WINTER 2013

Early Daze

SARAHS VIEW:

So, today was pretty farkin funny – well *I* think it was anyways!!!

The morning began innocently enough. 
Woke up without an alarm, a phone ringing, or nagging animals. (bonus!!!)
Coffee, then got the hotel shuttle bus to the airport to go pick up our hire car.
 
Then off to “Countdown”, which as it turns out, is actually our version of Woolies, including the very same shop logo.
Well here is when OUR entertainment began.
 
Aisle 2 (see photo) had – I kid you not – Health Foods, Cereal, and…BOOZE!!!!
food
Ok, even tho it was waaaaay before lunch – we were pretty excited!!!
Into the trolley (our Aussie word for those things we push around the supermarket), goes a case of seriously cheap Corona beer!!!
photo 2
Next aisle, in goes some much needed coffee, cos we’d only bought enough with us for the first morning..
Then some milk for the coffee, and working out which one to get took some doing!
Next – chocolate.
Then some burger rings…
Our trolley was looking a lil embarrassing I gotta admit!!
 
Alrighty, so we had discussed previously that we wanted to buy an esky, so that when we drove from place to place, we could keep our goodies cool…
So once we were done at Countdown, we went to The Warehouse.
 
Now you guys think you KNOW what’s at the usual Warehouse, but let me just say, you soooooooo DON’T!!!!!
This place was friggin HUGE, and covered every damn thing except live animals and cold groceries!!!
 
We wandered round a bit, and I fell in love with a lounge suite along the way. 
Suzey fell in love with it next, and now we’re wondering how to get this massive, amazingly comfy, super cheap corner suite back to Australia!!
Noooooo – we didn’t buy it….
(Yet!)
 
We wandered round some more, looking like stunned tourists – cos we were!!
Then decided we had best actually do we we had come into the store to do!
 
Suzey headed off to homewares/camping, looking for an esky.
I went to the Telecom phone place, to get a sim for the phone.
I’d had a – let’s just call it rather ugly – “experience” the previous night at the Airport with a telecom dealer (yes, im gonna use the racially prejudiced curry-muncher tag!!) and it hadn’t gone so well, so I’d decided to wait for today to get the new sim for the phone.
(I swear they breed phone sales people in Bombay, who’s sole intent in life is to FUCK ME OFF!!)
 
Anyways…. I got off track…..Sorry!!!
 
Got the sim, all sorted. 
Did it so easily and quickly, with this nice Kiwi chicky, that I decided I might as well make use of her store knowledge 🙂
Sweetly, (in case Suzey hadn’t had any luck), I asked her where the eskys were please?
Welllllllll….
She looked at me then, like i’d just fallen out of the asylum truck!
What???? Said she.
An ESKY, says I…. (Insert quick thinking) ….. 
Ummm….. A cooler box…?
 
a TOILET BOX????? Says she – at the top of her lungs!!!!’
Reallllllly looking at me now like I’m a retard. ~sigh~
Ohhhhh fark…..”NO —-> a COOLER BOX!!!
You know, a plastic box with a lid that you put ice in to keep food cold!!!”
“Ohhhhhh….”, she chuckles at the gathering store attendants, now listening in too, you mean a CHILLY BIN!?!??
 Yup, yup, sure I do….!
So, do you have a chilly bin????
Nooooo – they’re a seasonal thing sorry ma’am, we don’t have em at this time of year.
Good grief – slink off, then dissolve into gales of laughter when Suzey and I meet back up, and as it turns out she has a similar story!!!
 
So, we then have something to eat, and do a lil more wandering, then decide to go back to the hotel for a “loo break”…
 
We leave the shops, and head for the car, looking for somewhere to dump the trolley.
We then spot the sign: “Leave your trundle here”
Trundle? TRUNDLE?? ohhhkaaaayyyy…
(photo op #3 lol – I’ll post that pic later maybe…)
 
Once we are back, and we have our mornings business taken care of, we decide to head into the actual city of Auckland, which is about 20kms away.
Into car, head north – and the sky opens up with, what the weather man later describes as, torrential rain, gale force winds, and surface flooding!
We’ve driven for about 90 mins, have nooooo farkin idea where we are, can’t see more than 20 feet in front of us, and are now at the ‘hungry again’ point.
Find a sign that heads us towards to airport (our hotel is only 3kms from the airport) and get back on that road.
Lunch is had at the same cafe we had breakfast – yep, right next to Countdown and The Warehouse.
Gives US a giggle, even if no one else would find it humerous!!!
 
During lunch, I sooooooo had to pee, but got sidetracked, and didn’t get to it.
Welllllll – by the time we got back to the hotel, I was bouncing up and down like a three year old, and Suzey took sooooo long to open the room door, that my eyes were starting to leak!!!
 
Now, the design of the bathroom is a lil odd…
The loo is in the back right hand corner of the room, but its across the corner. 
By that, I mean that the tank of the loo, is diagonally across the actual corner of the room. I don’t know if you can visualise this, but its just not the ‘norm’…
 
So, Suzey opens the hotel room door (finally!!!), and once she’s vaguely in the door, I push thru behind her, and duck straight into the toilet, push the door with a good shove, and start yanking my jeans down as I head towards to loo.
The door slams shut – and FUCK ME ITS PITCH BLACK!!!
I can’t find the god-damn fucking toilet, and the light hasn’t come on!
 
