Today Rob and I had the day off so we took a little hike up to the Paihia lookout and checked out the views. Then I ditched Rob and headed for a bike ride with Jenna and Gaby to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, which is where the treaty between the Maori and the British was signed in 1840. I was a little bummed to learn we had to pay an entrance fee (although I did learn that saying you are on a working holiday slashes the price) and also to see the cultural performance but it turned out to be well worth it. We started with the show, which involved a powhirl, the traditional Maori greeting, singing and dancing. Us girls were even given a chance to try our hands at the poi dance and the sole guy in the crowd chanted like a warrior. After the show we met our guide who took us around the grounds. It was only the 3 of us on our tour and it lasted 1.5 hours instead of 1 because we all had so many questions for each other and things to discuss. We learned how Maori spiritual philosophy is not much different from yoga philosophy and other forms of spirituality around the world. As our guide said, at our essence we all come from the same place and we are all one. A beautiful thought to end a wonderful day. Now I am sitting down with a glass of wine to our communal dinner at the backpackers for our last night here with our new friends. Cheers!
Tag Archives: Wanderlust
On Friday we checked out the Ngawha Hot Pools with our new friends Gaby and Therese. The water was super hot and there was one pool that you could barely sit in because the mud on the bottom burned your bum. Since they are natural geothermal hot pools, we all smelled like sulfur afterwards and I still can’t get the smell out of our swimsuits but the experience was worth the sacrifice! Now the weather is warmer so we have been wandering the streets and beaches enjoying the sun. Gaby, Therese and I did yoga in the park yesterday and attracted the attention of a few curious boys that tried to join us (they only lasted a few minutes and gave up after side crow). Always the Americans (and Canadians – don’t want to forget Gabs) making a scene!
Thursday was our last day on Waiheke chilling with Dave and Sue at the Crescent Valley Eco Lodge. The Island was a blast and gave us a great opportunity to interact with the locals. Dave and Sue invited us into their home and even made us Sunday dinners, which were great. We met their friends and had a great time chatting about just about everything under the sun. Below are a couple shots of the place we called home for two weeks on the island.
That night we made our way back to Auckland for The Get Up Kids show. The venue was an old Castle called Windsor Castle / Juice Bar. With only about 40 people at the show, Debra I were standing front row about 2 feet from the band. By far one of the coolest shows I have ever been too. At the end of the show one of the guys handed me the printed play list from the show, a proverbial greatest hits from all their albums. The next day, we caught the bus south to Rotorua for the weekend.
This is our 100th blog post (so WordPress tells me) so I thought it fitting to recap what we’ve been up to since we started this little adventure. Our first post was the day we sold our condo and quit our jobs. Now we’ve been on the road for 111 days, visited 3 countries, walked 240 miles, drove 11,000 kilometers and seen 3 wonders of the world. We’ve hung out with some awesome people from all over the world and enjoyed countless delicious meals and local brews. We’ve stumbled upon everything from a hip-hop festival in the streets of Beijing to the Dali Lama in a park in Brisbane. We’ve snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef and climbed the Great Wall of China.
Along the way there has been lots of singing, laughing and dancing as well as a few tears and even a fight or two. We are definitely getting the hang of life on the road and what it is we want from this experience. Sometimes I get a bit overwhelmed with the idea that this is it – the trip of a lifetime and what if I waste it? But then I breathe and “just cruise” as they say on Waiheke. And I think back to all we have done and what more there is ahead and realize this is it and it is even more amazing than I ever dreamed it could be. Cheers to 100 more posts and all the experiences we will have on our way there!
Hey Kids! Today is our last day on Waiheke Island before we venture back to mainland New Zealand. We started the day with a vineyard / olive oil / avocado oil tasting at the Kennedy Point Vineyard. Never tried avocado oil – its awesome. The oil has only a slight avocado taste, but is a very smooth. We sampled a wine what won the 2007 International Wine Challenge in London. It was their Syrah and was one of the best wines I have ever tasted. Let’s just say we picked up a bottle for the road. Now we are chilling out at Charlie Farley’s for some fun in the sun.
P.S. Debra found a preying mantas on the deck and had some fun playing with it as well.
