A Travellerspoint blog

the hardest thing

overcast

The next day Colin and me went for breakfast and wandered about Auckland. We went back to the shop we saw the night before and got chatting to a guy there who turned out to go to uni with Alex and had come down to Raglan a few times. After a while we ran out of things to do and the weather was still awful and raining so we went to a Starbucks and met Nash. Colin introduced me to a Chai Tea Latte which was really good! Anyway, once about 2 o clock came around we headed out into the rain; Colin went to get the car and I went to get my bag out of baggage storage at the hostel. Nash and me waited under an overhang outside a shop while the rain really chucked it down before we piled into Colins car. We then had to try and find the motorway, which every other time has been perfectly simple but this time was impossible. I was turning the map every which way and the window wipers were flicking side to side at full speed trying to clear the rain and failing. Eventually we got on the '1' which was the right road, just the wrong direction, so we turned around and eventually got going the right way. I kept seeing signs for Auckland airport, 10km, 5km, 2km... the closer we got the harder it was for me to not get upset and teary, it was awful. After no time at all Colin pulled in at the drop off point and Nash got out and gave me a hug, I just sobbed like an idiot, haha, and then Colin put my bag on my back and gave me a kiss and then I walked off into the airport. Once standing in the check-in que, still with tears rolling down my cheeks, I realised I left my phone in Colins car. That just made me even more sad. It all just really sucked! Anyway, I got my ticket, went through security, sat around, emailed Colin, went to the departure gate and sat there. All the time just with wet eyes. I think leaving Raglan and then finally New Zealand was the hardest thing I've had to do. It was such a great community down there, life was how I've wanted it to be for years. I'm so happy to have had that perfect time there, because its made my trip even better. But I'm so gutted that even if I went back things would never be exactly the same. Leaving Nash was hard because I don't know when I'll see her next, probably not for another year and we had such a great time just chilling out at her house with cups of tea and good N.Z TV. And then leaving Colin was just crazy hard because I don't know when, if I ever will, see him again, and thats really tough because we really clicked. But we'll see, theres nothing to be done right now. The flight was fine, I was sat to a nice old lady, and as we came into land over Sydney we flew over the Opera House and Harbour Bridge which was really cool. I quickly figured out I needed to get the train into central Sydney so caught that, then it was a short walk to my hostel room. By then I was pretty knackered so emptied things out of my bag and then went to bed.

In the morning I noticed my throat was a bit more sore but igorned it. My ears had also popped on the plane when we went up and didn't unpop when we came back down so I could hardly hear, which was a tad inconvenient. Anyway, I left the hostel and walked towards the botanic gardens. Once there I spotted a nice little cafe outside so sat down for a bowl of museli with yogurt. It was brought over to me and all was fine until I raised the spoon to put it in my mouth and in half of the reflection I saw a black dot with lines, like legs, coming out of it. I dropped the spoon into my bowl in shock thinking it was a spider (I think I was on edge because Matt (who I met in the Cooks) had said there were a lot of giant spiders kicking about the botanic gardens). After sifting about in my bowl very cautiously I decided it wasn't there. So went to put another mouthful in when I saw it again, I was about to recoil again but then looked up and realised what I was seeing as a spider in my spoon was actually the reflection of the giant umbrella above me and the spikes holding the material up were the spiders legs. I felt very silly. After all that I carried on my walk to the harbour and once there went around to the Opera House, which was kind of cool but not staggering, for some reason I didn't find it all that fab. Anyway after the mandatory photographs I walked around the harbour to the bottom of the bridge where I saw a load of crazy people walking over the bridge. Crazy, crazy people. Few more pictures taken before I headed back. Along my way I came upon the Museum of Contemporary Art, which was free! Well theres nothing I love more than a free art gallery! The exhibition downstairs was by Fiona Hall which was very good. All based around the effects man is having on the world, global warming and things like that, expressed in a really clever way. Then upstairs there was an exhibition on Californian Art which just made me think of Colin, but was also pretty good. Once I left the gallery it started really chucking it down with rain so I put my jacket on and made a dash for the nearest train station before catching one up to my stop, saving myself the half hour walk in the rain. I grabbed a pasta salad at the station and then went back to the hostel. I went online and updated up until Auckland and then went up to the room for my dinner. I changed into my pyjamas rather early planning to just chill in my room before going to sleep, however there was a knock at the door. I thought maybe I should throw something else on so I didn't look like I was ready for bed at 5 or 6, whatever the time was. But I didn't really have anything to hand so just opened the door. There on my doorstep was guy holding a tray of shots and a girl who said, "Hiiii, why don't you come downstairs for some drinks, tonight is pyjama night, oh and you're in your pyjamas so you're all set..." They were so bloomin enthusiastic that I had to take one of the shots and promised I might consider coming down for them to leave me alone. Very amusing, anyway needless to say I didn't go down due to feeling ill, tired and Raglan home-sick.

The next day I woke up with my throat even worse than the day before, swallowing was ridiculously sore and no amount of water was making it go away. I decided to look down my throat with the torch and afterwards wished I hadn't. I had very swollen toncils and there were big pussy spots on them like ulcers. I did not feel like getting out of bed at all. But I had to check out of my room into a dorm because there was no space, so at 10 I went to check out and got to check into my new room luckily not having to wait until 2pm. I went online to try and find out what was wrong with me and read a few things about throat ulcers which told me to avoid spicy or sweet food, alcohol and gargle with tea tree or salt water. After that i decided to get some breakfast before going back to bed, so I went around the corner to a cafe place where a nice man said I looked very fresh, which was very nice considering I felt like I had just been scraped off the road! He asked where I was from once he heard my accent and I said Edinburgh. He said, oh well thats funny I used to work there, at that new complex, whats it called... I suggested the Omni, and he said that was it, he worked in the restaurant La Tasca, I said I knew it, that I had actually eaten there just before I left for my trip. Its such a small world. Anyway I had a toasted bagel with cream cheese and salmon which was yummy, although I didn't manage it all as it started to scrape my throat. Once back at the room I met one of the girls in my room. She was from Canada and on her way to New Zealand. She was a bit shy so we didn't talk much, I curled up in bed and read for a while before having a nap. Later on I went out on a quest to find orange juice. I did that and went back to the room and read more. Another girl came into the room who was nice. She was an Ozzie who worked as a legal researcher/ski instructor/nanny which seemed really cool because she said she could get work anywhere she liked and travel all over the place. Anyway she went out and I tried to get to sleep early as I had an early morning.