Hobble (cos my jeans are round my knees!) back in the  direction I think the door is in…grope wall for light switch, flick it, and nothing happens!!!
Yank back open door: “put the fucking card in the slot!!!” yells me.
It’s one of those rooms where you have no power, unless the key card is in a slot in the wall.
Aggghhhhhh!!!!!!
 
At that point – things are going badly sideways….
I almost have pee running down my leg I am busting sooooo bad, and now – to cap it all off – I get a seriously bad case of the giggles, AND my jeans are now in a knot around my ankles, AND I still haven’t landed on the toilet!!!
 
Suffice to say, that despite being almost beyond breathing, with my fits of giggles, i finally manage to land on the loo without injury, and thankfully – my jeans AND the floor are all still dry….. Ahhhh, pure utter relief!
It did take me about 10 full minutes to finally wind down from the constantly re-erupting giggles though…
 
We passed the rest of the afternoon just relaxinging and spending time together – talking, reading, researching – just enjoying being together.
 
The day did have a bit of a smudge on it though….
We had decided to get room service for dinner.
Room service is a bit of a loose term really though. 
You have to go down from the third floor to the Lobby restaurant (no, you may NOT phone your order through Ma’am), and order what you want, then schlep back to your room, they phone your room when its ready, and you schlep back down from the third floor to the lobby, to retrieve said meal and take it back to your own room yourself…
Like i said – room service is a bit of a loose term…..
 
So, at 7:45pm, we order 1 x burger & chips.
Said burger is on unbuttered panini bread, has two (tasty) patties, a slice of tomatoe, a large dose of lettuce, a wee lil shred of lost onion, and a blob of aioli.
Well, at 9:05, when there still hasn’t been a phone call, were getting just a tad annoyed – so off we go to the lobby.
Of course Suzey attends to this lil matter – cos we know it’ll not go so well if i do it – maybe…
 
Suzey will give her version of what happened, but after almost another 20mins, it resulted in the meal being returned, a new one being delivered, and it STILL wasn’t up to par!!
TripAdvisor AND the hotel will be getting some feedback from us both on this….
 
We will be heading north tomorrow to the Bay of Isles, so will let you know how that goes in a few days.
 
Two things i know for absolute sure – 
1: we will laugh — a LOT
2: and we will both thoroughly love being together and getting to spend time on US.
 
I’m a happy lucky  grrl 🙂

 

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WINTER 2013

Whitianga

Suzeys Views:

Picked up rental car, not a bad car, one slight difference to a car that we are use to – the hand brake is activated by foot, and it just happens that the seat raiser is where a normal hand brake lever would be.  Yes, what your thinking is exactly what happened. Nearly put my head through the roof of the car,  I kept trying to put the handbrake on, all that happened was my seat kept raising, and the car kept creeping backwards.

A few days into our driving around the beautiful countryside of New Zealand.

Still having trouble with handbrake, though i am getting better as i remember to use the foot brake, but i still adjust the seat every time.

From Auckland we drove up to the Bay of Islands, went through a huge storm, could hardly see the road, but it was so windy, there was nowhere safe to pull over.

The Bay of Isands is a beautiful spot, our accommodation was just gorgeous, and the guys that were running it, were a blast.  The bay and the water was lovely, there was a country Rock festival on while we were there.  Ive never seen that many oldies dressed to the nines in glitter and boots.  On every corner there was someone playing music, and line dancers boot-scooting everywhere.

We left Bay of Islands and headed off to Thames.

I have learned a very important lesson over here, do not believe the Kiwis on driving time and distances.  To travel 100 kilometres on these roads takes a minium of 2.5 hours.

It was a long driving day of bends and tight curves – when we got on the freeway it was great – 100kms an hour.  Then back to the country roads, with cattle and sheep everywhere, very picturesque, but not good driving conditions.

Found Thames – found a motel – unloaded the car – lady at motel informs us that the likely hood of finding a restaurant open on a Sunday night maybe difficult.  Hmmmmm, found grocery store, what shall we have for dinner?  Frozen Lasagne looked good, bread rolls, wine, what more do you need.

I know my plan was travel New Zealand on a budget, but i think this a bit extreme…but heated lasagne and pan fried rolls, it was delicious.

The unit had a spa.

Excellent!!

Filled the spa, added the shampoo etc to create the bubbles, but of course Sarah had to help and added dishwashing liquid as well..

We had bubbles running out the door.

Forgot to mention the rude lady at the desk of the motel.

I was looking everywhere for towels – nope couldn’t find them.

Off i head to the lobby.

“Excuse me” in a very polite voice, “we don’t seem to have any towels”

“YES YOU DO!!!!” the voice replied, the severity of her voice made me jump back.

“They are in the drawer in the bathroom, I checked it myself this morning.”

