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Good Morning David,
We posted the mobile from Christchurch from the post office near the Heritage Hotel. There should be loads of time on the mobile because we did not use the phone very much, approximately more than $35.00. We had made prearrangements with our son to stay in touch via email and/or calls, he made using a prepaid cheapie phone card from Canada. The other reason for the loads of time was we wanted to ensure we had phone time available for any emergencies that might crop up. You were quite right about telecom costs as I saw a woman frantically feed the payphone with coinage at Greymouth and the posted hotel charges for local calls. Having a mobile at our disposal was a real blessing and comfort.
I don’t know if you send out surveys to your clients for their customer experience but I am in the process of writing about the good and the few glitches that happened along the way that were either resolved by us or by you. Overall, David and Kerry, Fine Tours did a wonderful job of introducing their country to first time visitors. We were told a number of times by fellow travellers that we could have probably made our own arrangements for less expense, but they forgot to include value in terms of enjoyment vs. money out. We avoided having many of their frustrations i.e. hotel arrangements, getting lost (GPS and wonderful maps) and it was good to know we knew someone in NZ who we could contact in the event of an emergency. Fine Tours made our holiday an adventure of a lifetime and that is what we hoped for and experienced. Thank you.
FYI - We were fortunate we did not get jet lag as we managed some sleep on the overnight flight sitting in the cheapie economy. The first activity we did upon our arrival in Auckland was tramp (yes walk) up to the top of Rangitito Island and back with our new “American friends” introduced to us by Gerry. What a strange way to spend your first day in Auckland, tramp up a dormant volcano after being in transit for 26 hours. But, as we were later to learn, this is a typical Kiwi – they are very physically active people and they always are on the move because it is so beautiful in New Zealand. We had 16 days of brilliant sunshine out 19 days and this included Milford Sound and Franz Josef.
Go out and enjoy a few moments with your daughter. Merry Christmas from Manni and Gord Knight
—Manni and Gordon Knight, CAN
8 November 2009