Day 157: The Anal Backpacker

October 19th, 2001

Day 157. I went for a little walk around Dunedin before moving on, I have to keep moving fast as I need to get back to Christchurch in a few days for the dentists so I will only really be spending one night in most places now.  While walking around I noticed one interesting thing about the schools in this town, back in the UK we tend to call them secondary or comprehensive, here they just seem to call them ‘normal’.  Dunedin normal School, weird, but I’d like to see an abnormal one!

A 'Normal' School in Dunedin!

I set off towards Invercargill going via the scenic Catlins Conservation Park.  On the way I saw a hitchhiker and as I have been told by many people and read in many books on NZ, people always pick up hitchhikers as public transport can be few and far between.  So I slowed down and he got in, fishing rod and all.  At this point all of my anxieties about hitchhiking in Europe and America came to mind as he started to say a few rather bizarre things.  First he started to talk about the fact that it wasn’t a bad thing to drink so early in the morning and then went on about a terrible divorce he had gone through.  Right, I’m going to die, he’s going to say the divorce was so bad that he hasn’t kissed a girl since and now he wanted to snog me, a weird thought but that’s what went through my head.  Then a guy driving towards me started to flash his lights at me, Mr Hitchhiker asked me whether I knew the bloke as he was from his village, “No I’m from England” I said, “I’ve never been here before.”  He then asked the question a further five times to which I gave the same answer, this made me even more suspicious and I was now thinking that the guy in the other car was warning me that he was a murderer or at the very least a mentalist.  He then went on to talk about his house and whether I wanted to pop in for a drink, I obviously declined and just dropped him off in the centre of a village in the knowledge that I’d been seconds from death!

More than likely he was just a friendly old drunk Kiwi and the only problem was me having ideas from a society which is no longer innocent and full of fears, particularly of strangers.  And the guy flashing his lights, he was just warning me of a police speeding checkpoint ahead, that’s imagination for you.

My next stop after dropping off the local mad man was Nugget point, a beautiful peninsular topped with a little white lighthouse and little rocky outcrops in the sea dotted into the distance.  Seals were basking and penguins swimming in the waters below.  After this I happened upon another one of NZ’s bizarre quirky tourist sights, it was NZ’s most southerly train tunnel and in fact according to the notice, the worlds.  It was a really bizarre claim to fame particularly as it is now disused, but I can’t prove it wrong as the only other place such a tunnel could be is Patagonia and I’ve never been there.  I carried on along the dirt track, or metalled as I think you call them here.  They are very slippery things but I have to admit I really enjoyed doing power slides around the corners all the way to Cathedral Cave.  But with my fantastic timing the cave had just closed due to the high tide so I stopped off at Purakaunui falls instead.  The cave is meant to look like an English Cathedral but I guess if it was anything like Guildford’s then not seeing it would be no great loss.

Nugget Point, The Catlins.

Eventually I arrived in Invercargill just as it started to rain; this is the southernmost city in NZ and has a little of a Deep South feel about it.  Continuing that deep south feel I bought some camera film which cost a fortune, well relatively speaking, but was convinced I was over charged as I was “Not from around these parts.”  This town didn’t look like the most exciting of places so instead of stopping here I headed straight out to Te Anau, quite a long journey, and got there just in time to see the hostel close.  Everything closes early in this place but luckily the owner saw me walking up as she was just setting off and was kind enough to rush back and give me a place for the night.

Invercargill Town Hall & Theatre.

In the room there’s Mat and Taz, Taz has been travelling for a while and has been to India, she’s clearly into the whole India experience but comes across as being completely drugged up.  With retrospect I think I did enjoy my experience in India as I learnt a lot and I’m sure I will head back at some point, but talking to her I mentioned some of the more unusual events such as my hospital experience etc, the more negative parts.  She then asked me how long I’d been in India for which I told her, “About seven weeks” and straight away without even drawing a breath she said “Ahh that’ll be it, I was there for two months, any shorter than that and you wouldn’t experience the place properly!”  I thought she was being funny at first so laughed, but she really meant it, yeah right, that extra week must have made all the difference!  Then the conversation moved onto Vietnam, “How long were you there”, she said, “I was there for three weeks and enjoyed every minute of it” I said in response.  She just said, “That’s not enough time to really enjoy it properly, I was there for a five weeks so I had more experience of the real Vietnam.”  “But you can only get a one month Visa for Vietnam” I said sounding surprised.  She looked flustered and eventually uttered “No, I had a special one which let me stop for five weeks.”  Mmmm, as far as I remember the embassy told me that you could only have a Visa for more than a month if you were on business or doing medical work.  I then mentioned that I spent a week in Cambodia which was excellent and got the reply, “I didn’t go there as it’s a horrible place with nothing to see, a complete waste of time so I went to Bali instead.”  Arrggggg, I wouldn’t mind but I’ve heard that Bali is just a beach resort with very little to see.