Today we took the day off from work and got in about 11km of walking around the island. We left the eco lodge and headed to Onetangi Beach. It’s about a mile long of beach and has some cool views from the cliffs. The entire island is very hilly with vineyards peppered throughout. Dave told us about a cool cafe called Charlie Farley’s we had to check out. Good local beer and wings. They were ‘spicy’ but nothing Dabs couldn’t handle. After that we walked to a local brewery in hopes of a tour, but as we arrived a make-shift sign was in front saying they were closed for the day. Bummer. With that, we decided to head back to the lodge to chill in the sun and enjoy the hot tub. The weather today was sunny and in the mid 80′s, not bad for their winter. With that island being so green and everyone being so laid-back, it’s hard not to call this place paradise. Good morning workout and the afternoon to chill out. P.S. Guess what’s in the bags to the right….
Today we ventured out for a night on the island. We hit up a few places at Oneroa Bay and enjoyed the local brews and views. Rob especially enjoyed the Waiheke brews while he contemplated life and posed for his next book cover. The 2 hours of work per day is of course turning into more because we can’t seem to leave a project unfinished. Hopefully that means we will take a day off (yup, more than 2 hours of work a day turns into overtime) and hit up an olive orchard, vineyard or brewery (or maybe all 3!) while we are here. The plan is to stick around until next Thursday before heading to Auckland to check out The Get Up Kids show. I never say this (and normally make fun of people who do on Facebook) but I love our life!
We survived our first weekend on Waiheke Island! Yesterday our hosts, Dave and Sue, invited us over for a Sunday roast with their friends Ben and Kim. It was a great afternoon playing cards with Zion and Kai (Dave and Sue’s kids), eating lots of good food, trying out mulled wine and Dave’s home brews (both of which are quite good), and chatting it up about everything from music to traveling to politics. And yes, Bobby even threw in a little singing and dancing to some punk music to show the Kiwis and Brits how we roll in the States. Definitely a night to remember. And so cool to receive such a warm welcome from Dave, Sue, Zion, Kai and their friends. Cheers!
Sorry everyone, We are just getting to a steady internet connection since we have been in New Zealand. Yup, we are in New Zealand now! Without getting into too many details of Melbourne, which is one of the coolest cities we have seen in Australia, I will attempt to outline the last couple days.
One suggestion for Melbourne was to look out for back alleys and if they look cool, jump in. That was the best advice we could have gotten. The city is chalked full of cool back alleys with awesome cafes, shops and bars. Cool atmosphere, chill people and even cooler specials. Melbourne is the city of low key / chilled out restaurants. Period. We’re a big a fan.
On Sunday we met with Garry and Ruth (Ernie’s sister’s family in Woodend, Australia). The family welcomed us with open arms and showed us around. It was great to see where Ernie grew up and the outer city area. We were also invited to Lloyd and Pat’s daughters birthday party. It was awesome to meet the family and talk with everyone.
Our first day in Auckland, New Zealand was Tuesday. The area around the city was much greener than Australia. As we took the bus form the airport to city, the hills and rural area was more “euro’esk”, with a warmer / cozier feel. The city itself is something to see in a day, no need for 2-3 days, unless you want to do the crazy adventure tours.
********************************Bobby is handing over to Debra to complete the entry**************************
We wandered around Auckland for a couple days exploring the city. We checked out a few good restaurants (and a few blah ones too), the harbor and the NZ Film Festival. We saw The Guard, which was hilarious…go Irish humor. It is a bit of a strange city in that it hasn’t decided if it is a big city or not (hence the nickname the big little city). There is a ton of construction as the place gets ready for the 2011 Rugby World Cup in October. Should be interesting to see how it ends up and whether it graduates into a little big city.
Today we took the ferry to Waiheke Island where we are volunteering at an eco-lodge for a few weeks. The island seems pretty chill with some great scenery. And there are yoga and zumba classes so I’m a happy girl!
We said goodbye to the van (a.k.a. W.A.) yesterday. In the 35 days we had it, we put on 8,000 miles. Just to give some perspective, that is about the same as driving to Duluth from Minneapolis 51 times. Or as Debra likes to think of it, driving from Anchorage, Alaska to Mexico City, Mexico and still have a 1,000 miles to hang out. As we have been walking around Melbourne we have been catching ourselves look at all the gas stations to find the cheaper fuel, that habit will take some time to break. Cheers.