Monday, 18 October 2010

Finally, a bit of good luck!

Okay, so while Chris make the sarnies for the day, and Flickr FINALLY uploads the last of our Boston photos (only another 2000 to go then, and when it honestly takes about 4 hours to upload 30 photos you can understand our pain!) I thought I'd write a quick wee update : )

So, as some may know already from facebook, we went ice climbing yesterday on the Franz Josef glacier, which was super tough, but totally worth it. We were both staggering about in a slow, zombified daze in the evening as we were SO knackered, but a trip to the sauna and jacuzzi at our campsite definitely helped : )

The weather at the weekend was totally rubbish, so our original plan to climb on Sunday was scuppered and we had to wait until Monday to see whether we'd even get to go out then. The wind and rain on Saturday night, all of Sunday, and Sunday night was pretty crazy, so we were thinking that our run of bad luck was going to continue, and seeing as you don't rock up to a glacier too often, it would have been a real shame to have to move on without getting to see it. The run of bad luck I refer to was the day and a half long wait to see whales, only to see NONE; the jetboat trip down a stunning river, through an amazing gorge on a sun-baked day that got cancelled due to the boat breaking down; and the awseome looking knife-making that was all booked was an odd week! We have now put it down to the "Good Luck" charm carved necklace I bought last's BAD luck! I took it off on Sunday night and lo and behold, the sun comes out for the ice climbing day and we get to go...and today it's pissing with rain may sound superstitious, but I ain't putting that thing on again!!!

Anyway, it's off to Wanaka today, then Queenstown tomorrow. The weather is supposed to clear up by the end of the week, so hopefully our trip to Milford Sound on Friday will be clear. We've actually been really lucky with the weather the whole time we've been here, so can't really complain about the rain too much: it is Spring here after all. Can't believe we'll be leaving NZ next week, as are very much into the swing of the place now and really enjoying it : )  We have hundreds of STUNNING photos to make you all jealous with, so you can look forward to them appearing, but please for god's sake do NOT hold your breath ; )

Oh, and forgot to mention in previous blog, we've also been zorbing (?!) and have sampled quite vast quantites of wine in Hawkes Bay (North Island) and Marlborough (South Island), so when we get back we shall bore you with our fine tastes and knowledge! Also went on a zip wire thingy across Buller Gorge...not as scary as hoped for, but was given to us free after the JetBoat got cancelled, so was all good!

Right, I think we're ready to depart for the day: just have to tear Chris away from the live UK footie that he's found (it's Monday night for you guys, so we get footie for breakfast on Tuesday morning!)

Love to you all! Eileen x

Thursday, 7 October 2010

The Land of the Long White Cloud...

Hello all!

Sorry it's taken so long to update this, even though we now finally have our own computer on board, we have discovered that New Zealand is in the dark ages when it comes to internet, and it's all still expensive, and there's no free wifi anywhere!!! Except for in the library, which is where we are now, hiding from the incredible winds in Wellington (I'm also slightly hiding from Wellington itself, as it has yet to charm me!)

SO, we've been in New Zealand for the last 2 weeks, starting off in Auckland, which we really liked. It's spring here, but luckily has been sunny for us most of the time. Just before we arrived it had been non-stop rain for 2 weeks, and the South Island had a snow storm or two, but it seems we brought the sun from Fiji with us : )  However, the weather is about to turn, just as we cross on the ferry tomorrow to the South Island, and apparently that crossing is the choppiest straight of water in the world...think I may have to consume an entire packet of sea sickness pills...

So far we've found NZ to look quite similar to home: driving on the same side through lots of rolling green hills, only difference is the odd palm tree that pops up, and the odd spectacular view that presents itself on the other side of a giant hill. We've been all the way over the top of the North Island (Cape Reinga) to see where the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean meet (all swirly!), have seen glow worms in caves, been white water rafting down a 7 metre waterfall, and learned to ski on a volcano, from which you could see the other volcano which a certain hobbit had to chuck a ring into...all very exciting! And although there is a LOT of driving involved, the places we end up seeing make it all worth it, especially at dusk (when we always seem to finally be rolling into places) when the light over lakes and the sea is just unbelievable.

As for our "ride", well, it's nothing like the pimp-mobile we had in America, which had about 1,000 miles on the clock...this anti stud-mobile has over 307, 000 kilometres on the clock, and has probably been around NZ about 400 times, but it starts everytime and goes along just fine, and is slowly winning a sorry little place in our hearts! Am sure by the end of 5 weeks we'll be sad to see old "Boba" go...we have no idea why it's called that: another one we saw was called, "The Hoff": why couldn't we get THAT one and at least have a bit of street cred?! (It seems all drivers immediately assume we're slow because we're a campervan, but old Boba can go just fine, and does NOT appreciate the locals bullying him up the ass at every turn!!! It doesn't help that we're bright orange either...) But we've gotten the hang of living in a very confined space, and no major arguments so far (honest!): you just have to remember to get everything out of the boot or the pantry that you need BEFORE you make up the bed, otherwise it's all underneath you : /

Anyway, what more can I say? We were unsure of NZ when we first arrived, as it felt so like home that we were a bit confused as to what we were here to see (especially after Fiji!) but I think after 2 weeks we've got into the feel of the place and are looking forward to seeing the more dramatic beauty of the South Island. So we've 3 more weeks to go, and if the cost of groceries doesn't bankrupt us, we'll be heading to Oz at the end of October (Chris almost wept at the price of a bag of spinach yesterday!).

So that's all for now I guess: we have about 2000 photos to show you all, but we STILL can't get them to load onto Flickr, which is just ridiculous. Think the internet just isn't as good anywhere as in Britain, so appreciate what you've got over there folks, cos the rest of the world has no idea what they're doing! We are making every effort at every opportunity to get them up for you to see...

Lots of love, Eileen & Chris

P.S. Have killed one Possum so far (that's a good thing here!) but Chris has bought himself a possum pelt which he has named Nathaniel. He is rather taken with it, so if anything is going to come between us in this relationship, it may very well be Nathaniel...