Lets blow this joint....
Trip Start Sep 10, 2007
55Trip End Aug 2008
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Is a prety miserable day here in Welly, wet and VERY windy. We're all boxed up, nearly ready to go and about bloomin' time I caught up with this blog thing.
Yup, we're pretty much at the end of our New Zealand adventures and before we know it we'll be back in the UK. We both can't wait to catch up with friends and family, but we're not quite feeling ready to come back just yet....but more on that later.
It's been a while since I last wrote and I've not got a clue what I put in it so apologies if I start to repeat myself. I am, after all, getting on a bit and it so it's about time I start to act my age!
After pranging the car we looked in to the cost of getting it fixed and it was going to cost almost 50% of what we hoped to sell the car for. We took a punt by putting it on Trademe (ebay never made it to New Zealand, funnily enough) and an English girl saw the old Big Brother mobile, fell in love with it and is now (hopefully) tootling about in it. We managed to sell it for more than we would have made having repaired it and sold at a higher price and so we were pretty happy with it. Once we'd agreed on the sale we did have to take her out for one final frolic.
So we headed for a weekend not far from Wellington, along the south coast. I say not far, but some bloody great mountains means you have to drive due north for a way and then back south to spend 3 hours going about 30km. Was a lovely weekend, one of the last before winter fully set it and we went for a walk to The Pinnacles. I think they're unique in New Zealand for not being in the Lord of the Rings films. They're quite impressive columns of eroded bed-rock about 40m tall and have a weird Underworld feeling about them when you're wandering round their base.
After this was a trip along the coast where you have to be careful how you drive as the seals lie practically on the road. Even if you couldn't see them, you could smell when you were nearby so we stopped to take the obligatory snaps. Felt kind of cheeky taking the car along 20km of dirt tracks with small grit chipping away at the paint work, but hey you've got to seal spot haven't you...?!
So now we're transportless and our activities have all but died away. That is apart from catching one of the few trains (not big on public transport here) up the Kapiti coast last week (pronounced Carpet-y, a sniggering local informed us). We went for a "brisk" walk along the beach, bent at an angle of about 40 degrees as we were walking head first in to a solid wall of 80km winds. We were going to take photos of the foam from the sea whipping past one of us but in the chilly weather and that wind speed we had pretty unphotogenic snotty dribbles practically back to our ears so decided against it!
We also had a weekend down in Christchurch a few weeks back. It was a bit of a treat for me before we leave, the England team were over and playing the All Blacks and who couldn't resist going to watch their team being humiliated? Was great to be at the game though, and I reckon I could stand up to the Hakka....
Whilst in the area we hired a car and drove up the coast to Kaikoura. Having failed to swim with dolphins when we were there just before Christmas (was booked up for over a month in advance) we'd given ourselves a second chance. We woke up to a heavy frost and freezing fog, which really left us enthusiastic to put on a damp wet suit and jump in the Southern Ocean. In all fairness, by the time we'd got there the sun had burnt off the fog and it was looking a nice clear day. But blow me, as we turned up we saw them handing out cash to the early boat as they'd not been able to find any dolphins and they cancelled our trip.
Secretly relieved not to be swimming, but still pretty gutted we rushed down the road and badgered the whale watch operators and they sorted out an extra boat. With only 9 of us on the boat we had loads of space to see the 3 (unfortunately named) sperm whales and found a pod of about 50 dolphins...typical.
Without a car we've been concentrating on doing more things around Wellington which included a trip to a theatre production in a hotel. You're shown up to the suite and taken through the rooms to the living room. As you go through the bathroom I didn't know where to look when I realised there was a woman lying naked in the bath. well I did know where to look, as Kat was following me closely behind....
I was pretty disppointed that the rest of the play was pretty much fully clothed, but I think I hid it well.
We also went to watch the local sporting teams. Oh yeah, we've seen 'em all lose. The Phoenix (football), Hurricanes (rugby), Saints (basketball) and the Pulse (netball).When you add in watching the English cricket and rugby teams lose then we've been pretty unlucky in following sport. One thing that was strange was going to the netball. I went to the loo beforehand and the toilets were one of those huge places with 20 urinals (nice word that) and it must be the only time I've ever been to a sporting (or any) event and been the only one in there. I spent 5 minutes deciding which one to use!
And that kind of brings us up to today. We've been planning our exit from this place for a while, holding off buying anything for the last couple of weeks and eeking out the oil, vinegar etc. We were just reminiscing about our times here (like Kat going to a moving in party and kicking over and breaking an ornament hand made by the host!) when we had a minor change of heart. Work approached me with an offer of increasing my pay if we returned and that was it for us.So, in a late change of plan we've now decided to head back on out to New Zealand in about a month's time (after Fi & Chris's wedding). The opportunity to put off making all those big decisions about where we'll and live and what we'll do was just too good to miss.
Of course, this does mean that there is still opportunity for you guys to pop on over if any of you fancy a holiday?
You too can appreciate the fact that there are adverts for Massey-Fergusson and sheep drench on prime time TV and help us work out just exactly what is sheep drench? Or peach teats for that matter?
I'd best make a move now, we're off for a cocktail and some posh nosh as a celebration of our last weekend here in a while.
Hope you're enjoying the summer back home and look forward to seeing you all in a few week's time!