We were warned. We went up the middle of the north island, from Wellington. We wanted to see some Lord of the Rings stuff. So off we went to a national park where Rivendell had been. They removed all signs of the movie set, but we did see the place where it was at one time. Very beautiful, but not really that "Lord of the Ringish". We saw the river Anduin, which again, wasn't that impressive. We walked a half hour round trip trail, which was amazing. New Zealand is very very lush.
We ran into a couple of Neufoundland dogs. They were big, beautiful creatures that were swimming quite easily in the river. Unfortunately, dispite the fact they were all black, no roaring torrent of water shaped like horses carried them to their doom. We walked back, listened to some birds, took some pictures (I'll share later) and were on our way.
We were cutting across to the Western coast, and the road was insane. Like I said we had been warned. There were many switch backs, and blind turns, yet only room for one and a half cars to pass. Very scary. I was absolutley exhausted at the end of it, yet my wife was the driver. She is actually a better driver than I, but I am still a bad passenger. I was twitching, and recounting my life over and over. But through it all we saw some of the most beautiful country in the world. And a few sheep. When I wasn't fearing for me life I was in awe.
Then we saw it. I looked kinda like an echidna. It was curled up on the side of the road, and appeared to be in one piece. Raquel stopped the car at me request so I could run back and see if it was alive. It wasn't. And it wasn't an echidna. It looked like a small echidna, with the spikes and all, but its face was more like a rat. Raquel, sure we discovered a new species dubbed it the Echidna rat. We returned to the car and made it to the coast and eventually back to Wellington.
Oh, the echidna rat...
its just a hedgehog