To Surf a Couch

2 months on the road so far and only 2 hotel nights used. Quite amazing really. Some of this has been through friends, but a lot has been with total strangers through – a site that links travellers with people who open up homes and allow them to stay. This is an amazing travel resource, and can lead to quite amazing experiences. Here are some of the highlights I have had:

* Staying on a farm in the Hunter Valley region of Oz where the ‘roos came onto the lawn at dawn and dusk, there were fantastic night skies and a barbie was duly turned on and a bear opened on my arrival. Great place to relax and unwind at the end of a day.

* Staying with a marketing manager in Hong Kong who is also a stand up comedian at nights in the middle of Central, a fantastic way to get a taste of this highly paced city. To get there took 20 minutes on a series of escalators to ‘Mid Level’ which only go down in the morning and then up in the afternoon.

* A wooden hut on a hillside in North New Zealand with a self sufficient family with almost 10 children who had built their own home, were upgrading to another they were in the midst of building, had built their own hydro dam and to practice a stone wall building method, made a swimming pool. Another world. Kept ‘company’ by a possum that insisted on dancing on the corrugated roof for the night.

* A gypsy caravan on the west coast of South Island owned by a couple from Cambridge (UK) who had moved out to set up their own self sufficient area. Shared with dogs, cats, chickens and other assorted. Fantastic place.

* A home made sailing boat built by hand by the person living on it over a 2 year period in Lyttleton harbour. What a great  last night on South Island. Would love to have had the time to spend a few days there.

And that is just a few of the fantastic shows of hospitality I have received over the last 2 months from various people in various places. So, with all my limbs still intact I am about to finish New Zealand and head for Fiji.

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