Traveling and Keeping up with the blog = no bueno

13 11 2011

Item’s I have learned today:

That it is virtually IMPOSSIBLE to keep this thing up to date when you are touring a country, when I actually have spare time I pretty much only want to catch up on sleep (case and point, I really should be napping right now, but I am not just to keep all of my 2 loyal readers happy)

-Cruise-y – really relaxed/laid back
-jangles – flip flops
-trim – skinny or non-fat

Auckland

Auckland


I have been traveling around New Zealand for about 4 weeks now and am just now managing to update my blog about it. Liz was with me (my old flatmate and close friend from Australia) for my first week here. I don’t think I will have time to write indepth about our entire trip but will do my best to capture some of the highlights.

Day 1 Auckland –
Liz and I flew in late afternoon and paid $85 dollars for our cab ride from the airport = not awesome. I found out later there are cheap buses that go from the airport to the city, but considering I had my massive amounts of crap (ahem luggage) I probably wouldn’t have been to keen to haul it all onto a bus anyway. Afterwords we checked into the City Travelers Hostel, and Ranz (the manager there) upgraded us from a dorm to our own personal room, complete with a couch a tv and two beds (Extreme luxury for a hostel, and for once in my life I am not being sarcastic).

After showering and what not we ventured out to explore the city. We discovered this

Seattle Espresso !! (In Auckland)

Seattle Espresso !! (In Auckland)

I was just slightly thrilled about this, I suppose.
After eating and attempting to find shisha (we ended up a small turkish cafe where we were literally the only people smoking) we decided to call it a night.

Liz

Liz

me

me

Day 2 – Wellington

Liz had accidentally left some of her belongings in our hotel in Tahiti (which has since charged my credit card not ONCE but TWICE, a fact that I am quite angry about, but I digress, I will post another entry about it shortly). We spent the morning shopping, and by we, I mean Liz πŸ™‚

Mid afternoon we took our one hour flight to Wellington. As we arrived on the tarmac it was gray skies and pouring down rain, I felt like in a strange sort of way it was the city welcoming me home (as that’s pretty much what Seattle is like ALL of the time). I am a bit odd, I actually prefer gray/rain.

After shuffling over to our car rental, where the guy behind the counter said the word “awesome” every 2 seconds, we picked up the car that Liz would drive for the next week and were off.

We arrived at our hotel, showered and again made our way down to the wharf (hmm..noticing a trend here?) for some dinner. Bed followed shortly after.

Day 3 – Wellington.

Wellington

Wellington

With a good nights sleep we were up bright and early to walk around the city and eventually end up at Te Papa (this huge museum there).

Te Papa

Te Papa

Admission is free and there are about 5 different floors.. something that cheap ass Maria was thrilled about. We walked around and learned all about New Zealand. Did you know that it was originally a continent connected to India, Asia and Australia? I didn’t either. And in my lifetime I think it has moved about 5 feet, New Zealand has pretty much moved my height (give or take a few inches).
We ended up at the activity area where there were hip hop dance lessons – NOT kidding. So I learned how to “do the dougie” with about 50 little kids. Not quite what I was expecting on my day in Wellington, but I’ll take it.

Dance 101 at the Museum

Dance 101 at the Museum

Next we wandered around and passed by the “Occupy Wellington” protest that contained about 50 people and ended up at local craft art market.
Jet lag started kicking in, so I wandered around for a bit and then went back to the hotel for a “wee sneaky” nap (yes, that is said over here).

That evening Liz and I dressed up and hit the town. Now given that it was the rugby world cup the town was out and ready to party. We ended up a dance club called (on Blair) with Chandelers, dried ice, lights and a crowd. There may or may not have been platforms, and I may or may not have danced on them.

Day 3 – Napier

Napier

Napier

We left Wellington after breakfast and drove the four hours to the “art deco capital of the world.”

Art Deco in Napier

Art Deco in Napier


Napier is on the east coast of New Zealand. We stayed in a small beach side area just a few miles away from the main part of the city/town and it was GORGEOUS. We hung around the beach and then made our way to local pub to watch the semi final New Zealand vrs Australia game. I watched and Liz attempted to for about 30 minutes (she is obviously REALLY into rugby). Luckily I met a really nice local family so I sat with them the rest of the game, complete with the great aunt calling the Australians “a bunch of puss***” It was a REALLY classy evening, but a ton of fun. Everyone was REALLY into the game, and the fact that New Zealand won and would then advance into the finals the following weekend made it all that much better.