The next day I woke up on the last of 3 alarms on my ipod (which at that point was my only way of setting alarms, not entirely effective due to the tiny short alarm goes off through my earphones, hardly loud enough) but atleast I woke up. I got up (this was at 5am) grabbed my bag and went down to reception where I was told I needed my pillowcase. Typically my room was on the 6th floor and being in a hurry to get the train to the airport and running late already I didn't wait for the slow lift and ran up 6 flights with my throat dry as sand paper. Once I finally checked out I quick walked to the station. My ticket on the way from the airport had been a couple of dollars so when I used the ticket machine and it told me I owed it $15 I think it must have had some kind of tourist censor that it could tell it could rip me off. Anyway with no choice and luckily just enough cash (I literally had $1 left after that) on me I got the ticket and went through. I thought it'd be fine finding the platform as I'd worked it all before but after trying 3 different platforms saying 'airport' I gave up and marched up to a cleaner or someone and asked him which one it was. He said he thought I was looking for the airport and told which one it was. I went down and 2 minutes later the train arrived and on I got, relieved to finally be a bit closer to resting and getting a drink at the airport. I got to check in (which was nicely the furthest away desk from where I entered) and gave the lady my ticket while dropping my bag. She tapped away as they do and then asked me if I had anything else, another ticket, that she couldn't do it with the bit of paper. I told her rather crankily that I had flown half way around the world with that 'bit of paper' and it would work. She turned out to be a beginner and the girl next to her had to do it for her. Anyway, once all that was done I got a bottle of water, drank half of it and then realised I had to go through security and leave the other half of it. Anyway the plane was brand new and I had loads of room plus it was a Singapore Airlines flight and they are the best yet who I've flown with, really good service. Also, I watched Juno which I think is the best film I've seen all year. For those who don't know its about a 16 year old girl who gets pregnant and decides to give the baby to a married couple who she gets to know. The actress who played Juno was so good though, and such a good character. Really loved it. Once in Singapore I had a little time and discovered a Tiffany there so went in and tried on a load of bracelets and looked at pens just for fun and the sales lady did look bored, haha. After that I caught my flight to Bangkok, where I met my mum at the baggage reclaim. It was really great seeing her, when I landed at Bangkok I had such a big grin on my face just thinking I would see her there. We booked a taxi for 1,200 baht (we later found out that it actually costs about 300 baht to get from the hotel to the airport) and got to our nice hotel. After a good catch up and some dinner we both went to sleep very quickly, completely exhausted.

Posted by lil0liz 15:47 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Williams Wish Wellingtons

rain

After the last posting Reba and me headed back to Tahuna and I read Rolling Stone in the hammock before going with Cam, Colin and Wes to Manu Bay to watch them surf and see an amazing sunset. It was raining in the distance so looked like giant curtains of purple pink light falling over the sea, really magic.

Wednesday started off with a lack of enthusiasm for leaving for up north but slowly turned around. By 2 we were all packed up and ready to go. I had to say bye to Cam as he was leaving for a wedding on Saturday and not back before I left. That was really sad as it was the beginning of the goodbyes and Cam is really cool. I'll always remember him dancing, he was a really crazy dancer, just standing there on his own most of the time flailing his arms about the place and managing to actually look cool doing it. He got so sweaty too, one time he was talking to a girl with Colin and me after a mammoth session and said, yeah someone lent me this shirt and its all covered in sweat, isn't that disgusting? He was cool. Anyway, off we went, winding our way up to Mangawhai Heads on the East coast. By this time it was 6.30 and dark and we had to find somewhere to stay. We pulled into a caravan/camping park and Colin and Mike went into the office to get a camping spot just for two people while Reba and me hid in the car (the back windows are blacked out so it wasn't too hard). Once that was done we cruised about trying to find a spot to pitch the tent. There were rows and rows of caravans with little tents attached to the side and we figured it might be a better idea to upgrade to one of them instead. So Colin went back into the office where the guy said to him, its nothing much you know, no big American thing or anything... We hired 'Columbus' which was a lovely little caravan and tent, very cosy. Colin however said it was the perfect setting for a horror film. I told him to shh. Once we settled in we had some bread, well, rather a lot of bread and dip and other bits of food we'd brought with us whilst drinking one bottle of red wine and a shot or two of Jaggermiester. For some reason we all got really quite drunk and giggly while sitting at our little table in our little caravan. I don't think I've laughed so much in ages. All at really little silly things, I was about to describe some but I think its a you-had-to-be-there situation. By 8 we were all very tired (possibly from laughing so much, who knows but I could hardly keep my eyes open) and so went to sleep.