Her attitude is typical of what I keep coming across when I’m travelling, it’s the ‘Anal Backpacker’.  No matter what you’ve done or how you’ve done it, they’ve always experienced it more, done it the right way, been there longer and if you’ve been to somewhere they haven’t then they haven’t gone because it’s crap!  I know I’ll probably play the “I’ve been there game” as it’s human nature, but I hope I’ll never be as bad as her.  She then asked me what I did so I said I was a Doctor and I thought she looked a bit ill, bad skin.  That shut her up!

Day 154: This May Hurt A Little

October 16th, 2001

Day 154. Checked out of the hostel and headed straight for the dentist.  I was about to find out how many days I was going to waste in Christchurch getting my bloomin tooth fixed.  The dentist was nice, he was from India, New Delhi, and when I mentioned that I’d been there recently he kept reminiscing about his childhood in Delhi and his family temple.  Remembering my experiences in India I asked him whether he had washed his left hand before putting it into my mouth.  Luckily he found this funny.  Then came the injections with the usual one in the gum, but then came the shocker.  With a straight face he said, “This may hurt a little” at which point he shoved the needle straight into the roof of my mouth, arrrrg, it was so painful.  If he did that again I promised myself I was going to bite his hand off!  And I’d paid $180nz for that!  Well actually, I initially didn’t have to pay there and then as one receptionist told me that I could pay on my final visit but the other receptionist chipped up, “Where are you from?”  “The UK I replied” at which point they suggested it would be better if I paid now.  Git, as if I was going to leave my teeth half done!

Still dribbling and having booked my next visit for next week I set off south eventually arriving in a town called Geraldine.  I looked for somewhere to get lunch and finally found a ‘Fush n Chups’ shop with yet another sign outside saying it was the NZ national dish.  I had to have these for the second day running because it was the only place open, all the other shops and cafes had closed for lunch, what’s the point of that!  I headed further south and inland towards Lake Tekapo.  The first time you see the lake is quite amazing, it seems to glow with an astonishing and extremely unnatural blue colour.  This is caused by the reflection of light off the rock crystals ground by glaciers which are suspended in the water.  Behind the lake are the snow capped Southern Alps.  On the lake shore at Lake Tekapo town stands the peaceful and idyllic little old stone Church of the Good Shepherd, well it would be peaceful if it were not for the coach loads of Japanese who seem to turn up every five minutes to take pictures.  After passing the equally beautiful Lake Pukaki with the highest mountain in New Zealand, Mount Cook (Aoraki), standing majestically behind it I arrived at my final destination just as the weather turned bad.  I just chilled and relaxed after a busy and quite painful day, but this was mainly due to the fact that there’s only three houses, a closed hotel and this YHA in town.

Church & Lake Tekapo.

Day 155: Hole In My Shoe

October 17th, 2001

Day 155. I planned on getting up really early but eventually managed to wake at about 10:30am, I blame the after-effects of the drug pumped into the roof of my mouth.  Considering the headache I had I reckon he pushed the needle straight thought bone and injected right into my brain.  Even though the weather didn’t look too good I set off for a short walk around Mt Cook National Park.  I set off in the car towards the Mueller and Hooker Glaciers and started on a short walk in the direction of the Mueller Hut, I planned only to go as far as the snow line as I wasn’t prepared for walking in snow and it would have been too dangerous to travel any further alone.

After about an hour and within sight of the snow line the weather suddenly closed in, gusts of wind were blowing me off my feet which on the steep slopes was not very pleasant.  Then it started to sleet and rain but unlike normal rain this was hitting me horizontally and was quite painful.  Luckily my Aussie hat worked well and gave my face protection from the worst of it, but in the distance I could hear a series of very loud rumblings.  Looking across and up at the next mountain I saw a white cloud rushing down the valley, avalanche!  The rain was loosening the snow so with the chance of an avalanche above added to the fact that I was cold and wet I legged it back down the mountain for safety.  Just to make things worse on the way back down the sole of my left shoe finally gave in and my foot got saturated, I’ve only had them for five months!  I was relieved to be back in the car I could now warm up and dry my foot out, what could go wrong now!

