A Travellerspoint blog

love like you've never been hurt cont...

sunny

So on Wednesday I sunbathed for a while, despite it being cloudy, and read a load of trashy magazines which Nash brings back from the lodge for Amy. There was one there from November 2006!! Anyway, Nashy got back from work around 1ish and shortly after Reba came and picked us up in the lodge van while doing a town run (picking up the people who stay at the lodge from town) and dropped us off at the beach. I had a chat to Matt on the beach before wandering about following Nash and getting some snaps of her surfing. Reba came back and joined Nash and so did Colin after he finished teaching all the little kids to surf. Got some more snaps, also nearly soaked my camera after walking too far near the tide when a GIANT wave came in and flooded me despite my attempts to run away. I keep being told I need to go out and surf, I will do it soon, just its been a bit cloudy and scary looking. Plus theres been a lot of mention of sharks, such as Nash and Amys next door neighbour (a Maori girl) saying that you can feel the sharks in the bay when they swim under your canoe... this is the same bay Amy goes for swims in, eek. So anyway, after Nash was finished Colin loaded her board on top of his car and drove us back to Nashs, via the dvd store to pick up Hot Fuzz and Blood Diamond. Nash cooked thai chicken curry for dinner which was goood, although slightly mis-judged the rice and we ended up with enough to feed India. Colin then drove us over to his house, which is shared with 3 other guys. I think its Mikes cousin or someones house, or at least they own it, and its going to be knocked down but for now the guys are living in it. Its pretty cool cos its really pretty big and nice. Anyway, watched those two dvds, Hot Fuzz just as funny as the first time, Colin and Mike (being Californians) saying that, 'wow you British people can actually be funny huh?' Then Colin drove me and Nashy home and Colin and me kissed.

Thursday was pretty similar during the day, another day of chilling and beach trip. Colin came round in the evening and hung out with Nashy and me, until Amy came home and Nash and her played hacky sack. Hacky sack is apparently big in the US as well as N.Z. Basically its a small ball filled with rice which you have to kick up with your feet, kicking it to the other person whenever. Its really really addictive.

On Friday Colin drove me up to Auckland. Think we arrived about 3ish and had a wander about. Went into this huuge music store which was cool, it even had tapes for Colins car, haha. We found a book on Bansky as well, who Colin saw an exhibition on in California (as did Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, I read that in one of the trashy magazines) which I'm mucho jealous about. I only discovered Bansky a few months ago. -- There is a really annoying woman sitting behind me who is talking out loud to the computer and is driving me crazy ahhhhh -- Then we went up to K street (it actually has proper name but I can't remember it because its a long Maori name and its just known as K) where Colin knew a good Indian place where we got this combo thing which was soo good. Then we went to Base and I checked in and we chilled out watching Sky (thats another thing parents which I'd like to come home to...) for a bit before heading out to a Mexican place for some fahitas. Then Colin left me and drove back to Raglan.

Saturday I got my bus up to Paihia. The first time I didn't book anywhere to stay and I can't find a room anywhere. Anyway I'd spoken to Lynsey (friend from home) and she said there was a room in their dorm thing and so I went back to Base Pipi Patch (where she is staying and working) and got a bed there. I walked into the room and Lynsey was sitting on the bed and was quite surprised to see me, haha. I had mentioned I would probably be up but due to lack of internet and phone I never confirmed, so that was cool. I met her friends from working there; Tom, John, Lou, Anna and some other nice girl whose name I don't know. Lynz showed me the bar and I had a beer while she cooked a BBQ for some people who stay.

Ahh I just wrote up til Monday and it went and deleted from here til then! Ahhggg.

Sunday I wandered into town early. Paihia is smaller than I thought, but really touristy. Theres a beach which runs along the main road, and then a small pier where all the tour boats leave from out to the islands, a few of which you can see from the shore, dotted about in the sea. Took a few snaps and then headed back to the room. I went online and catch up with home and my junk mail and managed to write that previous bit of blog. By that point Lynsey was finished work (cleaning the rooms for her board) and so her, me, Anna and the nice girl went for really good burgers at this bar just down the road. After that Lynz and me got an ice cream and Snickers at the store and went for a walk, chat and catch up along the beach which was nice. Once it started to get dark we headed back because Lynsey was working on the bar that night. I went to the room and watched Greys Anatomy with Lou and Anna.