Due to our rediculously early night we woke up very early at 7. Having arrived in the dark, Reba and me went for a wander down to the beach shore opposite a very big sand bank/dune while Colin and Mike went to scout out waves a bit further around the coast. Once packed up again we drove around to the surfing point but it was too small for Colin and Mike to appriciate and Reba decided against it. We hit the road again and drove forevvvvvver. We were still hoping to hit the very tip and Cape Reinga but it takes so long to drive on the windy roads that it was impossible. So anyway, we drove almost all the way along the coast. We stopped a few times, once where they nearly surfed but decided it was a bit mean and rubbish looking (at Elliot Bay). It was also really cloudy and looked thundery so wasn't very appealing. They later concluded it would have been the best place to catch some waves. After that we headed up to Russell, which used to be the hell hole of the pacific with pirates but now is a favourite spot with old retired people. It was nice, especially so because it was sunny. Once seeing a lot of the Bay of Islands, allbeit from the car window we got the ferry to Paihia where we got burgers at Beachfront, the place I'd gone with Lynsey. Back on the road again we went in search of another surf spot. It was off the beaten track, and along a dirt track. We drove up and down for ages before deciding that the road to the beach had been turned into a private track which now had very big gates blocking it. The map was 2008 published which was a bit wierd but anyway, it was starting to get too dark so we gave up. I'll just mention now that Colin and Mike were nearly useless at map reading, and it fell to Reba, but mostly me to direct us about the place when needed. We were now searching again for somewhere to stay, I saw the wreck of the rainbow warrior on the map so we headed up there and along a road called million dollar view, which really it was, until you got to the bottom of the hill. Down there we found what looked like an abandoned yet in use caravan pack, one caravan was split in half, with the open half facing the sky. The trees were sparsly laid out and it looked very un-N.Zish. I said it looked like the perfect set up for a horror film. Anyway, after driving a bit along the shore we pulled into a slightly better looking caravan park. Colin and me pitched the tent while Mike and Reba made their bed in the car. We all then went and made chicken sandwiches with provisions we'd picked up in Kerikeri earlier. They were sooo good. Then we went and chilled out in the car which was really cool now, like a magic little den. We went for a (short) walk along the beach, further elaborating our horror film script. Once back my mum called and then we went to sleep. It was about 9.30, haha.

In the morning I had a shower with my paper shampoo which Ellie gave to me, many thanks, it actually worked a charm! Then went for a walk up to the raindow warrior memorial on the top of a big hill. Once back down played frisbee with Reba and then we all had some breaky. It was a lovely morning again. The days are like this now, Colin described it as summers last gasp, its got enough sunshine for the morning with blue skies, but by about midday it turns cloudy and a bit colder. Once we left for the road again we decided to give up on the tip of N.Z, as it would have taken way too long on Saturday to drive back, and Colin and Mike wanted to be back in reasonable time as it was Justins birthday. After driving for a while we fell upon some national park which Mike had mentioned wanting to see. Its the home of Tane Mahuta, the biggest tree in N.Z. It was a pretty darn big tree. I said it would be really cool to have a very big tree house at the top of it. It was also home to a load of kiwis, but we didn't see them. After that we headed down and back to the coast, this time on the West Side. We got to Aranga beach which we could drive down, thanks to Mike having 4 wheel drive. Colin tried to suggest that his car could do it too but I said it would probably shake itself to death on the track down the beach before hitting the sand. Anyway, after zooming along that like we were advertising Subaru, they finally pulled the boards off the top and headed out for a surf. Although I don't think they actually caught many waves, it was so messy I could hardly see them half the time. They weren't out very long as we thought the tide was coming in and we were still parked on the beach. As it turns out it wasn't, but never mind. We drove a bit further down the coast (we could have gone all the way on the beach but weren't sure about the tides well enough to risk it) to Dargaville where we filled up with petrol before heading a bit back the way to Baylys Beach. We stayed in a caravan/hut/camping ground. We got a little hut thing each, for some reason they gave us two opposite each other by about 20m. That was funny, don't know why they weren't just next door. Anyway, we made friends with the cat, played frisbee, went for another drive on the beach where Mike did a few handbrake turns and more zooming about. Then we went for someting to eat in the only place to eat, Funky Fish. It was about 6 then and the place was empty but the lady said, oh sorry we're all booked up till 8.30 so would you like to come back then? We kind of agreed and walked out. Mike thought she maybe had something against Americans, I thought she was taking the piss at first. But anyway, we went to a bar/greasy takeaway meanwhile and chatted to a local couple while having a few beers. Eventually it came to 8 and we headed around to Funky Fish. Which was TOTALLY worth the wait. It was more of a resturant than we though but soo good. I had beer fried fish and chips which were amazing. We were all very satisfied after that and headed back to our little huts around 10ish, our latest night yet, haha!

We drove home on Saturday for Justins birthday and the party. I headed into town with Reba to meet Nash in the afternoon and we chilled at Tongue and Groove for a bit before getting some booze and going back to Tahuna. We had a fire 'pit' (actually a very shallow little groove in the ground which Alex and Colin claimed really knackered them out) with a bonfire in. Colin, Mike, Reba and me chilled in the garage for a while. People very slowly arrived, but it wasn't until 10 or 11 that most people were there. In our 'ballroom' we had one of the guys friends DJing and loads of dancing. We did lots of dancing. At one point there was a kind of dance off with people doing robotic dancing which then turned into miming playing hakey sack - kicking it up with their foot, onto the knee, then dropped onto the neck, down the back, over the head, rolled down the chest... Really funny, cool stuff. Really great night, just made me love Raglan and all its people even more. Got loads of really good pictures of everyone.

On Sunday I was VERY hungover, not cool. I think it was because I was drinking rum in pina coladas as well as beer... not a good mix. Anyway, Colin dragged me to the Harbour View with Mike, Reba and Justin for some breakfast, which I wish I wasn't so hungover for as it would have been even better, although it was pretty good anyway. Like a full english breaky, which I haven't had in sooo long. We then hired some dvds, well, Colin did, while I sat and mourned my head feeling so bad on the floor. Then we headed over to JDs/Corbos/Justins and watched Zoolander, which was funny. Mona was there too and I'm still in love with her although shes getting bigger by the day. This time JD was atcually there, and so so was Summer the dog. Mona and Summer aren't yet quite friends. They watch each other constantly, sometimes Mona will arch her back, Summer seems to be a bit scared of her, despite her being so tiny. Anyway, after Zoolander we went to the bakery and they all got food. My hangover was nearly wearing off. Colin bought me a cookie man because I like my cookie men. Once back we watched Eastern Promises which was a bit gorry to say the least. Still good though. Oh, we were watched dvds all day because it was pissing it down with rain. Anyway once it was really quite late we went home and chilled for a bit. Tears beginning to kick in, as that was my last day in Raglan.

