Sunday, 28 August 2016

Sunday Snowday

Amy's friend Steph has a bach down on Lake Taupo and kindly let us stay there for the weekend, so we used it as an excuse for another road trip.  We piled into Colin's Vulva Volvo (our nickname for his car, since Amy, when asked what type of car he drove, said Vulva, completely seriously.  She's not very good with cars)

We made a pitstop in a random town called Tirau that has corrugated iron scupltures,

and another in Taupo for food and to hike up a small mountain - except I managed to trip over my own feet whilst running in the street and faceplanted the floor and ripped my knee open. So I hiked up a bit of the mountain with Sam (who was vomitting every 5 minutes as she's developed an allergy to something but isn't quite sure what it is yet) before we decided we were both too sore/ill to carry on so we headed back down the mountain and waited for the others in the car.

We arrived at Steph's bach with a few daylight hours spare, made dinner and chilled out ready for our big Sunday Snowday.

We had originally planned to do the Tongariro crossing by night but apparenlty 2 people had died in the past week so we took Steph's advice and instead we did a bit of the crossing during the day.  To be honest I just wanted to see lots of snow and that's what I got!!

I did the crossing when I first got to NZ and it was really nice to go back in winter - the snow makes it so beautiful.

We went to Soda Springs, a little waterfall that had frozen over, and then found a slope which we spent a good while sliding down.  I tried to get to the top to slide down a few times but kept losing grip and sliding down to the beginning which was getting tiring so promptly gave up and sat watching everyone else do it instead :)

This weekend I spent a lot of money but also got a lot of bargains - I went to a shopping outlet centre (my new favourite place) and bought a pair of running trainers for $90 and a goosedown 3 season sleeping bag which only weighs 0.8kg (AMAZING) for $150 reduced down from $549 which is a right bloody bargain.  It packs down so small too!!! I also got a new tramping rucksack (when I say that over here people look at me so blankly, it's 'backpack' and nothing else is acceptable) which is a proper hiking one with sleeping bag compartment and mat straps and stuff. It's so exciting! I am kinda like - wow, I should have just bought all of this when I first got here then at least I would have used it a few times and got my money's worth. Ahh well.

Oh I also bought a bike!!!! It's SO PRETTY AND COOL.  I feel like I should wear bright yellow spandex when I ride it.  It's a road bike and scary to ride as I am not used to it but hopefully I'll use it...again another bargain at $85!

Last night Ben and I went to a play called "Mating in Captivity" which was hilarious.  It was a play based around 3 main characters - a couple who were newly engaged and the guy's ex partner, who's a man, who turns up unexpectedly.  It was so so so so funny and would have been terrible for prudes as it featured a lot of nudity. The way it was staged was awesome and I felt like I was watching through the window of someone's home rather than watching a play. If it's ever near you I highly recommend it.

Today I got up early and Camilla, Ben and I drove to Whatipu and did a gorgeous 4 hour bush/coastal hike called the Omanawanui track.  Both Matt and Adam had recommended it and I am glad we did it early as meant we had the rest of the afternoon to do boring life admin and blog writing chores.  I am not a huge fan of Auckland but I do love how you can drive for an hour and be in the most beautiful areas and feel like you're the only one around - it's great!

Monday, 15 August 2016


So I turned 29. It's weird - I feel older. I don't usually but this time round I feel....refined, like a vintage wine or a mature cheese. In control.  Beast mode.  I'M AN ADULT BITCHES! (I mean, adults probably don't need to exclaim in capitals they're an adult...but still)

Anyways so as usual I went a bit overboard with birthday celebrations. Except I sort of didn't because I am not surrounded by my usual beautiful bunch of friends who I can act like a total princess around, so I had to behave a bit out here and be a bit more normal.

I really wanted to go to White Island - NZ's most active volcano, and it's super expensive (like $199 for a tour) and a bit out the way - so I thought I'd do it for my birthday and treat myself.  I put out some feelers to see if anyone else was interested and a few people were, and turns out our friend Sam has a bach (NZ holiday home) which was free for the weekend. So me, Amy, Colin, Adam and Sam packed our bags and headed down for the weekend.

We stopped in Mt Maunganui on the way and managed to climb the mount this time round - 7 months ago I tried to climb it with Amy but had to catch a bus in Rotorua when we were 5 mins from the top! It's a pretty little hike up the Mount - only a 25 min walk or so to the top but quite steep in places and I was pooped when I got to the top.  The view is real pretty and I am glad we made it - the sky was absolutely incredible and as Amy described "looked like it should be the cover of a Bible" because the clouds were insane.  On the way down we got caught in a rain shower so we ran back to the car then headed off to the bach.  We arrived in darkness and settled down for the night, much to Adam's dismay we were all ready for bed at 8pm!! I fell asleep halfway through a game of truth or dare and missed out on some juicy gossip which the others have refused to fill me in on - meanies!


Unfortunately the White Island tour was cancelled due to rough sea conditions which made me sad inside, but we made the most of the day anyway by having a leisurely breakfast of delicious homemade porridge (porridge and grapes - GAME CHANGER) then a hike up the Wairere Falls, which is North Island's highest waterfalls at 153mtrs.

It was a very pretty hike with good company!! We spent the long drive home stopping for Sam to vomit blue sick out of the window (she recently discovered she's possibly lactose intolerant and had eaten a whole bag of m and ms) and playing a game called " I went to the shop" which is a good time passer - the person who's go it is says "I went to the shop and bought" and buys something with a theme that they have chosen inside their heads, and everyone else has to go round in turn and say "I went to the shop and bought" and choose something they think fis with the theme, and the person who's go it is says Yes or No to what they've bought as to whether it fits their theme. OK written down it sounds kind of lame but it is quite fun.

Anyways then Monday was my actual birthday which to be honest is just another day really. I sat and had breakfast with Shanyn and waited for him to wish me happy birthday but it turns out he'd forgotten what day it was so I waited in vain. Boys. In the evening I had dinner with Amy then we met up with a few people and went to a comedy night in town - $5 to watch amateur comedians. It was very good value!!

It's nice having a birthday across 2 time zones as I am still receiving delayed gifts in the post (thanks Bex!) and got birthday wishes throughout the day. I felt a bit sad not to be with friends and family but I definitely felt the love from across the pond and it was really lovely receiving gifts in the mail (thanks Hilary and Mumma and Anja and Jen!!) which is a real treat as I never get post!

Me and Sam don't know a huge amount of people in Auckland and when we realised we both had birthdays within 2 weeks of eachother we decided to combine forces and invite everyone we knew to a joint party (it still only totalled about 20 people and none of my friends turned up, sigh).  We themed it 'safari' based on the fact we are both Leos and therefore lions....and it meant I didn't have to do anything special to my barnet!

People made a good effort but the winner was Adam who had hired a kiwi costume for the night - it was amazing, but also very hot and hard to hear and see what was going on.

I must be grown up because I got lots of chocolates for my birthday and I have only eaten 3 of them and I haven't even opened the chocolate biscuits mum sent me.  Adult!