Tag Archives: Mount Eden

An Apologetic Re-cap (I have tried to be brief)

7 May

I am a bad person. I haven’t updated this blog in over a month, that’s almost a third of my whole trip. For this I am sorry. But like all bad people with good intentions, I will now overcompensate by spoiling you with multiple entries in my last few days of being away, and that will make everything better.

So here’s a summary:

We’ve travelled the thousands of kilometres that make up Australia’s East coast. We did this through various methods of transport ranging from coaches to planes to a 6-person monster of a motorhome complete with kitchen (of sorts), bathroom (of sorts), dining room (of sorts) and no less than 3 double beds.

We went to Sydney and stayed with my parents’ friends over Easter (gin and steak); we went to Byron Bay and skinny dipped in the rain (cold but liberating); we were far from enamoured with Surfers Paradise where we stayed in a hostel named ‘Backpackers in Paradise’ (ironic or just downright fraudulent); we went to Brisbane and enjoyed a much-needed Sunday roast (it was still raining); we searched for sharks at Fraser Island but only saw dingoes (glorified foxes); we got bored at Rainbow Beach (not small town, just no town); we swam in the lagoon at Airlie Beach (it finally stopped raining); we snorkelled at the Great Barrier Reef while sailing the Whitsundays (still no sharks, but a bloody good tan); we witnessed a miracle in Cairns (an almost dead parakeet and one woman’s healing hands) and we croc hunted in Cape Tribulation (but came away empty-handed).

The infamous motor home.

The Whitsundays.

Whitehaven Beach.

Australia was great. It was so great, in fact, that on the night before we left, when we had said goodbye to Laura, Lucia and I sat in our shitty little hire car and cried. I’m not sure exactly what either of us were crying about to be honest, but I am sure that part of it was to do with leaving the country that had become our home for over the past few months.

New Zealand was very different. For starters it was cold. We had travelled from tropical Queensland to Christchurch, where I was somewhat alarmed at the fact that everybody had adorned themselves with ski jackets and scarves, and all I had was a zip up hoody (with a broken zip) from New Look which was purchased approximately 2.5 years ago (it wasn’t warm, is the point). Because we were poor we slept in the airport. We got woken up at 5am by a lairy female security guard in a tie, which wasn’t ideal given that we had also spent the previous night sleeping in Cairns airport, and the entire day in between sat on a sofa at Brisbane airport. I was sick of airports. But we had no choice because we had a campervan to pick up the next day; from the airport.

Unsurprisingly the week to follow contained a lot of driving. Numerous mountains, various lakes and and a hell of a lot of rain. We almost slept in a campsite that was uncomfortably reminiscent of the setting for House of Wax on our first night, but avoided that and opted for a car park instead (classy). We went to Queenstown and ate Fergburgers (I forbid anyone to go to that part of the world and not demolish one), we rode horses through Lord of the Rings country, ate another Fergburger, went on a cruise through the fiords at Milford Sound, and ate a third consecutive Fergburger (I wish I was lying).

New Zealand looking nice.

We kayaked on Lake Wanaka and crashed our campervan (only minor and we had full insurance so no biggy). We stayed in a caravan park next to a family that were so friendly they invited us into their motorhome to drink wine; I did not want to accept for fear of murder but Lucia already had, and I was comforted by the glass bottle as a potential weapon nearby. The woman scared me when she told us we were ‘brave’ because we should never just stroll into someone’s motor home who we don’t know. My first thought was to agree with her, my second was to worry what she was going to do to us. Luckily no violent act occurred but I still went to bed and woke up screaming with a nightmare about them. We left early the next morning.

We saw baby seals and pods of dolphins in Kaikura. We had our helicopter flight and glacier hike cancelled due to bad weather on a day that is now known as ‘Black Friday’ (my very bad mood) and we have had no refund as of yet. We went to Japanese natural thermal hot pools and I failed to read the sign that informed me my silver jewellery would turn black because of the sulphur. My jewellery turned black, and I was cross, not only initially because I thought it was ruined forever but because of the subsequent dollar they charged to clean each piece.

We got free margaritas in Wellington and read more information on earthquakes than our brains could handle in the Te Papa museum. We climbed a volcano in Auckland and fell asleep on the top of it. It was dormant, so were we (ba dum chhhhhh). We did lots in New Zealand and I enjoyed it all, aside from the irrepressible thought that we were so close, yet so far, from home.

New Zealand looking nice again.

I survived the twelve hour flight from Auckland to San Francisco with only the aid of double the dose of Valium that my doctor had advised. It worked and I managed to sleep on a plane for the first time in a long while. Now we are in America, but i won’t go in to that just yet because I am suddenly aware that this post is very long and therefore contravening the intentions stated in the title.

Lots of love for now,

Cat xxx