Monday Colin and me headed up to the lodge so I could update my ipod with music like Nash said, without deleting my stuff. Sadly due to my ipod being newer Apple must have caught onto this being able to be done and it didn't work. I wiped my photos to get hers of the party, but left my music. Then I said bye to Reba. Colin, Debs, Nash and me went back to Tahuna to finally get my things. I said bye to Debs, Mike and Phil. It was so crazy, I kept wanting to say, cya later or something but I didn't know when if ever I'll see any of them again. It really sucked. I hated leaving the house, it really has been home. Anyway, off we set with Nash to Auckland. It was raining again, Debs said because I was leaving. It was so sad. Once we got up there Colin and me dropped Nash off at her hostel, just around the corner from ours. Getting the room was a hassle, I swear Base is a hassle every time. The printer wasn't working and I had to print my expedia reciept, my credit kept running out so I tried 3 times before just asking the guy at the desk to do it on his computer. We got given the key for 1002 but on a 1004 tag, and out of 3 lifts only 1 works to the 10th floor. Just a pain. Anyway, once in we went out again and went to see Vantage Point with Nash. It was pretty rubbish, it repeated but slightly different like 5 times. After that we got burgers at Burger Fuel on Queen St, right next to us were solvent abusers sniffing from plastic bags hidden under their jackets. Just blindingly obvious on Aucklands biggest street. Crazy. Anyway, then Nash went to her hostel and Colin and me went to see if we could find any bars but failed. We did find a nice shop on High St though to look at the next day when it was open. We ended up just headed back to the hostel and watched the beginning of The Next King of Scotland which was kinda good.

Posted by lil0liz 23:57 Archived in New Zealand Comments (1)

any colour you like

semi-overcast

I missed out Saturday on my last entry, and it was a relatively big day in Raggers so best mention it.

That morning I was online, so thats when I did the big update. I then went to the beach as Colin was hanging out with Mike and his mum. I got eaten alive by sandflies (who for some reason that day were feeling really hungry) which turned into a massacre with dead flies all over my towel. I eventually gave up and went to the point (a kind of look out over the beach which is very pretty) and sat in the car and read for a bit before heading back to the house. Chilled out for a bit at the house and had some amazing beer fried chips with Phil and his girlfriend Gypsy outside in the garden which was nice. Later on Mike, Mikes mum, Reba, Colin and me went to the Harbour View hotel/pub on the main street for some munch. Mike ordered mussels and I had one, one of the many new things I have eaten on this trip, my new tastes include; onions, parrotfish, pumpkin, mushrooms, and a whole load of other things which I can't remember right now. Anyway, after some seafood chowder (that was pretty good too) Mike drove his mum back and we all chilled at the pub and then went through to the sports bar where The Midnights were playing. All the music here is reggae and ska, which is fun, it fits into Raglan perfectly, just chilled out and relaxed. Its so nice being here because I have nothing to worry about at all, everythings perfect and stressfree. Its going to be really hard leaving.

Now I have to tackle the whole of this week, I've started writing this at 11.35am so lets see what time it is when I finish...

Monday was pretty boring as it rained for once. The lands so dry around here it was actually nice to have some rain. I went for a run and luckily got in just before it really started throwing it down. Colin was at work so I just chilled out with some music and watched a 70s show on my ipod. I wandered around the corner to the takeaway and got some chips as I was a bit peckish and met Colin, Nash and Reba on my way back and they were going into town for food so I went avec them. We went to the butchers too and got some mince to make burgers out of as Bess (have I mentioned her before? She works at the lodge) had her dad and sister staying and was having a BBQ at the Lava Lounge (a small apartment kind of thing which is run by Karioi) that night. Once we got back home Mike made the burgers and we went to pick Nash up and then went round. It was a nice night with the normal Raglan crew. Scotty (another person, hes Scottish though) found out that I was born in England and looked very dissappointed and just said, I don't know what to think now... it was very funny. The food was amazing, everyone had brought something so we all got stuffed.

On Tuesday Colin left early to take Bess, Brendon, Bess's dad and sister to the airport and it was cloudy again so a pretty boring morning. Gypsy came into the kitchen and gave me a pair of her loose brown 3/4s as she had no space in her bag for them which was cool, they'll be prefect for Asia. Once Colin got back we watched The Flight of the Conchords with Mike and Reba which was funny, although Mike decided it was even funnier after a few beers later on. We then took the boat out at about 5 or 6ish and went for a cruise about which was cool because Raglan has so many little bays and nooks and crannies. We went over to the pancake rocks too (they just look like stacked pancakes hence the name) and pulled the boat up in this little cave thing and had an explore over the rocks. Cruised about a bit more until we started heading back and the sun was setting and it was very pretty, really amazing sunset. It was red, yellow, pink, purple, blue, black... Once back on dry land we went and had verrrry greasy chicken burgers at the chinese shop (the only place open bar the pub after about 7) before Mike, Reba and Colin went up to play poker at Jeremys (another American) and I went back to Tahuna to watched a number of dvds with Rommy. Have I mentioned Rommy? She was staying with Alex for a few days.

On Wednesday the sun finally came back to Raglan and I took full advantage and had a nice seat outside, it was most amusing having my parents call and say that snow was due back home! That morning we went supermarket shopping although I was feeling a bit ill so didn't input much (which I later realised resulted in us getting nothing which makes a meal, Colin and cooking don't combine.) Then we met Nashy and drove her back to ours where we played hackey sack for a bit before going out for a bit of frisbee in the park opposite. Then headed to the beach where Mike was giving a surf lesson and Reba, Colin and me chilled out in the blissfull sunshine which actually turned out to be a bit chilly. I went in for a swim (think thats probably why I got cold after) and they didn't surf. Oh that day Colin and me went to the dump too which was a special moment as Colin loves the dump. Its actually a recycling place where there is very cheap furniture, just about every person in Raglan likes the dump because of this. I'm not sure what I did that evening but I'm pressuming chilling at the house, but I didn't write it down in my diary.

