:42 PM.
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