Hi! Finally finally an update. This week I have felt totally absent from time. We’ve been traveling for a full week now, and my blog/journaling has been sans internet, mostly. Below are my random Microsoft Word-hewn thoughts from the last week. Forgive their totally sporadic and stream-of-consciousness style. 🙂
Feb 27th, 2013
I am totally pumped.
First, I’m pumped because this was my view this morning:
I’m pumped because I’m finally typing on my computer, something I haven’t done in at least two weeks.
And I’m pumped because we’re lodging at what’s by far my favorite resting place thus far – Kanuka Ridge, right by Abel Tasman, where we’ll be hiking tomorrow.
Let me back up: the last three nights we’ve stayed at urban hostels, two nights in Auckland and one night in Wellington. They were great locations – walking distance from all the little do-diddies we needed to access – but very urban hostel-y. In other words, not so much space, lots of people, and a public kitchen, which is one of my irrational phobias. Here, we made it to the South Island, sort of where the Rasmussen travel party’s at: now the fun is really getting started.
I haven’t been able to post in detail about our time in NZ yet, so Mom and Angela and Sarah, here is the detailed version – everyone else, feel free to skip to pictures. 😉
We got to our super long customs line in Auckland on Sunday morning with four bags, no transportation, no New Zealand currency, and no place to stay that night. And friends, that is reason #512 why I’m married to Cody: in about thirteen minutes, he had it all figured out. We hopped on a bus downtown and were moved into our double room at a reasonably priced hostel within an hour. We were two blocks away from the car-buying place and one block away from the WestPac bank, where we can get money without tons of charges due to their relationship with Bank of America. The only funny thing was that our two-person room happened to be a set of single bunk beds.
Sunday afternoon and evening is kind of a blur – we wandered the streets of Auckland and found a yummy kabab place and cool brewpub before crashing. Major perks: free wifi (yaaay getting to post on Facebook and email the siblings), our own room, and location. Plus, incredibly helpful staff that put up with us the next day. And an espresso roasterie next door.
Because drum roll please… Monday we performed our very own Comedy of Errors as we did a little jig around the bank, hostel, other hostels, the car place, two phone places, and the post office getting all our errands done. By the end of the day, we had a car, bought from some travelers from Germany, cool guys about our age that all had on coral board shorts (coincidence? I don’t think so. Sign that they are trustworthy? Definitely), and were eager to sell their car before they flew out this week. We got the car inspected before buying it, and even caught some Oscars along the way. Oh wow, my sentence was still going there huh? Okay, by the end of the day, we had a car, NZ phone numbers (perk: with a data package for our iphones), IRD numbers (that has something to do with taxes), an NZ bank account, and 0 energy. Everything was easy, but not necessarily simple. Or fast.
We stayed in Auckland again on Monday night in our funzo bunk beds, then got up early on Tuesday and drove basically all day. Boy, was it a drive, though.
Other than basically almost selling my arm and Cody’s leg to pay for gas, we had an amazing drive down to Wellington. We nabbed a couple beds in another urban hostel downtown – this time, we were in separate communal rooms. Not so awesome. But we got to text each other after saying goodnight, which was a fun college flashback. 🙂
This morning (Wednesday, as I type this) we got up early to catch the ferry to the South Island. I had a dream I was trying to find my old college dorm room, but it was Junior year and I didn’t live there anymore (that was the semester I went to Oxford). I was skipping down the hallway with a friend of mine (Wes, if you’re reading this, it was you. Not sure why we were skipping but it was really fun), then the end of the hallway, the floor turned into a road, the skipping turned into riding in a car (a couple more people joined at that point) and we were driving (I think Cody was driving) around a swooping curve along a bay. All of a sudden, a HUGE orca splooshed its tale out of the water – and behind it, another one, and another, until a whole line of ginormous whales was swimming 20 yards away from the road. But THEN the car turned into a tiny boat and we were literally next to the line of whales, until one of them popped its back out of the water and LIFTED us up with him. The boat slid to the side and splashed (upright, thank goodness) into the water. It felt. So real.
I dream weird things abroad.
What was the point of that? Oh, this morning we got up and caught the ferry. Cody saw some dolphins and we discovered a breed called Miniature Penguins (or… something like that). B-e-a-utiful.
Today, I got to think deep thoughts as Cody drove us around the bright green, rolling hills – thoughts like, what if, when we went through immigration control upon arrival in New Zealand, they made everyone mark on the form what kind of Middle Earthian character they’d be (instead of what kind of job we plan to have). I would want to be an elf, but a hobbit wouldn’t be bad either.
Yes, today’s drive was basically Lord of the Rings – in my imagination, at least. Oh! P.S., Tuesday’s drive took us past Tongariro, the mountain more commonly known (ahem, to me at least…) as Mount Doom. It was scary but awesome. (P.S. sorry for the horrible quality of the picture :D)