“Oh” I replied “i didn’t see the drawer. i looked in every other cupboard in the room.”

Not sure what she said after this, she made another scathing comment, decided i would take my leave before this cool calm character exploded.

Returned to the room – Sarah had already found them – thats good honey, the rude bi………We were going to stay in Thames for two nights, but i wasn’t going to give that bitch our money.

Off we headed to Coromondel, thought we would stay there the night.

What a drive, i had thought the last few days were bad, it was practically a one lane road, right on the coast with nothing between you and the drop off to the water….

Concentration plus on that road, most of the way travelling 40-50kms.

Beautiful scenery, you could actually hear the water crashing on the rocks.

Get to our destination, have a Latte, don’t think i have ever tasted such a strong latte.

I was jumping for hours.  Free Wifi though.

We wander around town, not much there.  Lets head off to the next big town.

Whitianga, here we come.

59kms away,  through beautiful countryside, it really was spectacular, the rolling green hills and the water in the distance, but the road was so windy, we had to keep stopping so i could actually see the views.  Wasn’t game enough to take my eyes off the road.  Remember how i said about travelling times.  Two hours later, we arrived in Whitianga.   And foooood.

Found a nice motel right opposite the water, booked in and headed off to the grocery store to get supplies.  Yummm, bacon & egg pie, Fritatta, tomatoes, pan fried bread another scrumptious home cooked meal.

Supposed to leave today, but we decided to stay another night.  So i am sitting here on the patio listening to the waves crashing on the beach typing this blog.  (the bonus of not booking any accommodation prior to getting here.)

Today we went on a glass bottom boat out to all the caves, two hours out and about on the water.  We went into a cave that actually had a fault line over the top of us, that was a bit scary but that is how the cave was formed many years ago.  We saw another rock formation that after a volcanic eruption forced itself out of the water.

As you know Sarah and I can amuse ourselves easily, we have not stopped laughing on our travels so far.  The language and what they call things are so different. Speed bumps are call “judderbars” shopping trolleys are trundles.  You can’t differentiate between Ten & Tin and the list goes on.

And so do our laughs…

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WINTER 2013

Coromandel Peninsula

Sarahs Views:

You’ve all heard of “murrie-time”, I’m sure.
Ya know how it is: I’ll be there at 10″, can mean mean anything from around 1045 to about 2ish…
Well, here they have Kiwi Kilometers.
Atherton to Mareeba? About 40ks, about 20 mins.
Here, one does NOT ask how far it is, but rather how long it takes…
Take yesterday as a fiiiine example. 61kms to where we wanna go. Kewl – says us, about 45mins at the most…

Ohhhhhh HELL NO!!!
Try well over two and half hours!!!
I was about ready to start eating the luggage by this point! And we knowww I do not get nicer as I get hungrier…

Suzey found a cafe before I started sticking sharp things into her temple. Smart grrl that one!

Ordered a hamburger. Checked what was on it with the lady serving.
Meat patty, tomatoe, lettuce, carrot, sauce.
Ok, can you put some cheese in it too please?
So you want a cheese burger?
I don’t know – what does a cheese burger have on it?
Same as a hamburger, but with cheese, but if you have a hamburger and add cheese to it, it’ll cost you extra.
Ohhhh FUCK ME!!!
Yes ma’am, I’ll have a cheese burger then – thanks.
Sickly smile.
Fuckwits!!!

Today we went out in a cruise-jetboat boat. About 2 1/2 hrs worth of tour around the islands off Whitianga & Cook.
Amazing scenery, and seriously steeped in history, this area.

Ya sorta tend to forget that Cooky – aka Capt James Cook- did much else other than piss off the Murries of Aus, by poking a flag in the dirt in 1770.
But prior to that, back in ’69, he pissed off the Maori folk first!!

Today we saw his original landing beach, where as it turned out, he actually ran the Endeavour up on the beach at king tide – intentionally – so that he could give the ole grrls belly a much needed scrub.
Kinda hard to imagine just how they got that fucker upright and back into the water…

There are huge white volcanic cliffs here, very similar to the “White Cliffs of Dover”, with amazing patterns etched into them by time, tide and weather.
Also from those same forces, and of course from the way nature just does its stuff, there are huge spectacular caves, that you can actually go into, in the boat.

We were in a glass bottom jet boat, so also got to view some pretty cute marine life, swimming about below us…

We even saw some fur-seals!!!
Rollypolly not-so-lil chappies….Made me feel almost slender they did!!!
(says she as she quaffs a decent Shiraz and some cheezles!)

We’re having another quiet-night-in tonight.
I’m quite happy (as usual!) to while away the evening, just the two of us, talking, laughing – and just being…
Even though we do get to spend many of our evenings at home alone together, the phone rings lots, life needs taking care of, including the house and animals, and we are usually both so overwhelmingly tired we can barely think, let alone formulate decent sentences….

We will pop up some photos soon too, and Suzey is busy writing away for y’all too 🙂
More soon!!! x

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WINTER 2013

Whitianga Cruise Photos

Just a few pics from the cruise, so you have an idea of the beautiful sights…

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