Thursday was another lazy day, didn't get up til pretty late and then went for breakfast at the bakery... so healthy. Haha, I had an egg sarnie tho so really it wasn't that bad. After that we went to Whale Bay and Colin surfed. I got some snaps but it got a bit cloudy so they didn't turn out very well. Met Rock and Zennor coming out from surfing Indicator and had a chat. Colin doesn't surf there as apparently you have to be a big local like Rock or a legend like Zennor to get to the front of the queues for waves. After that we chilled for the afternoon in the garage with Mike and Reba before Reba took Colins car to the lodge as she was on night duty. After that Mike and Colin went and surfed Manu Bay. I watched but couldn't find them as the sun was setting. I did see a whole load of munchkins surfing though, really tiny little kids on dinky boards just ripping up the waves. After that we went up to the lodge and realised we hadn't eaten so Reba lent us a load of veggies and noodles and I made stir fry while the guys played poker. Colin got into the final while I went on the internet (to get the scone reciepe my mum had emailed me) and played pool with Rommy. I nearly won until she got lucky and potted her last 3 balls all in one shot. Well, in 3 shots, shes not that good!

Friday was my cooking day. Colin, Mike and Alex went on a surfing mission with the boat to find some big waves and so Reba and me chilled. We went into town and while I got my baking supplies (at the check out the girl was like, 'baking today?' and a little old lady heard and said, 'ooh you're a good girl') Reba got a wetsuit from the surf shop. Once back at the house I started cooking and whipping the cream. Cream is stupid in this country. They only have it in a plastic bottle like milk and only one type, no double, single, whipping malarky. So I had to get that, along with two very tiny little whisks and attempt to whip my cream. It took me about half an hour in the morning and another half hour in the evening to finally get it reasonably thick. I had the dedication though, I do like my whipped cream. And it was darn good. The first batch of scones lasted about 2 seconds because Cam came home and turns out he rather likes his scones. While all this was going on we found out that Wes, JD and Mark the Shark had been ganged up on by 6 Maori guys right outside the sushi place (in the town centre, in broad daylight) who claimed that Mark had stolen one of the Maori guys aunts purse. He then proceeded to hit Mark a few times until he was knocked out. The police turned up (their station being literally across the road) and urged them to prosecute but due to them being locals and too afraid (rightly so) that the Maoris would get them if they did, they decided not to. This kind of thing happens reasonably often, Cam said some guy once hit him in a park and then just walked away, without saying a word. And they get away with it most of the time because people are too scared to stand up to it and have no protection. I hadn't realised the gang culture in N.Z was so big but it really is. So after that Reba and me went to get Nashy and headed to the beach. The waves were flatttttt. So they went out for a paddle on their boards just to look the part while I made a sandcastle. Shortly followed by a whole load of little feet trampling it down. I got a message from Colin confirming he was home and not happy that I had made scones and not saved one for him so once home I started on my second batch, with double mixture this time. Ollie came round for a bit and played frisbee with Colin meanwhile. After that we went into town to get stuff for chicken curry but found that there was no chicken! So that plan went down the drain. Lots of people started turning up at the house and we had a bit of a party and a few drinks for Rommy and Gypsy leaving. Gypsy made an ammmmazing potato pie thing, wish I'd got the reciepe off her, it was sooo good. All in all a really nice evening.

Saturday was very amusing. Colin left at about 4am to go get Justin from Auckland airport with Mike. I woke up at about 11 and went to get my phone from the living room and found I had a missed call and 3 messages... all from Colin. The first saying, 'gutted, he doesn't arrive until tomorrow.' I called him and told him he was verrrry silly. Honestly can't believe they managed to do that, Colin had gone online the day before specifically to check the date. So they planned to stay in Auckland over night and not come home. I got Nashy at home and Reba at the lodge, informing Reba what had happened (Mike lost his phone) and we had a very good laugh at their expense. Anyway, we all headed into Hamilton with Colins car and went to see Step Up 2 which was so cheesy it just made you cringe the whole way through. Once back in Raglan Nash and me went to keep Reba company on night duty before dropping Nash off back home and going back to Tahuna where I told Cam, Phil and Alex about Mike and Colin and we all had more laughter at their expense. I had a bit of dinner before going to the room where I found a praying mantis on the wall. I was going to get Cam to come and get it but decided to just be brave and deal with it myself. So I got a box and pushed it against the wall until the mantis fell inside and then ran into the 'ballroom' (big empty area outside the room) and chucked it on the floor and then shut the door. I was very chuffed with myself.

Sunday I got Nashy at 11 having woken up early at 9 for some reason. We went to the lodge and Nash scraped the wax off her board and reapplied it while Reba was cleaning rooms. Then we went into town and I bought my bucket and spade which I'd been harking on about. The man in the shop was verry funny. He came up to us and said very seriously, 'here we have authentic New Zealand made buckets, and spades here. These buckets and spades come with shape cut outs and are slightly more expensive at $6.50...' I was going to laugh at him because I thought he was taking the piss but I realised he wasn't so just said thank you. Very wierd. Anyway, I got the slightly more expensive one and took it to the beach. We met Carmen and Dean down there, Dean said my bucket and spade was actually pretty cool (oh yeah) and we all proceeded to use it. Nash and Reba went for a surf and I went in the sea for a swim but it was so darn cold I got out shortly after. Once home I made more scones, and felt faint whilst doing so. Its wierd because when I made scones at home ages ago the same thing happened, so I wonder if the feeling of the dough makes me go all quesy. Very strange, anyway, went for a lie down before continuing making them. Reba is now living at the house with Mike as shes taken the week off working at the lodge and saves her paying for accomodation, also because we might be going away. So we took some scones, curry sauce, rice and whippy cream and went round for Nashs where I carved a chicken! And we made chicken curry with it. We were all VERY full afterwards, so much so that I lay on the ground unable to move. After that had gone down we had hot choccie with cream and marshmallows. All while watching quality TV such as The Simpsons, My Name is Earl and Greys Anatomy. Nice night. Reba and me then went home and finally saw Colin and Mike, after having avoided them all day, haha.