Monday I caught my bus back down to Auckland. Saying bye to Lynsey wasn't too bad because shes coming down to Raglan on Saturday, so that'll be really good.Its a four hour drive from the Bay of Islands to Auckland so had a nice time listening to my pod. Shame to be sitting on a bus when its so sunny outside but never mind. Had a little cry when Whitney Houston's (cringe) 'I wanna dance with somebody' came on because Kate and me had done our gymnastics show to it all the years ago. I also saw the black and white cows which reminded me of when she told me when she was really little she thought that everywhere she went her black and white cows from the field next to her house followed her, when they were just different cows. And then I remembered when we were chased across a field by a load of sheep while pulling a sledge (it wasn't even snowy) with a tub of frogspawn on it, which was quickly abandoned so we could escape over the fence. I smiled though, because I'll always have the happy memories. I arrived in Auckland around 6 and was keen to check into my room. After waiting in a que for what seemed like ages with my heavy bag on my shoulders I was told that I needed the print of copy of my booking with Expedia, so had to lose my place and go on the computers to get it. I then waited again, and then finally got my key. Got to the room and it hadn't been cleaned! Really angry. I went to reception and told them before going out for a wander to see if any phone stores were open but they weren't. It was 7 by the time I got back but the room was still uncleaned. Went to reception and got some brochures and newspapers and read them on the sofas. It was about 8.30 by the time my room was cleaned. Really annoyed about it, Base is pretty good but thats the second time its happened now and 8.30PM is just taking the piss.

Today I went and got my phone from Vodafone. My number is 02*02918437 (just realised this is a public site, but to those who know me the missing number is the month I was born in) for any who may want it. I've got $15 free credit on it which is nice! Got a few purchases in shops, including another couple hours in Borders where I got two books, which are bloody expensive over here! I paid $26 for a book which is 6.99 quid in the UK! Then bought my bus ticket to Hamilton. Due to my lack of contactability I had to email Nash to tell her and Colin I would be back on Wednesday. Colin had written his email and number on my bus ticket bit of paper but then the driver took it instead of the other ticket and I didn't realise until I was halfway to Paihia, so handily don't have his number. Luckily Nash did check her emails so they know I'm coming. Then went and got lunch in this really nice salad bar just round the corner from Base. You can pick and mix salads and get it in a little cardboard box thing, like for noodles. Since then just wandered a bit more, been online and watched a touch of TV.

Such a relief to be fully up to date again, although going back to Raglan means I probably will fall behind again.

Thanks all for the comments, I will get round to replying at some point but I'm just about cross eyed after all this typing and staring at a PC screen which keeps turning purple (I'm pretty sure thats the screen not my eye sight)! I am now off for some Burger King chips. I know its unhealthy and disgusting but its just over the road and I need to save pennies now I'm here another month or so!

Much love,
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by lil0liz 22:41 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

love like you've never been hurt

sunny

Well I've had a very busy week, as you can tell from the lack of contact!

I left Auckland at 12.30 on Friday, after buying an AMAZING roll in a shop round the corner from me. It had ham, cheese, egg and salad in it and was just amazing. Bus journey to Hamilton was nice, jus watching N.Z go by listening to music. I waited in Hamilton for half an hour before the bus turned up and a whole load of kids got on. At first I thought it was the school bus so ignored it but then a guy with a surf board got on and so I figured... luckily! The drive down to Raglan was so nice. Perfect blue skies and the N.Z scenery, I've totally fallen in love with it again. Its so up and down and rolling hills everywhere. Although this was not so great in a very very old bus whose brakes I didn't entirely trust! A few of the little girls on the bus chatted away to me, telling me what I can do in Raglan, 'umm you can play with your friends, or surf or... umm...' Arrived in Raglan niavely thinking that there would be one bus stop when infact there were about 10. Went all the way to the otherside of the bay without seeing Nash so stayed on until I got back into town and got off there. I was just talking to some guy who was asking if I needed a lift because I looked lost when I saw someone walking towards me and it was Nash! So that was lucky! We then walked back to her house which is about 15 mins away. Her house is so cool! She shares it with Amy who is really nice too so it was all fab.

