Friday, 29 January 2016

~Holiday~ Part 2: "A car...with unicorns on it!"

Please, don't mind the title - I'll get to that in a minute!

As you all know, my friend Jess, her mum and her baby sister Briea came to Rotorua to pick me up for the next stage of my adventure. First things first, meeting the new baby sister who is almost a year old. I'm no kid person simply because I'm not usually around little people, but I have to admit she was pretty cute!
After a good catch up with my Nana, off we went in search of some tourist attraction in Rotorua, tourist town and all that, surely one wouldn't be too hard to find? lol, I guess it depends on how much money you want to spend! Put it this way, I wouldn't spend almost $100 (per person) to wander around a big Geothermal experience thing...Anyway, we eventually found one that was more towards our price range but still quite expensive when you think about it. Another geothermic place called Hell's Gate (ridiculous name hey?) where we can wander around all the sulfur lakes.
In all honesty, it was surely too hot to be walking through there. I mean, the heat and smell of the sulfur and the general temperature being around 30 degrees...but, it was interesting. I definitely wouldn't be too keen on falling into one of them, what with the extreme heat and the extreme acidity! There was one somewhat volcano, that apparently erupts every six weeks and sends lava like substance in a five metre general range. We were understandably pretty glad that the six week mark wasn't the same day we were visiting haha

That night Jess and I got a few movies out, one of them being Super Fast & Super Furious. It was a re-enactment of The Fast and Furious being made fun of. So one of the lines basically went-
'what are you driving?'

'A car...with
unicorns on it!'

And quite seriously, this car had unicorns painted all over it. The whole movie was pretty ridiculous, but funny all the same. I wouldn't watch it again, but it's one of those movies where I can now say, been there done that, got the t-shirt sort of thing. The fact that Jessica fell asleep and was snoring her head off all the way through it meant nothing...hehe

On Tuesday we all went for a (expense free) trip to the Hamilton Gardens, a beautiful place but also another place I probably wouldn't feel the need to visit again in this lifetime. There were some gorgeous designs in there though, you surely have to think - wow, it's pretty incredible how they can keep it looking so awesome.

This is covered in grapes which look pretty neat winding around the poles :)

It doesn't look it, but these are extremely tall. The flowers themselves are potentially the size of the average person's head - or bigger, and my height (5 foot 2ish) would go up to the leaf on the right below the flower...

And this one is a major award winning design apparently, or something. But plants are hanging upside down and there's a shower of water with a pond underneath.
We then went for a wander around the shops at The Base before heading home to try and escape the heat. I think we can all agree, that humidity was intense!

On Wednesday Jess and I went off on our own to the Hamilton zoo, somewhere else I'd never been before. It was cool, but at the same time it felt weird being around the tiger enclosure - since it hasn't really been that long since the keeper was killed in there...

I actually quite like Giraffe's, they seem like such gentle giants. Although, they probably aren't but it's a nice thought!
Pretty little Zebra, no?

The Chimp's were mostly all chilling out inside. Sleeping. Pretty lazy.

After the zoo Jess shouted me lunch at the local pub/restaurant in Te Awamutu, we wandered around a few shops, yet again trying to free ourselves from the heat by going into the air conditioned shops! Every night we were sort of sitting up watching a movie until about 10 ish, but then we're still sweltering with a fan going and all the windows opened. It got to the point where I was still wide awake well after 11pm, not wanting to keep my bedroom windows open while I slept as I didn't trust anyone what with being in town and all that, so it was like sleeping in a sauna. Problem is that it's a different sort of heat as well, with it being a different climate.

One thing that surprised me was that not once while I was in Gizzy did I suffer from the typical hayfever. So not only did I not find it too hot being there, but I also didn't sneeze my head off - very strange. There must be different trees and grasses down there or something to what I'm used to. Actually, while I'm thinking about it - are there many pine trees around there? I think there were a few. Hmmm...

