BLOG # 8 HONG KONG HAS LESS ROCKETS THAN YOU THINK
Nelson, New Zealand
Boarding our sixth aeroplane, we discussed our great expectations for country number five: giant bubble houses and transportation by rocket was what Meg thought was waiting in Hong Kong. She was right, Mars is great this time of year and bubble houses are suprisingly practical. Jokes - but they do have TV's in the backs of taxis, ginormous shiny sky scrapers and escalators EVERYWHERE!! After three months of going it alone we were lucky enough to be taken in by the lovely Durbin family. Greeted by a roast dinner and a cosy bedroom we felt like we were in heaven, having spoken about Asia's lack of roasts for three long months.
After writing two pages on Hong Kong, we've realised everything went a little too smoothly and therefore is not funny enough for our avid readers of this fantastic blog as there weren't any disasters or near death experiences. So to avoid loosing our massive fan base, we scrapped it and will bullet point our highlights of Hong Kong for you:
- Home made meals at the Durbin house
- The Durbin's sofa
- The Durbin's DVD's
- The Durbin's bath
- The Durbin's cereal cupboard
- The home made meals at the Durbin's house
- The Durbin family
- The Vittachi family taking us out for dinner
- The Vittachi family taking us out for puddings
- Spending the day out with the Vittachi family at the country club complete with swimming pool
- The Vittachi family taking us out for lunch
- The Vittachi family
- The rollercoasters at Ocean Park
As a result of the above, we've decided Hong Kong is our calling and are already planning a relocation for six years time. Self teaching Manderin will be a struggle but is required. When we publish this and make trillions, we'll spend it on a beach house come city apartment there.
It was then time for New Zealand where we were excited to start our campervanning adventures. This excitement was almost crushed when upon arriving, it turned out there was actually no campervan booked under our names... Cheers Nick from STA Travel Agents - you did an awful job. Luckily we are now pro travellers and managed to sort it ourselves during and touch and go twenty four hours. The reality of driving around New Zealand hit home when we were handed an AA map, keys to a gigantic pink 'Flower Power' van (happening to be an automatic which neither of us have ever driven... we just liked its paintwork so pretended) and Eli mistook the accelerator for the break and almost reversed into a parked van. Having just opted for the most basic, cheap, budget, uninsuring, insurance, it was great that Meg saved the day by screeching 'BREEEAAAAKKKKKKKKK' in the nick of time so it was only a near miss. Lessons learnt, it was time to make our way out of the warehouse and onto the road to grab New Zealand by the deer horns. Our first stop? A deer farm where we learnt to be deer farmers and rode around in a pick up truck like the real deal.
Against all odds, we navigated our way to Queenstown where we spent the next five days playing frisby-golf, drinking and reinacting 'Jackass' as we broke into a 'technically' out of bounds ski resort for some 'SHHOOOPER SLEDGING'. We must admit, it was a little risky and ended with Meg narrowly avoiding a cliff edge only to hurtle into a cement ski lift base at quite a speed. Eli panicked as she saw Meg face down in the ice, but somehow she'd escaped with just some minor grazes to the hip. At that point we decided it was time to retire back to the hippy fan to make chicken sandwiches. We were sad to leave Queenstown as it was shooper sledgy fun and home to our new gal pal pet 'Maggie' the wild mouse found scattering around the kitchen surfaces/microwave/floor. Mice a side, it's very nice to have big clean kitchens, to cook our elaborate gormet meals - sausage and mash is so far our greatest achievement, closely followed by pesto pasta with chicken and bacon pieces in it 'a la carte'.
From Queenstown, we headed on a glacier hunt to Fox and Frans Josef. We walked all the way up to Fox Glacier on our DIY glacier tour (to save the pennies), but didn't manage to see Frans Josef through the clouds and rain... it could also have been something to do with not paying attention to the signs and trecking for two hours in the wrong direction (apparently DIY tour number two didn't go as well as the first). We then drove to Punikaki, to spend the night before a supposedly fantastic canoe trip which we were forced to cancel at the last moment due to deathly currents/a spot of rain. Meg and Steph - how did you pass on the weather curse?!
The further north we ventured, the sunnier the skies got, so far peaking in Abel Tasman where we've really made the most of it. We began our stay with a horse treck across the beach at sunset. As romantic as this sounds, it was in actual fact terrifyingly hilarious as our uncontrollable horses galloped (honestly, they ran VERY FAST) towards the wet sand our wild west style instructor Tim had emphasised we were to avoid, as the horses would go 'head over heels', our lack of control over them made this more of a challenge - apparently screeching 'WOAAHH' repeatedly whilst yanking the reins with all our might had no effect. This was particularly the case for Eli's gigantic horse beast monster 'Happy Feet' who really lived up to his name as he ran after Meg's horse 'Frogz' who knew only two speeds; snail pace or race horse. Unfortunately, she had little control over which he chose - this was a right mare when her feet fell out the stirrups and she lost grip of the reins. Somehow, we both kept our cool and stayed on our horses throughout the adventure. If you're currently picturing Megan and Eli on horseback, following man in cowboy outfit, complete with hat, through the jungle and onto the beach whilst cantering, arms flailing, screeches loud and faces full of fear you would be correct. To quote Tim 'I like to watch you two... You're funny, you go into shock mode'. It was probably the funniest afternoon we've had. The excitement didn't end there as today was sky dive day. From thirteen thousand feet we fell out a plane for fifty five seconds of free fall - thank god it was tandem so we couldn't screw it up. It was absolutely INCREDIBLE and Eli's lifelong dream of being able to fly came true (almost?!) .
New Zealand has so far been an adventure, we've loved every mintue and are crossing our fingers to make it back to Christchurch to return our van safely in a couple of days after a spot of whale watching.
- Number of boxes of cereal eaten in the past ten days - 6
- Number of loaves of bread eaten in that same time - 3
- Number of steaks enjoyed, only to be told that it was recently a cow on that families farm - 2
- Number of wrong turns taken - 2 (believe it or not!)
- Number of life threatening activities undertaken and survived - 3
- Number of meals we have made and then discussed in all seriousness how great we think we are at cooking - 7
- Number of pet mice called Maggie - 1
- Number of hours spent driving - 23
- Number of hours Meg has spent wailing along to the music in the van - 23
- Number of hours Eli has spent cringing at Meg's inability to sing - 23
- Number of times Jackson 5's 'ABC' has been blared with windows down like true G's - 2
- Number of times the keys to the van have been 'misplaced' - 4716907126417022414
- Number of meals from a tin we've pretended to enjoy - 3
- Number of times we've been asked if we're hippy lesbians because of our van - 1
PEACE AND LOVE ENGLAND. PEACE AND LOVE.
Ps. Caught a bit of the whole Jub. thang on stevie the TV and the Rozza fam were looking ace, especially that newbie Kate (or Kat if you're from India). Get well soon Phil (sure he's reading).