The next day Amy and me sunbathed on the deck, the weather here is great. Nash got back from work at about 1ish, and shortly after recieved a call from Helen. Helen told us that Kate had just committed suicide, through many tears. Nash and me were really shocked, and it didn't seem real at all. Its been really hard to get a grip on reality and the fact that it has happened when you're so far away from the greif and sadness back home. I think I can speak for Nash too when I say we thought about Kate a lot in those next few days. Having her as one of my best friends I remembered all the happy memories from growing up with her in primary school. I'm really glad that I was here with Nash when we found out, because we've been able to share our thoughts and everything. Over here it really still hasn't sunk in because we're so detached, and you catch yourself having fun and being happy and then remember what has happened and the dread sweeps over you again. Kate was friends with so many people and just such a unique person that so many people will be affected. She will always be remembered. So after finding that out we went down to the pub, Nash and me sitting there fairly silent, just brewing. We were joined by Bess and Brendon, an American couple who work at the lodge were Nash used to stay and works. It was a nice chilled evening in the sun, with a lot of thinking and sharing.

On Monday it was Nashs birthday, although the mood wasn't really set for celebrating. Once she got home from work her boss Erin drove us to the beach and Nash went surfing. I met some more people from the lodge, Carmen, Matt, Reba and Amy. Also got some snaps of Nash in the water. After that Erin drove us all back to town to the Tongue and Groove - one of the many amazing little cafes in the tiny town centre. She bought platters of food which the chef cooked up especially for her, as well as 6 bottles of champagne to celebrate Nashs birthday. Once we were almost done with all that she asked Nash what her fravourite drink was and I mentioned that Nash used to drink Tennents and fanta back home so Erin dragged me off to the booze store next door and we bought Grolsch (no Tennents for some reason?? haha) and fanta, and then loads of bags of crisps and sweets. She said we were set up for a party then, and I was just amazed. I said she was really generous, and she said 'its nothing if it makes someone happy, if you give then you recieve' I just said still not enough people do it and it was a very nice thing to do. After dropping all that off back with everyone at the table she drove me back to her house near the lodge to get the 'flimsonator' - her small old car. She said I could drive Nash back home and then drive her to work the next day so she wouldn't have to get up too early! Amazing person. So then Nash, Amy (a different Amy who was staying at the lodge) and me went back to the house. After chatting to Amy for a bit I found out that she went to Oxford Brookes to do business! Crazy, so had a good chat to her about that. Later on Bess, Brendon, Matt, Carmen, Amy and Travis all turned up and we had a pretty good night.

Nash woke me up at 7 the next day to go to work with her. We got in the car and it wouldn't start, just turning over. Erin had said it just needs warming up in the morning so we kept trying but it wasn't working, and a man came out of his house in the opposite gully and was looking about for where the noise was coming from so Nash went into the house to get Amy, who magically got it to start. Turns out you need to press the gas when you turn it on. The lodge is up on the hill, 'the sleeping lady' or Karioi. It was like a jungle tree house with all the rooms kind of in the rock and stuff, really cool. Later on Nash and me played pool and I won!! Whoo, haha. I also got filmed by some reality TV crew who were there whilst watching Spongebob Square Pants with two little kids... hmm bit embarresing... After work we sat in the Tongue and Groove having curly fries and cake with Reba for hours! Colin and Mike (two other friends) turned up in between for a chat too. Eventually we dragged ourselves up and I bought a steak pie in the bakery (was craving) and Nash got a vegetable pie and we walked home. Even after sitting on our arses for so long we got back to Nashs and watched TV all evening until a scary film called Wolf Creek (about three backpackers who get lost/killed in the Oz outback, how appropriate...) came on and we chickened out and Reba left. Nash and me then made pasta with veggies and sauce plus the magic ingredient of smiley faces.

Posted by lil0liz 17:09 Archived in New Zealand Comments (1)

photos...

sunny

Either travellerspoint sucks or I can't work it. I think its the former, but anyway, I need to fiddle with it but I've been on for ages already so I'll try again tomorrow. For now you can have these few...

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Posted by lil0liz 19:35 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

