I can’t believe how much time has passed since i last wrote! For a while i didn’t update things because i felt not a lot had happened – but now i come to look back on things I realise that quite a lot has changed so yet again there’s lots to say!
So...where did i leave off...ah yes – i was in Nelson, top of the south island of NZ...wow that feels like ages ago!
After saying goodbye to the girls, we drove to Picton where we caught the ferry back to Wellington, which was considerably less windy this time round! There we met up with Matt again for dinner and a few drinks, before we crashed at our hostel ready for the long drive the next day.
We drove all the way to Lake Taupo in the morning and spent 2 nights there...loads of people we’d met loved it here, but we didn’t find there was a hell of a lot to do...but it was a good place to relax and our hostel was nice (apart from the worst snoring roommate EVER! At one point i kicked his bed and threw things at him and he still didn’t shut up! Eventually he gave one massive snort and shut-up...for half a second i thought he’d stopped breathing...but at least it was quiet!
We finally made our return journey to Auckland, where we stayed with Lesley and Chris again. Once again they were amazing hosts and we joined them for a night out with some of their friends and went for a meal to meet their friends new baby (5days old!)...reminded me what i’m missing with my cousins new babies... !!
On Monday Mikey and i went to the airport to go our separate ways as he flew to Melbourne and I went back to Sydney...ready for my first few days on my own!! After 3 days, although i spoke to a few people i was very glad that my friend Carrie would be arriving after deciding she wanted to join me for a few months!!
I spent the days to myself trying to hunt out a hostel that i could work at in exchange for free accommodation. After about 25 rejections, i finally found somewhere...by which point i was so happy to hear a YES that it didn’t occur to me that it might be in a rubbish hostel that i wouldn’t want to work in even if they paid me to stay there...
And so followed a few days of drama! After dragging Carrie to stay in the same hostel...i enjoyed cleaning toilets and rooms for 3 hours a day in the worst hostel ever! I was told i had to give a weeks notice – which i gave in on my second day! Then the night after my third day working, i got horribly ill (food poisoning...something picked up from the dirty hostel...who knows!) so I couldn’t do my fourth day...and then we just left saying we couldn’t stay there anymore!! It was – as my mum would say – character building!! Luckily Kylie (who we stayed with on New Years), was my knight in shining armour and came to pick me up when i was ill and let me collapse on her sofa and sleep there until i recovered enough to move out of the hostel!
Anyway other than the joyous arrival of Carrie...the less said about those few days the better!
We eventually moved to an amazing hostel called Wake Up where we stayed for about 2 weeks just chilling out, enjoying Sydney. It is most definitely my favourite city so far – it was good to see it away from the craziness of New Years.
We had some great days on the beach, visited some great markets, hung out in the botanic gardens, had some fab nights out with some friends we made, and most amazingly – went to see an opera at the opera house!!! La Traviata! Our seats were restricted view with the surtitles hidden..so we didn’t always know what was going on, but i LOVED it!
We also went to stay with some people in Kiama about 2 hours south of Sydney...
It was Gerry’s ( a friend from BMTC) brother in law and wife Jim and Sonia. Gerry said that they’d be happy to put us up if we wanted to stay and see somewhere a bit different – and it was WONDEFUL!
Jim picked us up from the train station and took us to see Kiama’s main attraction – a big blow hole where the sea shoots out of a hole in the rocks. After lunch he drove us half an hour up the mountain to their house which Jim had built himself which was in the middle of a rainforest which they owned! It was absolutely beautiful. We had a lovely nights stay with them and met some of their friends who were equally lovely! Like Sonia (who makes amazing mosaics – evident all over their house!) they were all artists and crafts people...sculptures, artists, authors. Surrounded by them and the incredible rainforest i felt all inspired to make something!! Sonia said that if i ever return to Sydney i can come for a mosaic workshop!!
On returning to Sydney for our last few days, we did an organised day trip to the Blue Mountains where we saw kangeroos, went on a few bush walks and saw various famous rock formations and heard the aboriginal stories that go with them.
The bus we were planning on leaving to start our trip up the east coast was fully booked until 3 days later than we planned, and our hostel was booked up – so Kylie came to the rescue again and we stayed with her for our last few days, which turned out to be the perfect few days r&r we needed away from a dorm room before we got on the move...
And so the East coast adventures began....