134.  Mueller and Hooker Glaciers, Mount Cook.

As I turned the key in the ignition the engine gave out a groaning winding sound and then stopped, I tried again and again and again, with each try I could feel the blood slowly draining from my head as I realised that the car was not going to start.  The battery was dead!  On inspection I found out that the car had parking lights which sadly unbeknown to me had stuck on even though the switch said off.  I’d also managed to park the car under a tree which had resulted in a flow of water from the tree directly onto the bonnet and then into the engine.  Some workmen who were fixing the car park tried to help but they didn’t have any jump leads and you can’t bump start a bleedin automatic, stupid invention.  But at least the nearest phone wasn’t three miles away in the hostel as this would have meant that I’d to walk all of the way back there with a hole in my shoe in torrential rain, I had my emergency mobile phone with me.  Oh sorry, I did have to walk, there was no bleedin signal out there.  So after an hour I arrived back at the hostel and phoned the AA but then had to walk all the way back again to meet the guy at the car.

The problem with the South Island is that towns are few and far between and garages even further so I was amazed when he arrived in a little under two hours.  As he arrived I was standing there in the middle of nowhere on my own with the only car in sight for miles.  He walked over to me and said with complete sincerity, “Is this your car!”  I think I did really well not to say anything sarcastic and just smiled as I didn’t want him to drive off offended.  After explaining about the lights he opened the bonnet and said, “Eh, you see the problem here, your battery’s weak because you’ve left your lights on but you’ve also got water in your electrics, how did you do that?”  How did I do that!  I think if he looked up at the tree he could have actually seen the stream of water running from it but again I held back and just replied “Very easily.”  While I was stood there dripping from every part of my body he explained to me that it was a bad idea up put water on a battery as it had shorted out, he was really looking for a slap at this stage.  Luckily for him he eventually got the thing started and told me to drive it around for about an hour to get the battery back up to speed.  As sods law dictates at the moment the engine started the rain stopped and the clouds began to clear, typical.

Driving the car I suddenly realised that being an automatic it’s almost impossible to over-rev the engine to charge the battery quicker so I had to drive at brake neck speeds towards Twizel, any excuse really.  Luckily you can drive for miles without seeing another car in this part of the world but just my luck I was clocked by a speed camera doing about 150km/h in a 100 zone.  Bugger, what else was going to go wrong today?  After driving a very quick seventy five miles including a stop at the supermarket to stock up on sweets which I needed to calm myself down I came back to the hostel had a warm shower and stuck my shoes on the heater to dry.  Pants!

Day 156: Pictures Of Home

October 18th, 2001

Day 156. I decided to leave today as I thought Mt Cook particularly unlucky but as sod’s again law dictates, the day I decide to leave is by far the best.  The sky was clear, the air warm, yesterday the temperature was just above freezing but today was almost T-shirt weather.  So I left earlier than planned to head up to the Tazman Glacier so I could at least do a short walk with a dryish foot.  From the Tasman Glacier the view of the snow tipped Mt Cook was fantastic.  The mountain is set at the end of a rocky wasteland which is in fact the glacier.

Tasman Glacier & Mt Cook.

As the ice of the glacier melts the rocks and boulders are left behind on top to leave this barren landscape and not at all what I’d expected of a glacier.  A nice old Kiwi couple came up to me for a chat whom it turned out had both parents from Yorkshire, it does amaze me how friendly people are here, although I’m not including mechanics in that who try to wind you up.  People just talk to you because they’re interested in you and what you’re doing, not the selfish ‘me’ attitude you seem to get back home in the UK, I could get used to this.  After this little walk I headed off to Dunedin going via Oamaru.

Before getting to Oamaru I stopped off to see some Maori rock art at Moerachi but unfortunately there was a big sign next to the wall saying that the best work had been taken away and put in a museum, great.  But having said that I always find this kind of tourist site quite funny as the art is technically just graffiti and not particularly old, it’s hardly Stone Age.  There was a sign explaining what the symbols meant suggesting that the patterns were related to the female and male form.  Yeah right, graffiti, it’s Maori for Dave loves Sharon!