oh I do like to be beside the seaside

sunny

Arrived in Auckland safe and sound and sleepy. Auckland airport is nice! Just the right size, and then stepping outside was wierd because I remember it from all the years ago. Got the express bus easy peasy, was actually asked for advice from 2 other travellers on what bus they should get, I gave them answers, but do I look like a wealth of information or something? And do people have no common sense at all? Anyway, the drive into Auckland was nice, I felt safe and comfortable which is not something I've felt when travelling into the unknown. So once arrived at the hostel all I wanted to do was check into my room and fall fast asleep because by that point I'd only slept 2 hours out of 24. But the room wasn't ready and I couldn't check in until 1pm!! So put my luggage in storage and had to while my hours away somewhere. I was starving and saw a Wendys Burger place (I keep walking past it now and thinking to myself, what was I thinking???) so went and had a chicken burger which was really satisfying. I then fell upon a Borders book store which looked tiny from the outside but opened up into this huge 4 storey store! So had a sit down in one section and read cover to cover firstly 'New New Zealand Houses' which consisted of architectural drawings and photos of very boring, dab modern architecture; all concrete and glass and corrogated iron whcih they seem to like over here. And then I found a Postsecret book - jackpot! So went through that too. Then wandered down to the travel section and had a flick through different European books as I think I'm coming home for April so I can do Europe. Yeah so by that point it was nearly 1 and I went back to the hostel and got into my uncleaned room. I was getting really grumpy and annoyed by this point but dumped my stuff and went out to a cafe round the corner (they have so many nice cafes around here, much fewer Starbucks, and yeah Matthew I felt guilty about not going to nice cafes and feeding the Starbucks piggybank in N.Y but I think they have shut down almost every coffee house because I could find hardly any) and had chocolate cake and pot of tea. Also went up to the bus station which is below sky tower and booked my ticket to Hamilton for Friday. I remember the sky hotel too from when we stayed there. Finally by about 2.30 my room was ready and I went to sleep. Didn't do much in the evening when I woke up, just had a shower and watched a bit of TV.

Today I went to Auckland Art Gallery and saw really quite a good exhibition by Laurence Aberhart. Lots of silver gelatin prints which I loooove. They're so spooky and brooding and magical at the same time. Then took a wander down to the harbour and walked miles out of town in search of the luxury yachts, to no avail. But I did take some nice photos. AND I CAN UPLOAD THEM! Whoo! Gonna do that now, theres 529 so I don't think they're all gona go up, depends how longs its gona take me. Although the internet is blissfully cheap and fast here! I like Auckland though, and today it was sunny and its such a nice temperature; not sticky and humid but still warm and sunny. It smells nice too, of summer evenings.

much love
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by lil0liz 18:41 Archived in New Zealand Comments (1)

morality for beautiful girls

overcast

My waterproof camera has relapsed for a third time, the stupid little shutter has broken. The night before I went to Aitutaki too, so no more pictures of fish.

So on Thursday I took my car back, which was a bit of a shame but never mind. I also made friends with the little boy staying in the pool unit, he must be 7 or 8 I guess. He has a toy called Venom (from Spiderman 3) who unfortunatly got left in Banana Court in town. He also asked about my piercing (hes not very shy) and I had to explain what it was, which was interesting, haha. My piercing is, for those of you who thought I should have taken it out, thriving in the sea salt water and sunshine.

