We'd ridden a cable car up a mountain in Queenstown and spotted him having a coffee with his wife, kids and in-laws. We felt a bit guilty at first by interrupting him during a weekend off work with his family. That'll teach him for being famous.
However, he was very pleasant, pointing out The Remarkables mountain range in the distance as the Mordor range from the films. In return, we gave him some tips for the Luge - a plastic go-kart track we'd just tackled. Was so amazed that immediately afterwards that I had to phone my LOTR-obsessed dad to gloat down the phone (even though it was about 3am in the UK!).
As a gimmick, the cable car operators take your photo on the way up in the hope they can flog it to you once you come down again. As we passed the photos at the bottom, my eyes drifted from ours to a grumpy-looking Serkis with his brood. I thought about buying it but Jody dragged me away claiming I was turing into a stalker...
We met my friend from back home, Meriel and her friend Sarah, in Auckland the other day. They're a few weeks into a three-month holiday through New Zealand and Asia.
After spending five months travelling, meeting up with an old friend felt like a flashback to a former life. As we're now half-way through our trip and about to embark on the next big chunk of our journey - South America - a drink with an old mate is what we needed. We also got the lowdown on the things our friends haven't told us since we left. Some of the gossip was a shock!
Where are we? Back in Sydney, strumming our fingers until we fly to Chile on Monday. The silly thing is that our Chile flight goes via Auckland (where we were this morning), but the airline wouldn't let us get on there so we've had to fly all the way back to Oz to catch the Chile flight. I suppose we are in the land of boomerangs after all.
Amy and I are looking forward to staying in countries where we can afford a double room again. To save money, we've mostly been in crowded dorms in Australia and New Zealand and it's driven us crazy. And with five months of travelling without so much as a sneeze or tummy bug so far (even though we wolfed down ice, sushi and salad in Asia, despite warnings from home), South America will be the ultimate test for our bellies. Bring it on!