Maori Graffiti.

The town of Oamaru is quite pretty but a little unusual.  It sees itself as a heritage town with its very wide Thames Street running through the centre with well preserved Victorian era houses, shops, banks and offices running along it, more Victorian buildings can be seen in the ‘Historic Harbour district’.  It’s quite bizarre that in the UK these building would be nothing unusual and you wouldn’t stop to look at them twice but here I felt a need to take pictures of them.  I suppose it’s because I was looking at a mirror image of a small British town but as far away from Britain as I can get, well on this planet anyway.  Maybe it’s a bizarre thing the British have to do as wherever I’d been, India, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia or Singapore I’d found myself taking pictures of the bank on Sheffield high street, the stately home in Surrey, the Church in Oxford, the train station in Huddersfield the pub in London, everywhere I’ve seen doppelgangers I’ve taken a picture.  I’m taking pictures of home.  Even though it was all familiar, there’s always a bizarre little quirk in New Zealand.  In this town the local council actually pays locals to walk around in Victorian dress to give it an ‘authentic’ feel.  It’s really quite weird to be walking down the street and then pass people in Victorian gear.  There was one guy buying batteries from a little supermarket, I was going to ask him what he was going to do with them as I didn’t think there were that many battery operated goods in Victorian times, not ones which took AA size anyway!

Thames Street, Oamaru.

Another major tourist sight in the town were the penguins, both yellow eyed and the little blue penguins but sadly I didn’t have time to sit around and wait until sunset to see them.  Instead I headed off down to another tourist sight, that of the unusual spherical boulders on the beach at Moeraki.  Due to the unique geology in the area the boulders have a turtle shell appearance to them so convincing in fact that you could easily be mistaken in thinking that the sea washed monoliths are in fact sea creatures.  No one knows exactly how they formed, particularly not the cracks which give the turtle shell appearance.  A Māori legend tells of a ship wreck of a large canoe, Arai-te-uru, of which the stones are the remnants of eel baskets, calabashes (gourds), and kumara (sweet potato) washed ashore from the wreck.  Rocky shoals that extend into the sea are meant to be the petrified hull of the wreck and a rocky peninsula the body of the canoe’s captain.  Well if you believe that sort of stuff.

Moeraki Boulders,  Otago.

Finally after a long trip I’ve arrived in Dunedin which is the Gaelic name for Edinburgh.  It’s a very picturesque town with wooden villas dotted all over the hillsides, pretty town hall and cathedral in the centre plus a quite impressive train station with an interior which time has forgotten.  It seems sad the latter is hardly used anymore, a remnant of its time perhaps.  Tourist trains still make the journey along one of the world’s most impressive train journeys, the Taieri Gorge Railway but sadly I won’t have time for this.  Another typically quirky NZ tourist site is what is alleged to be the world’s steepest street, Baldwin Street, although I’m not convinced about this.  I know an unbelievably steep stretch of road in Sheffield where you sometimes need to use first gear and your wheels can spin going up it but it’s only that steep for about 20 feet, and it’s on a corner.  Either way I’m not impressed.  There was a really nice Kiwi girl back in the hostel; we just talked and ate, sadly.

Dunedin Train Station.

Day 158: Knobs Flat But Milford’s Sound

October 20th, 2001

Day 158. Had a little walk around Te Anau reading up on the local history.  The town is named after a cave famous through Maori folklore called ‘Te Ana-au’ which means ‘The cave of swirling water’.  It’s a really beautiful setting next to the lake, the largest lake in the South Island and the second largest in NZ, extremely deep too.  I was planning on doing some Kayaking on the lake but I was told that I could not go out alone which was a little frustrating as no one else wanted to have a go.  This is the only really annoying thing about NZ, there are a lot of the activities which can only be done if there are at least two of you, really annoying if you’re a solo traveller.  More annoying for me at the moment is that the entire backpacking community in NZ appears to be young loved up couples who don’t want to mix which means even less chance of doing any of the activities.