Yesterday I met Justin, who was very friendly and gave me a hug. It was a really sunny morning so we took the boat and with Mike and Reba went to JDs ranch which is across the bay, so quicker to get to by boat than car. I met Summer, JDs dog who is the same colour as Mona, the kitten. Summer reminded me loads of Beech just because she would roll over onto her back immediatly when you started stroking her. Reba and me went for a walk up the track to the sheep, and climbed on some rocks near a waterfall. Justin told us about his plans for opening a luxury outdoor adventure place in the South Island. He says hes got the best chef in LA coming over to join him and hes already lined up investors in the US. Its going to have heli-skiing, rafting, surfing etc all year round as well as a spa. He said we'll have to come over with Mike and Colin when its finished in 3 years time, haha, that would be nice! News came over that the waves back on the otherside were 5/6 foot high and so we went back via Sarah Corbo/JDs where Justin is staying (and more importantly where Mona lives) to get Justins board. While I had a cuddle with Mona. Ooooh shes just so lovely. When we were leaving Sarah came out and was like, just checking you're not stealing the cat... I'm very tempted. Dropped by the house to get Colins board and saw Wes cleaning the bathroom ! ! ! ! The bathroom was rediculously dirty. Every time I was in the shower I just wanted to scrub the black dirt from the bath but it looked like it wouldn't budge, it was just that dirty. Its a good thing I'm pretty resiliant to these kind of things because I don't think I woulda gone in it otherwise. Anyway, Wes had decided that he hadn't done any cleaning so got out a pair of rubber gloves and some hardcore cleaning spray and now the sink which looked a funny yellow colour under the black and grey grime has turned out a light grey colour! Who would have thought! Anyway, on our way we saw Nash hitching so picked her up and once Colin and Justin got out at Whale Bay, I drove Nash up to the lodge so she could go online quickly. We then went back down to Whale and watched the sunset and took loooots of pictures, it was a really huge big red circle setting over the grey blue green sea. Colin got out after about an hour or so, said that the waves were too big, which they were, really crazy. He tried to drop in on 3 and just got smashed up in them. Once Justin got out we went in to meet Tim Mac and Sooze (they own the backpackers in town) in their amazing house next to Whale Bay. Its all wooden on the inside and cozy warm. Then we headed back to town and got dinner at the Harbour View, I treated Nash to a burger. Oh and a funny thing happened, I forgot my ID and the barmaid asked Colin if I was getting a drink and he said no because I'd forgotten my ID, and she said, oh its okay, I remember her, but I don't remember the blonde girl. And I was like, thats funny because she lives here and I've only been here a few weeks. She kind of laughed and apologized. She did offer Nash a beer in the end but she just wanted water. Anyway, we had amazing veggie burgers, and then Debs turned up and shared a boysenberry and apple pie with me which was looovely. After all that we dropped Nashy off home and went round to watch TV with Corbo for a bit at Justins. We played with Mona and her little ball of tin foil. She turned nasty though when Colin was stroking her, she put her ears back and wrapped her claws round him and tried to bite his hand. He had his palm flat though so she couldn't but she had a good time trying. Aww she is so gorgeous, I'm so glad Justins staying there because now I have an excuse to go see her, haha. The Mighty Boosh was on for a bit too and I'd been telling Colin about it, he didn't really get it though, he thinks we British people have a funny sense of humour.

Today has been chilled, its pretty sunny although a massive grey cloud is looming. I've booked my places to stay in Sydney which I leave for on the 15th for 3 days so thats all sorted. Oh, today I found out that Wes's brother is a model, hes in Colins Rolling Stone magazines and GQ advertising for Hugo Boss and Cavalli! Its really funny, he looks a bit like Wes and there he is in these huge international magazines. Reba and me just came online to check the weather and we've just planned the road trip. Leaving tomorrow to stay in a place at Henderson Bay near the very top of N.Z. Weather looks good so can't wait.

Much love,

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Posted by lil0liz 00:58 Archived in New Zealand Comments (1)

swoosh

overcast

I'm up at the lodge at the moment so making use of the internet, I'm determined not to fall behind again, although today doesn't even really need a mention due to its boringness!

This morning we headed out to the lookout bit above the beach so Colin could scout the waves and then stick his nose up at them, haha. Then headed up to the lodge so he could call Justin on a landline and I got introduced to some guy who was covered in tattoos from head to toe. I hung out with Nash and Reba until they left for the town run. Shortly after Colin stayed at the Sweet As at the bottom of the hill to chat with Mike and his mum while I went into town and met Nash, Reba and Amy. We sat on a bench near the bay for a little while eating chocolate coconut things which were goood. I was really craving an egg sandwich but the bakery didn't have any so was mucho dissappointed. Reba left to take the van back and Nash and Amy chummed me to Foursquare to get milk and bread before going home too. I walked back to the car and tried to turn the key and it wouldn't work because it was locked. Strangly just at that moment Colin text asking if everything was okay and I sent him a message explaining the key thing and then Mikes car rolled around the corner and Colin came and started it for me, which was good timing. I then headed back to the house and made pasta salad and chatted to Phil and his girlfriend Gypsy. Thats not her real name but thats what shes known as. I then went out for a run around the block and by the bay before having a nap and then meeting Colin up at the lodge where I am now. So there we go, such an exciting day in Raglan!

ciao for now,

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Posted by lil0liz 22:26 Archived in New Zealand Comments (1)

she sells sea shells on the sea shore

sunny

Long time no speak, have been very busy being not busy and so somehow I have fallen behind again.

I arrived in Raglan on Wednesday last week safe and sound. I met Nashy at the bus stop in Hamilton which was cool. I got off the bus at hers before Colin came round and picked us both up and took us to Tongue and Groove where we met Mike and Reba. Was a really nice sunny day and Tongue and Groove is so nice, the curly fries are amazing. So that was all fab. Then once we dropped Nashy off back home I went back to 10 Tahuna Road where I'm now staying avec Colin. The house is really cool, just because of the people who are in it. Theres Alex - its his cousin who owns the house - who spends half his time studying up in Auckland and comes back down for surf, I'm told hes a very good surfer. Cam is the same, hes studying in Auckland, some environmental course and so he splits his time, hes really cool and chatty. Phil is German although hes lived in N.Z for 2 years now so has a very strange kiwi/German accent. Hes working on a big thesis and has bits of paper all over the place. Wes I haven't seen much of but he's British and a surfer. Not sure what hes doing over here other than surfing, but hes been away at a music festival the last few days and isn't always at the house. Debs has been staying for the last few nights but recently moved to another friends house while she finds her own. Shes really lovely and made pumpkin soup from scratch one night she stayed which was soo yummy. She is one of the surf instructors full time at the beach too. Mike lives in the garage (hes just made it into his own house) and hes best friends with Colin, they're both from Long Beach, California. Reba occasionally comes to stay, I've mentioned her before, shes staying at the lodge otherwise. And at the moment theres Rommy, whos German and is staying with Alex. So there we go, I have now explained all of the charecters in my story so I don't have to keep explaning as I go!

