Current Location: floating in the matter left behind by my mind exploding in the depths of Doubtful Sound.  Now, back in Queenstown for a couple of days.

Sandfly bites are mosquito bites on steroids.  Small but potent, I have bites on my ankles that keep me awake at night.  Oh, they suck!

There is a girl talking on Skype about "kinky dancers" and "pancakes." Shssh!

8 days ago ... 
I got up early and ran to the mountains.  They seemed much closer than they actually are.  I made it as far as a pasture full of sheep.  The mountains never got any closer.

I love running. It keeps me sane for about 5 or 6 days a week. I also bike almost everyday and walk almost everywhere. While we've had some challenging days on this trip, there have been many that have involved little physical exercise [mental exercise is a whole other discussion]. It's taking its toll. I feel like a bar of chocolate, so so good and so so not so good. 

Denise and I walk through town, along the shore, and out to the seal colony. There are no seals but it doesn't matter because I can't stop looking at the mountains.

Back on the train. The last train ride ended with a pounding headache and numb feet. This time I only let myself stay outside for short periods of time. Learning.

When the train passes sheep and/or cows -- which is often -- the animals sprint away. It's cute. And since it's springtime, it's extra cute because of all the little lambs. CUTE!

About 5km outside of Christchurch we slow to a roll. Because of the earthquake and damage to the tracks, the train can only go about 10km/hr. Or something painful like that. Over the loudspeaker the conductor talks about the impact of the earthquake on the towns we are passing through. I feel uncomfortable taking pictures, an uneasiness emphasized by our speed.
I put my camera down and wave to people as we pass by.

Happy birthday big bird brother. 33.

Everyday I see an orange bird. And everyday I wait with anticipation for its appearance. Always unpredictable but always there. Perched on my path, it lingers on my way. We talk, but these are stories without words.