Day 5 – Napier

Hawkes Bay (where Napier is located) in addition for being known for it’s Art Deco is also known for its wine. So a wine tour it was. We decided to do a group tour because being the extremely intelligent person I am, I didn’t realize that wineries are free. MORON. I also didn’t want to make Liz drive any more as I was contributing zero hours behind the wheel during our North Island road trip. So we booked a group.

We stopped at four different wineries It was great to see Liz in her element. I however had no idea between an “oaky” charddoney and one that wasn’t. I did master the technique of swirling the wine around in the glass and sniffing it trying to make it look like I had some idea of whatever the hell I was doing.

I'm so sophisticated! :)

I'm so sophisticated! πŸ™‚


My favorite winery was a smaller local one because you could tell how passionate the owners were. I’m pretty sure that guy that owned the winery was the one that gave us our tastings.

Day 6 – Taopo

Our constant travel started to kick in. So our experience in Taopo consisted of checking into our hotel, utilizing the “spa” bath, watching a movie and going to sleep. The fact that this place had a spa AND wireless internet was EXTREME luxury. So we didn’t really see much of the place.

We did manage to stop by Huka Falls on our way out of town however (I will return to Taopo later on this week so will have more to report in about 6 months when I finally get up to date on this dang blog!)

Liz and I at Huka Falls

Liz and I at Huka Falls

Day 7 – Rotorua

Rotorua

Rotorua


Also known as “sulfur city” or “rotten rua” or “roto vegas” (as there are quite a few hotels there. Rotorua is another geo thermal area. When we arrived it was freezing and cold, so we decided to make our way to the hot springs. Apparently you shouldn’t stick your head under the water because there is a slight chance that some parasite can go up your nostril and kill you. Happy times. Luckily, I am not much of a get my hair wet person so I was fine. It was AMAZING to sit in warm water with the rain pouring down on your face. You want cold? Just stand up and then enjoy the warmth as you sit back down again. We did the adult pools, which consisted of 7 different pools all ranging between 38 – 42 degrees (thats celsius for you North American folks).
HEAVENLY.

Day 8 Rotorua

We wanted to check out more of the thermal activity so we drove to Wai O Tapo Geothermal area about 20k outside of the city. It was fantastic and scary at the same time.

Champagne Pool - the colors were more vivid there

Champagne Pool - the colors were more vivid there

We walked around the whole park which was about 4k and were walking just literally inches away from 100 degree boiling crap. It smelled FABULOUS (not). There was literally steam rising from bubbling crap around us every step we took.

Boiling Crap

Boiling Crap


Surrounded by Steam

Surrounded by Steam

I DEFINITELY felt safe

I DEFINITELY felt safe


It was amazing to see all of the colors from all the different elements in the water. I really really enjoyed checking this place out. We also stopped into the boiling mud pools on the way back.
Boiling Mud

Boiling Mud


We got back to the city and decided we hadn’t had quite enough so we wandered over to the various thermal sites around the city.

Can you imagine living here with this literally in your own back yard??? Crazy!

Day 9 – Back to Auckland

And now the Liz and Maria adventure comes to a close. We almost got into our first fight ever because I was being stupid and stubborn and insisted that she could just pull (NOT lift) her heavy suitcase down the stairs. When she refused, I volunteered to do it myself. BRILLIANT IDEA. I did manage to pull it down half a flight of stairs AND break her BRAND NEW suitcase all at the same time. I obviously felt like a wonderful human being afterwords…………sigh. Luckily Liz is very forgiving.

We left Rotorua and made our venture on to Auckland where Liz departed to fly back to Melbourne and I prepared to spend the rugby world cup finals in the city they were actually happening in.

More to come!


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2 responses

18 11 2011
Theresa

Fun seeing NZ through new eyes! Just two things: it’s Taupo, and jandals. πŸ™‚

29 12 2011
Sulfur City – Tamaki village and a Hangi « Maria's Blog

[…] late afternoon and having already been there a few weeks before with LizΒ  I opted to relax at the natural hot pool in our hostel rather than venturing out into the […]

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