On Thursday Mikes mum arrived so Colin went for breakfast with her and Mike while I took his car to go visit Nashy at her house and chilled out for a bit. Then Colin and me went over to Bridal Veil falls just outside Raglan. It was reallly scary standing on the platform over looking the 55m drop, the view from the bottom of the waterfall was significantly better as far as I was concerned. It was really pretty with the rock gorged away in stripes. We were debating how the rock got shaped like that because it was really stripey but we just guessed it was some form of glacier... Once we headed back to Tahuna we went out for ice cream with Mike and Reba to the takeaway on the corner of our road and then went back to the house, or the garage, and chilled out in the hammock which was cool. Then went out for amazing fish and chips (my first fish and chips since being away!) and although it didn't have chippy brown sauce on it and wasn't as greasy in that lovely Scottish way, it was pretty damn good. We then headed up to the lodge as Colin was on night duty up there (basically just watching over things and giving people change and helping out). I went back over to see Nashy and watched ER with her before Amy got home and then went back over to catch the end of a poker game and had a quick lesson, although most of it went over my head.

On Friday Colin and me went on this crazy little dirt road to get to a beach round the otherside of the Karioi. We stopped off at Blood Gorge or something or other and again I had to stand on a platform over looking a big drop, but the view was really nice as it was green and lovely and then looked out onto the ocean and was a gorgeous hot day. We drove a bit further round and got to the beach where it was pretty quiet, not surprising considering the road you have to use to get to it! Colin brought his board (one of his 3, I'm still learning why he needs 3, infact he wants to buy a fourth which is just crazy) but when we got there most people were getting out and he used a whole load of surfy terms to explain why this was but that went over my head too, haha. Nah I'm slowly learning what all these words mean so its not like talking in another language every time we go to the beach! So anyway, we just lay in the lovely sun which is still so hot. After we drove home we headed up to the lodge again as Colin was 'working' and chilled out with Reba, Peter (Swedish), Ollie (British, friends with Nash) and Liam (British, friends with Ollie) which was cool. Once Mike turned up and it hit 11 so Colin could leave, we headed to a barn party just down the road. It was a bit like Cammys old parties except with a proper DJ and lots of hippies everywhere. I got introduced to just about the whole of Raglan and have given up remembering most peoples names now, bar the essentials! Met a very drunk and pretty Nashy who had her hair down and looked very nice. We were there til late and then Colin drove Amy and Nash home before we headed back to Tahuna.

Saturday was the day Lynsey arrived in Raggers. Colin went out for a surf at Manu Bay with some of the guys and I nabbed the car again to go over to Nashs to visit her and Lynsey. We all hung out for a while and then I can't remember what else I did because I didn't write it down in my diary, haha. I would guess though that me and Colin went to the bakery for some food because I do seem to spend half of my life in the bakery with him because he loves it and it is actually really good. That evening we went to the Yot Club, which is the only place to be in Raglan at night. A band called Sola Rosa were playing and because we were with the whole Tahuna household plus Zennor and his girlfriend Sophie (Zennor is one of N.Zs top surfers, hes been pointed out to me in the many surf magazines kicking about in the living room, so I feel cool cos I know him) Alex managed to get us discounted tickets, haha. It was a really really cool night and I haven't had so much fun and been so happy for ages. Lots and lots of dancing to the very good music until it was late and we all headed home for an after party. We had candles lit in the living room and had lots more dancing until we were all tired and it was very late/early.

On Sunday we helped Mike and his mum get Mikes boat into the water at Lorenzen Bay. This involved meeting Mona, the cutest little kitten in THE WORLD. Colins known her since she was very very little and he loves cats and so she loves him and when he picked her up she just stretched out in his hand and kind of hung of his hand, shes such a poser. Shes so soft and tiny and cute though, I have actually fallen in love with her and am trying to convince Colin to join me in stealing her one night. Anyway, we chatted to Sarah, who owns Mona, and Colin showed me their cool garden behind the house (while Mona followed us meowing and pouncing on things and just generally being gorgeous) before Mike turned up and was ready to go. They rolled the boat down the hill and into the water and all was merry. Mike and his mum were going over to JDs to stay at his ranch over there, I'm pressuming its easier to get to by boat. We had to drive Mikes car back to the house though, and Colin asked if I would like to drive it and I said no because he has a rather nice Subaru and I really did not want to put myself in the position of denting it, haha. So I drove the blueberry back instead. Colin then grabbed his board and we went to Manu Bay and he had a surf, which was actually the first time I saw him surf, needless to say hes pretty good, haha. It was cool watching him just get this wave all the way along for ages, and he does it in this really chilled out easy peasy kind of way that just makes it look so much fun. After all that we got curly fries at T&G before going up to the lodge to see Lynsey, Nash, Bess, Amy, Betsy etc and chilled out there for the evening.

On Monday we went down to the bay around the corner (a different bay, there are rather a lot of them kicking about round here) to help Mike get the boat out of the water. I sat and chatted to his mum while Mike, Colin and Cam sorted everything out. Mike doesn't have a tow and so instead had two very tiny wheels which are meant to be used for canoes and kayaks and put these under the boat. He then got Cam to sit on the back of his car and hold the boat while he drove around the corner to the house. It was so very funny, using Cam as a human tow. Once we got back Mike cleaned down the engine with the hose and the back window on Colins car which I was very pleased about as it was so filthy from going on that dirt track that you could hardly see out the back. Its still pretty dirty because all the grime is just stuck to it and needs scrubing, haha. That evening we went to the pub for some burgers which were sooo good before going for a walk in the moonlight (the moons been uber bright these last few nights) along Lorenzen Bay, which was very muddy and sandy and finally finished off my slowly dying flip flops.