Thursday eventually came around and I caught the bus out of TA just prior to 11am, it didn't take us too long to get to Auckland, Sky City. The bus terminal is directly underneath Sky City and the Sky Tower, it's not the most safest place to be in my opinion. Although I'm not the biggest fan of Auckland city streets as it is, this place just seemed very unnerving. I wouldn't want to arrive there later at night, that's for sure. Anyway, it was a good terminal in the way that they do have an actual office where you can lock your bags up in lockers if need be, and there's bathrooms right there so you don't need to go hunting.
However the transfer for the next bus is an extreme amount of time. I arrived at 1:20 and left at 4pm, so it was a decent amount wait. Anyhow, the bathrooms I soon discovered are pretty dodgy, not somewhere you should go alone and with a few bags. These two women came in, one of them dropping smoke butts everywhere - scrambling to pick them all up as if she was gonna reuse them or flush them down the sink. I think she might've been stoned, or something. I've never met a druggy face to face so I wouldn't know.
But yeah, she got between me and my suitcase and wouldn't let me past. Started speaking, and I thought she said "you should never trust me" and I'm just wide eyed, thinking, no crap sherlock. But then it turned out she was saying "You should never trust men", she kept going on and on and on, "don't ever be alone" "Never trust any of them" etc etc etc for a good minute or so. All crazy eyed and such. I'm just standing there, shaking, nodding for fear of disagreeing with her at any cost. Then once I got a chance I grabbed my suitcase and got out of there as fast as I could, quite freaked out. Conscious of the fact that it was a closed in space with no cameras or other people around.

Once I got back on the street I was thinking, Ok, need to get into a busy public space somewhere, while also need to find somewhere to eat. But everywhere seems to be dodgy Asian or Indian places that I didn't trust. I thought I'd walk to Britomart which has an endless supply of friendly people and food places, Westfield and all that, but turns out that was a few blocks away. I was feeling quite paranoid about all the random guys walking back and forth on the streets, so in the end I dived into a little cafe and grabbed the last sandwich, then made my way back to the main street. In actual fact there's a cafe diagonally across the road from the terminal (and a small cafe at the terminal but it didn't look too flash), so I made my way over there.
I kicked myself thinking I should've gone over there to begin with, it's full of friendly staff and lots of people in there, so I grabbed a milkshake so I could have an excuse to use their seating, then spent my time people watching, inhaling all the disgusting exhaust fumes and writing in my journal. Yep, I keep an extra thing to a blog these days, it's quite handy and keeps my handwriting in check!

Once the bus to northland arrived at the terminal I skedaddled over there for fear that it might change its mind and leave early. It seems many other people had the same thought so I just joined the crowd of people sitting on suitcases waiting for 4pm to come around. Yet again, people watching and writing. One old guy asked if I was from England, because I was writing in a diary, nope just a local I replied. He said he had one once, but lost his bag on the trip so three weeks worth of memories were gone. I felt his pain, it would be awful to lose mine!

Finally though, I made it home. Mum was waiting for me with Jackson in the ute, he was so excited to see me, jumping all over me and licking my face - pretty gross dog! haha It was nice to finally be home again. Pippa was, pretty meh about the fact I was home. She sorta wound herself around my feet, I gave her a cuddle but she was more interested in food. So later on she suddenly looked at me wide eyed, as if she suddenly realised it was me. Pfft, I expected more of a reaction! Although this morning she was pretty excited to see me, as if she thought she'd just been dreaming. Mum and Dad have been letting her get away with blue murder though, Dad was leaning against the bench and she's just chilling out beside him and he wasn't even saying anything...

Speaking of Dad, I think he missed me. I think everyone missed me. I think they all missed me from the minute I walked out the door! But I'd been hanging out with Mum for a while when Dad got home. He was just like - "Dude", with the raised eyebrows. So I'm just like, "Ette" (dudette kinda). It's our thing. Then he came over for a hug, I was cracking up saying, gee Mum hasn't even given me a hug yet! But it's so good to be home, sleeping in my own bed in my own home. You don't realise how much you like it until you get to go home after a decent stint away. Then I disappointed them and went off to our young farmer meeting with Nick, wished I'd just stayed home as it wasn't too exciting and I just sat there falling asleep at the table. Sheesh, even Nick missed me. He drove my car to work the other afternoon and actually complimented me on my good car, he reckons it handles better on the gravel than he expected which is slightly amusing...apart from the fact he drove it in his gumboots...