However there are plenty of other things to do so I tried to book the famous four day Milford Track hike, doh, it was fully booked.  In fact it was fully booked for months as was the Kepler Track.  The Milford Track is meant to be one of the walks of a lifetime, so it’s a bit disappointing.  In fact Rudyard Kipling called Milford Sound the eighth wonder of the world.  So instead of walking to Milford, I drove which at first was quite dull by NZ standards, just rolling hills, forests and miles of planes with the usual collection of bizarre tourist sights including the mirror ponds so called because they are really muddy!  Well that’s what the sign said, I haven’t quite figured it out yet.

Knobs Flat!

On the way I came across a visitors centre called Knobs Flat, although a bizarre name which could be taken as a personal critique of those with certain problems, it was here where the really picturesque part of the journey began.  The journey to Milford was 75 miles and I was expecting to do this in about one and a half hours, however, the scenery was truly amazing and this was just from the road.  The ‘tramping’ path as they call it here must be a thousand times better although that’s hard to believe.  It’s also hard to believe they call walking ‘tramping’ but I suppose it’s better than the Aussie bush bashing!  It had been raining all morning but now there was just bright sunshine which added to the amazing views.  Because the mountains are pretty new geologically speaking the rain water seemed to run off the mountains in all directions with no readily defined river channels to make its way down.  The numerous waterfalls and wet rocks glistening in the sun looked amazing.  I stopped at what seemed like every two miles to take pictures, none of which I knew would do the place justice.  The ‘gap’ waterfall, Homer tunnel, the many inquisitive Keas trying to eat the car, all were really amazing.

One Big Kea.

Keas according to my guidebook are the world’s largest flying parrot and very cheeky but cute.  Then again they were stripping the rubber seal off the car in front which the driver might not have found so cute on his return.  Someone also told me that they were called Keas because that’s the sound they make which is sort of true but more of a “keeeeaaaaaaaaaa” sound though.  Then came the Homer tunnel experience, normally when you drive through a tunnel it is brightly lit so giving your eyes little need for adjustment from light to dark, however here there were no lights and so driving from really bright sunlight into a pitch black tunnel was quite scary; I was completely blinded.  I couldn’t see anything even with the main beam on.  I even took a picture of the darkness to prove how dark it was, which is a bit silly coming to think of it!

After driving at a snail’s pace through the hand cut tunnel a stomach churning decent with steep winding bends awaited me.  Finally I arrived in Milford and tried to book into the only backpackers there.  “Do you have any spare bed?”, “yip”, “Ah, cool, could I pay for one for tonight please”, “Ah, no.”  “I thought you just said that you had some space”, “Yip, we do, eh”, “But I can’t have one”, “Errr, no”, “Why.”  “Errm, because someone has booked it for later”, “So you don’t have any spare beds then”, “Err, yip we do until about four but not after”, “Thanks for your help.”  Was this Kiwi logic, was he answering my question literally or was he just mad, either way he was clearly wearing pedantic pants and irritatingly I had to make my way back to Te Anau.  It’s here that I noticed another Kiwi trait, that of saying “Erm” and “Eh” before and after a sentence, “Erm, it’s good eh!”  I suppose the London equivalent would be “mmm, s-good in-it.”

Milford Sound.

I had to do something today so I tried to go kayaking on the Sound but as expected they would only let you hire in groups of two or more.  I then looked for a boat trip around the sounds but most of the short trips were full so conceding defeat I went on a short walk to the visitors centre and the waterfall which was just behind it.  Here I found out that it was Labour Day which explained the huge amount of people and the fact I couldn’t do anything, why couldn’t they have it on the same day as Australia.  At the waterfall a group asked me to take their picture but just as I was about to take it the wind changed and I got soaked by water from the waterfall.  They thought it was hilarious which I didn’t think was nice considering they wanted me to stand there to take the picture, so as a childish bit of revenge I took the picture but sadly, and accidentally of course, I managed to cut their heads off.

A little way down from the waterfall towards the Sound there was a grave, there was nothing to say why it had been placed there however the setting could not have been more idyllic.  Next to this was a plaque dedicated to a group of Japanese tourists who were killed when their plane crashed on a scenic tour of the area.  Crashes seem quite common in this area so I may give that a miss.  After seeing a few more sights I headed all the way back in the car to Manapouri to try and find a hostel which didn’t seem to exist, so had to double back again to Te Anau.  This time I stopped at the YHA hostel but god these places are so dull compared to the independent hostels.  Clean, tidy and faceless, I’m convinced that they have a no laughing rule, and there weren’t any mixed dorms, a massive disappointment.