Tuesday morning we headed into town and got breakfast at Aqua Velvet (another cafe opposite T&G). I got homemade beans on toast which were soo good and a pot of tea. We then went to the surf shop and while Colin drooled over boards I got myself a new pair of jandals, as they call them here. They are uber comfy. After all that we hit the beach with Lynsey, Nash and Reba. Reba went out far with Colin and he gave her a few pointers while Nashy went out pretty far too and did some v good surfing and me and Lynsey paddled in the shallow end. Haha, no Lynsey was out of practice so we chilled just at the shore, me jumping in the very big waves and swimming about and Lynsey catching a load of them too. She offered me her board for a bit and so I gave it a shot. First we had to figure what leg to put the leash thing on, and then I lay on the board... and rolled off the otherside, it was very funny. So once I managed to actually lie on the board still I paddled and bit for the wave and then I went shooting forwards and the board stayed backwards and that didn't work either. But after a good few shots I actually paddled and caught a wave and then stood up, whoo! Was very cool, did it a couple times and then gave Lynz her board back. It was a really nice fun morning. We went back to town and Colin dropped us all off to get some fish and chips while he went over to see JD breifly. Once all that was done we met Amy and Colin came back and we headed to the pub for a drink. Then drove Reba and Lynsey back to the lodge and on the way back saw a LIVE possom! I'd been harking on about wanting to see one all week and Colin kept pointing out the dead ones on the side of the road (of which there are many) which wasn't very nice, and then finally one ran out infront of us! It was like a racoon with a big bushy tail except brown, and it kind of jumped when it ran and was really cute. Luckily it just missed Colins wheels. So I was very content after that. Once home we chilled out with Debs, Cam and Rommy in the living room, just listening to some tunes.

Wednesday Colin dropped me at the beach while he went in search of some good waves. I had a nice chill out on the beach listening to music until he turned up again having found none on any of the points. It was a really gorgeous blue sky day. I went in the sea and had a swim around after watching Colin surf further out for a bit. Reba turned up too and we chilled. Some guy who was friends with Zennor stole Zennors board while he was busy stretching and was hiding it behind us, once Zennor realised his board was gone he was looking about all over the place while we were all teeheeing away at him. They both then headed out to surf with Colin who was about to come out after surfing for atleast an hour already but went back to join them. Once we got back to Tahuna we fell asleep and had a nap for probably about 2 hours, haha. Woke up just in time for Colin to go to work at the lodge. We took a whole load of food up too and Team Reba, Colin and me made sausages (Colin on the BBQ), pasta and sauce (me in upstairs kitchen) and salad and brownies (Reba in the downstairs kitchen). It was a realllly good meal and a nice night.

Thursday I drove Reba and me to Hamilton for a touch of shopping, only a touch. We both got a pair of jeans and then went and did a bit of food shopping. Reba is super cook, as is Mike, and so she needed supplies for some corgette bread she was going to make. We both tried to get a bottle of red wine but both got turned down. I didn't even think about ID until she asked and I remembered it was in Colins wallet. She wouldn't accept Rebas health card either since shed lost her driving license so we were both left feeling a bit silly. Over here you always get IDd in the pubs, instead of challenge 21 its challenge 30, which is crazy. Anyway, once we got home we chilled at Tahuna before going out to Salt Rock (another cafe) to see Smokey (another person who visits the house) and Wes play at the open mic. They were called Smokey and the Weasel. They were pretty good, and there was a whole load of us there, I had a chat to Zennor who said he thought Nash was a really cool girl (I was sitting there like, wait til I tell Nashy that, she'll be chuffed) and that was fun. I got really rather drunk coutesy of 3 glasses of red (I'd eaten loads so not sure why) and just had a very nice time. This amazing woman sang after they played too, she sounded like a mermaid, soo good. Kind of like folk singing, with such a flawless voice, some poeple had been chatting during most other acts but when she started singing the whole place fell quiet, was crazy. Walking back to the car Reba and Colin were doing Irish kicks in the air which was funny. Once we got home I had the munchies realllly bad due to my drunkeness and so Team Reba, Colin and me made fried egg, cheese and tomato on toast which was just so amazing. Oh and then a bowl of cereal too, haha.

Yesterday was a very lazy day, was a bit cloudy and so Colin and me just read for hours and I finished my book. It was actually a really rubbish book and I was glad to finish it. Mike and his mum got back from their road trip (I forgot to mention that, they left on Monday or something and went South a bit) and so we joined them for some wine, bread, crackers and cheese which was nice. Went up to the lodge again for Colin working. I met Nashy up there and we went into town for some pizza and chips which we ate back at hers while watching two funny programmes on telly. Stayed there until about 10 before going back to the lodge. I hate driving along the road to the lodge because its very windy and dark and scary. Then I had to walk up the drive on my own and that was even more scary. Luckily my new phone has a torch on the front which is a life saver! I went online breifly to check mail and then chilled with Mike, Reba and Colin. Then almost the whole of Tahuna household turned up and we had some beer and banter. Got back to the house about 12ish and Cam chatted about politics and books to Colin and me until about 1am.

So today I had a lovely call from my parents and have just come on here. Colins off with Mike and his mum to JDs again to help build a jacuzzi so I'm off to the beach even though the weather isn't all that great. I want to stay on top of this blog a bit more, so hopefully will write soon, doing week loads takes ages! Colin and me are hopefully going on a road trip soon though, up North. Maybe with Mike and Reba, and maybe with Justin, Colin and Mikes friend from the states whos been in Africa for the last few months. Colin doesn't want to be away when he arrives so we just need to figure around that, I will keep you all posted.

For now much love and adios,

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Posted by lil0liz 14:47 Archived in New Zealand Comments (1)

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