The interesting aspect of travelling is that you never stop learning, about yourself, your companions and the places and people that you meet. You end each trip saying, well that was good but I won’t do X again, or rethinking how one packed or the books or itinerary. Even more than Paula, I can be an indefatigable traveller – sometimes just a walk in a strange and distant land is enough.

This time, we had our travel plans shaped by the boys. Liam is a pretty good traveller, but Dom tires more easily and finds the contingencies Paula and build in hard to get used to. Constant change is not his thing, but he coped well and had a good time.

Sadly for Paula, her wings were clipped by her ankle injury (that metaphor is not working, but I like the lack of logic so it can stay). I wonder what else we might have done with four good legs between us!

Highlights? Queenstown, Milford Sound, Franz Joseph Walk, jet-boat, Fergburger, Guilty, that first meal in Christchurch, the view from the windows in Lake Hawea, peaks and rivers on the road through Haast Pass, luge and nice Kiwis.

Lowlights? Jetstar, lack of wi-fi (come on, NZ), fuel prices, rocks on the road, rain, tv, Lake Tekapo, Christchurch -sorry – and stiles.

Not bad, really! And close to budget. Back to reality on Monday.