Road to Milford Sound.

Day 159: One Vowel Away From Self-Abuse

October 21st, 2001

Day 159. As I had no chances of kayaking in Te Anau I set off early to Arrowtown, an old gold mining town just north of Queenstown the Mecca for adrenaline heads.  I drove through Queenstown not taking much notice as I plan to return after my next trip to the dentist.  Arrowtown is a really pretty place, the old centre looks like an old Wild West frontier town just without the guns, Cowboys and Indians.  Pretty wooden houses and churches sit on tree lined roads set amongst rolling hills however the cruelty of gold mining can also be seen in an area hidden next to the river.

Arrowtown Post Office.

Here just slightly upstream from town lie the remains of a true china town, not a place where you can get “prawn balls five for a pound” but a place where Chinese immigrants prospecting for gold lived, deliberately separated from European settlers.  The police ground where they used to enforce the segregation can still be seen.  All that remains of the town itself are pretty little picture book cream coloured houses in a lush green valley completely at odds with the history and squalor of the place at the time of the gold rush.  Further up stream is Mace Town, a deserted ghost town which you can get to either by a long walk or 4WD car, sadly I didn’t have time to visit this time but it did sound quite an evocative and romantic place to visit, I may go when I come back.

Arrowtown Chinese 'Settlement' House.

In the local supermarket I found my favourite sweets.  I seem to have become addicted to milk flavoured toffees which don’t seem to exist back in the UK but every shop in this country seems to sell them.  I’ve had three packs today already!  After getting my sugar rush I headed off to Wanaka, “just one vowel away from self-abuse” was the phase I wanted to substitute for the “welcome to” part of the sign on the way into town.  Another beautiful place but I’m getting bored of writing that now, everything is beautiful, OK.  The drive here took me past the Remarkables, a mountain range which are truly remarkable, say it like you see it just like the Aussies!  And also past the Corodona Hotel, an old (in Kiwi terms) wooden halfway house/hotel and stables which is really idyllic.

Cardrona Hotel, 1868.

After making my bed in the hostel, I headed out into Wanaka town for a relaxing meal, however on my return there was another bloke in my bed!  He had moved all of my things from it onto the top bunk bed!  I couldn’t really repeat the word I was thinking but when I asked why he had moved my things he replied in a thick Irish accent “because you were not here to stop me.”  It’s a fair point but he then went on to give a stupid reason about hating heights however later in the evening went on to talk about doing a Bungy jump in Queenstown, mmm.  I nicknamed him the Wanaka Wanker.

Wanaka does have another couple of bizarre sights in addition to the Wanaka Wanker, firstly ‘Stuart Landsborough’s Puzzling World’ where you can be sent mad by the mazes and optical illusions, a truly pointless tourist experience.  But the most weird and best by far is the ‘Nuovo Cinema Paradiso’.  You can’t miss this place as it has huge dinosaur thing bursting through the roof (although I'm told this changes depending on the film showing), but the inside of the theatre is also suitably bizarre, the seats range from box standard old theatre seats to sofas and a bright yellow Morris Minor convertible put on a slope so you can see the film.  Cool.

Day 160: The Wright Brothers Were Wrong

October 22nd, 2001

Day 160. Wanted to go kayaking on the lake again today but as with Te Anau and Milford, they wouldn’t let me go on my own.  The only other option was to get the Wanaka Wanker to come along but I was afraid that in the middle of the lake he’d try to change boats as his made him seasick!

So I set off back to Christchurch for the dentists.  On the way I went via Waitohi to see a certain memorial to a Pom, if you read some books, a Kiwi in others, who used to live here.  Mr Richard Pearce was a bit of a loony by all accounts but on the 31st March 1902 he actually invented a plane out of old bits of junk which flew under its own power.  This was a full one and a half years before the Wright brothers who claimed the glory of the invention but they knew what to do, the difference was publicity, filming and money.  Mr Pearce had none of these so received no credit.  Just like Joseph Swan the inventor of the light bulb, he didn’t have money for a patent but Edison did, money quite literally bought power.  But at least there is a memorial to Mr Pearce so some of us won’t forget however, certain nations will still choose to ignore.  Managed to hit a huge rock on the journey back putting a dent in the wheel rim, great that will cost me!

The World's First Powered Flight.