Anyway, I go back to milking from tomorrow, I've got a busy week catching up with everything. Got lots of milking to do and fencing next week so it should be nice to get back into my schedule. I have to admit though, it's been a pretty awesome holiday. Couldn't have asked for a better one! :)

The Gorge - excuse the blurry photo

View from the top of the farm, looking out towards the east coast. The sea blurs into the sky so it's hard to see in a picture

The Falls

Cute little walking track that used to be used for horse and carriage - back in the day

This one is for Andrew, lol, I found out that Twinkies aren't actually chocolate like I thought, but actually little cake things haha. They sell them in some funny shops around the place that sells overseas junk food :P You're welcome!


  1. Twinkies, really? Haha, I thought they were an American only thing... :P

    And yup, there's pine trees round here. Massive forests on the coast, like, billions of the things, but there are some smaller clumps here and there round our way. Nice not to get hay fever for a change though!!!

    Lol, your dad was probably pleased to have you back safe, I bet! :P
    Why was Nick driving your car though? I'm just curious... Even more curious about the gumboots, but I'm guessing he probably just has a Fred Dagg complex... :P

    Oh, and I recognise that bit of the Gorge. Just saying. Although, placing it would be harder, just because I recognise it, I get it shuffled around a bit sometimes... :P I'm guessing, though, Southbound, nearer the Opo end, ish?

    1. Yeah those food court/mall things around Hamilton have the middle sections of mini shops, one of them selling heaps of different lollies and stuff from overseas. Twinkies included haha

      Nicks ute had finally been fixed up at the panel beaters from his beach expeditions including a whole lot of new paint so he wasn't keen to drive it on the metal roads too soon and figured my car needed a blast out. Yeah well, I drive in shoes and put my gummies in a container in the boot to save it from getting TOO dirty inside. He drove in his gumboots so I wasn't idea who Fred Dagg is...

      Hmm good question, I think that's a picture I took on the way to you guys, north/south, I dunno? But towards the middle section on the Opo side of the half way point.

    2. Fred Dagg was a Rural NZ comedian ages ago, since gone to Aussie. But he was the "iconic" farmer of the time, black singlet, shorts, and gumboots. Look some of his things up on YT, most of them are good.

      Haha, I would've have thought, though, that gumboots would be really uncomfortable to drive in. Oh well, that's just me I guess... :P Haha, such a loving brother though, thought you car needed a blast so, sacrificed time with his own car just so that yours could have an outing, that's just sweet... Shoulda brought the keys with you!!! :P

      Oh right, yup. It doesn't look far from Goldsmiths, actually. Its one of the few points where the river opens out and flattens out, gets even better for floating down on on a raft... :P

    3. Ah I might've seen some of his things before...

      Yeah and they wonder why the back of their gumboots split and mine don't. But then they've got Utes with lots of feet space, I'd hit mine under the steering wheel lol.
      Yeah, I know aye? So kind of him! Nah I wouldn't have been allowed to in case they needed to move her.

      Yeah I was thinking tyre tuning it through the Opo side would be fun!

  2. Sounds like a fun conclusion to a all-round good trip! Those photos are gorgeous!

    1. Haha yes definitely! I think going to that river/falls was probably the favourite. Probably because of the swing bridge lol

    2. Mwahahaha, the swing bridge. You don't know how many poor souls I have terrorised on that bridge... Consider yourself lucky you had electronic equipment that could have been dropped over the edge. It's the only thing that stops me, people pulling a phone or camera out. :P

    3. Lol you might've done it to others but you wouldn't have done it to me. How do I know? I didn't have my phone out for half of the time, there was ample opportunity...aaaand I'm not scared of heights anyway! Haha