Got up at 6am on Friday (the earliest morning yet!) and got driven to the airport by a London taxi driver. In Rarotonga. What are the chances? He said how he much prefers it here because everyone is friendly and when he goes back to London noone has the time of day to talk to each other in shops. Anyway, I then checked in and was given the advice of 'watch out for the Aitutaki boys, they are animals' by the check in guy. I boarded my plane and arrived in Aitutaki 45 minutes later, to their very cute tiny little hut which equates to the airport. The guy from the bungalows was late in picking me up 'the car has broken down and I had to find my grandmother who had the rental car keys and then I cut my foot...' so I was standing about in this little airport just wondering what was going on. Anyway, I got my flowery necklace and was taken to my LOVELY wooden bungalow on stilts on the beach. I dropped my stuff off and then Solo took me round to the 'town', I asked him why all the houses (or most of them) are on stilts and he explained it was because its cheaper than getting loads of concrete in for foundations. Interesting! Haha, anyway he took me round to the harbour where I got put on a boat with; one New Zealand couple celebrating their 10 year anniversary, one New Zealand honeymoon couple, one swiss couple, one British couple from London and one very eccentric old German woman who was dating the Captain - Captain Fantastic (as he called himself). So we sped across the HUGE lagoon, with crystal clear water showing all the coral. We stopped briefly at the ship wreck from 1930 where there are a load of Model T Fords kicking about. Then we went a bit further out and snorkelled. Saw loads of huge clams with pretty purple and white patterns inside them as well as multicoloured little fish which were really pretty. Also, a Parrotfish, which is kind of whitey silver with purple looking dots on it. It saw around me and then I saw a load of them headless on the back of the boat which Captain Fantastic had just caught for lunch. We stopped on Honeymoon Island which is where couples on their honeymoon are meant to find coconuts and plant them on the beach, so it is covered in loads of baby coconut trees. So two of the couples did that. Then we had lunch in a little hut on the beach. We had the Parrotfish which was really really nice, with bread and butter as well as a million different types of fruit. I also got my passport stamped here for One Foot Island and Honeymoon Island! Then we got back on the boat and stopped off on One Foot and then Shark Island from Shipwrecked! The tables were still there and it was wierd, like walking on a TV set! Could see Tiger Island opposite. I duno how they made them look like they were in the middle of nowhere because they're both surrounded by all the other little motus! So after my little cruise I was driven back to my bungalow where I had an AMAZING shower in my nice clean, modern bathroom, haha. After that I went down to Pacific Resort for a meal and island night show. Was a bit pricey... to say the least! I had chicken spring rolls with vegetables to start which was fab, and then a HUGE bit of steak on really creamy garlic mash with salad which was the best thing I have eaten in agges, been craving steak big time! I had a pinot noir with that which turned out to be a bad decision because it was a bit sharp for my liking but it was bareable! For pudding I had chocolate mud cake and homemade ice cream which was bliss but I nearly didn't finish it because I was so full! Crazy!! The dancing at this island night was wayy better than on Rarotonga. And the drumming and singing was live and so much better, there was this huge old woman (who reminded me a bit of the grandmother from Belleville Rendez Vous) beating a drum made from what looked like an overturned barrel. I then got dragged up to dance (I was planning on saying no but I got asked by this little 8 year old boy who I couldn't really refuse) which involved me having to attempt to hula dance with the little boy in the centre on my own while everyone watched!! Its good that by this point I had had a few drinks!! It was fun though, and lots of other people had to too so that eased the embarresment, haha. I kept occasionally feeling guilty for spending so much for that night (it was $87 in total)or whenever I treat myself but then I remember I have worked my arse off and I'd rather spend the money over here on things I like and will enjoy so there, justified! So afterwards I went to reception so they could call Solo and he came and picked me up, and while we were leaving the resort gates he asked, 'Lizzie you drive?' and I said, 'yes...' and then he turned the wrong way down the road, and I was thinking, what is going on, where is he taking me? After a while we pulled into a petrol station and he pulled up and said, 'okay Lizzie if you could just drive the van back so I can take my moped back up, just follow behind me.' and I was like, whattttttttttt. Anyway, I climbed into the van (the size of a people carrier, nothing like my little fiesty or micra!) and stuck it into drive and followed him 10 minutes back along the road, whilst still slightly tipsy! But I don't imagine these things really matter much on Aitutaki; no insurance, drink driving...

So on Saturday I had a rather rubbish day as it rained lots and lots and lots. It passed by about 4 so I went to lie on my beach but it was a bit of a dissapointing day. Was taken to the airport at about half 6 where I met the 10year NZ couple at the airport, Vanessa and Tim. They were with a very posh London couple who they introduced me too and I had a brief convo with them, the husband yaaing away about his son living in Edinburgh and then moving to NZ but how he would move back to Edinburgh if he ever came back. I had a really nice long chat with Vanessa in the airport though, shes really nice, they mustn't be very old, I reckon mid 30s or so.

On Sunday I met Matt (who arrived very late Sat night) who is a medical student studying at Oxford and is doing a bit of work at the hospital here as part of a 10 week work thing the uni lets them do, hes already been working in Sydney. Hes really interesting and we had very long conversation last night, v friendly n funny so thats been good company. Also gave me lots of Oxford tips, and said that theres a 24 hour bus to and from London for 8 quid return, which rocks! So thats all been cool.

Today I've not done much; walked into town and bought postcards and stamps and met Tim and Vanessa who were sitting in a cafe with another woman having a 'business meeting' as Tim called it, because he works in some kind of importing exporting thing from NZ to here. So that was nice, I've bumped into them so many times I'm half expecting to see them when I'm in Auckland too! After I left them I had a wander around all the pearl stores (of which there are many) and then finally settled on a very thin silver band with a small grey/green/purple pearl on it which is lovely.

Just finished packing, much to the amusement of Matt. Lucky for me my bag seems to be rather stretchy and so I've just about crammed everything into it. Just. No more shopping for moi! So I'm all packed, ready to be taken by my London cabbie to the airport at 2am tomorrow morning ( Tuesday the 4th and I arrive in Auckland on Wednesday the 5th because of the date line, I think this may confuse me a little) so I don't think I'll bother going to sleep, just stay up and read. I've got two days in Auckland and then on Friday I'm gona get a bus down to Raglan to see Nash! Very exciting.

Much love,
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by lil0liz 19:53 Archived in Cook Islands Comments (3)

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