    4. Haha, Pockets are bad enough. Believe me, I did that to someone once, walking along nonchantly with their hands in the pockets, trying to pretend they were calm. One shake, their hands flew out of their pockets to grab the bridge, and they flicked their camera out too somehow (I have since tried repeating the procedure myself, and still have no idea how they managed it, but they did. The guy was particularly smart, I must say... :P), which landed on the bridge, thankfully. So now, I make sure no one has any electronics whatsoever, as I would feel pretty bad if they lost them. As to not shaking it just for you, I dunno. The only two that have had that privilege so far are my parents (not a wise move, if they're driving home... :P). I was actually thinking about it as we walked back accross, it was sooo tempting. I haven't been there and done that for so long, I'm getting serious withdrawal. Last time was when my second cousin was here, and the guy from our SQ went through as well. The trouble is, he's just as bad as me, and was going to shake it when I walked along, so it was shaping up to be a fairly rough walk for both of us, trying to scare the other one out. Didn't work for either of us... :P

    5. Hmm I learned the hard way about hands in pockets on insecure situations. My cousins and I were standing on the rocks by the Bucket fountain in Wellington. As you'd expect for good old Wellington it was cold so hands in pockets, chilling out, then I lost my balance. Lol didn't fall in but it was close!
      Yeah I still don't think you woulda done it haha, if you did I would've just laughed but even so I would've gotten you back anyway. :P

    6. Ummm, yeah, not such a good idea aye... I was taught not to walk with my hands in my pockets, after our school principal scared us all with stories of people falling over and breaking their noses and such... Kinda scares you out of it, aye... :P But now, just recently, I notice I'm starting to do it again, not sure why...
      Okay, okay, you come back, we'll take you there and leave your phone in the van. Then we'll see, shall we? Hmm, gotten me back aye? And just how, may I ask? :P
      Actually, some people aren't scared of heights, but just being on a rickety bridge above a rather large and noisy(ish) river (and make sure you've told them about the size of the eels), being shaken by a lunatic, it can scare some of them.

    7. Yeah cos tripping over with your hands in your pockets could be kinda scary haha, nothing to catch the fall...
      Oh, I'm allowed to come back? Haha! Lol okay deal, but I'll come in a snow storm cos I reckon it would look quite pretty in the snow. Then yes I'd get you back...somehow...yup fears can really take control over people, heights have never been a problem to me.
      Actually have you heard of the Redwood thing in Roto's? Walking on the swing bridges near the treetops? That would be awesome

    8. Haha, you may have to be prepared for several visits and short-notice bookings if you want to come during snow. Not very predictable, even if its forecast... :P
      Yeah, I've heard of the tree tops walk, it would be pretty cool. There's one in Taupo, just a short thing about 200m, but that was a fixed boardwalk, not a swing bridge, so had a lot more support and such, so kinda ruined the trees a bit, too many had to be cleared. But a swing-bridge type set up, that'd be awesome, definitely...

    9. That's pretty typical of weather forecasts though. They've started out now with confidence ratings which are also often fails...yeah my uncle went on the redwoods when I was at your place and it's quite expensive for what it is...typical of Rotorua though

    10. Haha, yeah, Rotorua is home of over priced everything. Even Choc Bar icecreams are double what they are everywhere else... Also, when I think about it, a tree top walk through redwoods only wouldn't have that much variety...

    11. Try paying about $90 per person to walk around Sulfur things...less than a 1km walk. But, now I'm not being racist but it's still wrong, if you prove your Maori heritage (which I could but they wouldn't believe me) you get in free. Ha ha

    12. Whew, awesome!!! Just to walk around smelly boiling pools of mud, well worth $90, don't you think?
      The Maori Heritage thing is a joke. Some neighbors down here got benefits for their education, because their great grandmother was a Maori. They are blonde, blue eyed, and have skin whiter than mine in the winter. For once I agree with Andrew Little, the entire Treaty of Waitangi and surrounding issues is nothing but politics...

    13. Hmm and you wouldn't guess that my great great (great?) grandmother of sorts was a Maori princess...blonde with blue eyes although mum is very blonde. Lol

      Treaty of Waitangi, yeah

  3. The tree top walk near Hokitika is pretty awesome, not swingy but still awesome all the same.

    1. Hmm, sounds like another place I'll have to add to the list to visit and see it :P