Greymouth – Christchurch – Trains Trains Trains

My car rental drop off is at the train station, which is extremely convenient and only a short wait until I board the train.  While waiting I took some pictures of Greymouth.  I really like this town.

The train arrives and I board.

The train  ride was about 5 hours long, and not really much to mention about the ride, other than the views.  I am very happy I did Arthur’s Pass this way as the train slows down often to allow you to take pictures and enjoy the views.

I arrived Christchurch on time and head over to the Jailhouse Hostel.  This is a retired jailhouse which was converted into a hostel, but they kept it as authentic as possible.

Some pictures of the hostel.

That evening, I met my roommate, Max.  He is a young German guy, and about the nicest outgoing guy I have ever met.  From the minute he walked into the room, until the next day when we said goodbye.  He was always smiling, and just gave off this happy good vibe.  The type that makes it impossible to be unhappy when he is around.

I know Max will have an amazing time travelling.

The next morning, while wasting sometime waiting for my flight to Australia, I met a Chris.  Chris is a 31 year old American, living in China.  He is a principal at one of the high schools in Shanghai.  Chris and I got along great and we ended up spending the entire time together and with some good luck, even our flights leave at the same time, and gates are beside each other.

I really enjoyed meeting Chris and hearing about living in China.  I had a million questions for him and learned a lot.  He also gave me great advice about getting a teaching license.  I have been interested in teaching English in Vietnam or Thailand.

A short bit before our flights depart, I say goodbye to Chris and thanked him for keeping me company.

Below I have added some pictures of the container mall now in Christchurch.  I didn’t get a chance to post them earlier.

Next posting will be about leaving NZ and arriving in Australia.

Christchurch – Greymouth – Who drives on the left?

A while back one of the backpacker’s I met, told me about car relocation rentals.  These are rental cars that were left in a different location than they were rented.  Rental agencies sometimes rent them at a discount, if you are willing to relocate them back.

Searching online I found a website claiming to find them and they just so happened to have some going to Greymouth.  Exactly where I wanted to go, and at 1 dollar a day rental.  http://www.imoova.com/

I took the chance and booked the car. About 1 hour later I got the confirmation email stating where to pick it up.

Fast forward a day and I am at Thrifty car rentals getting my car.  Its a new ford, with a 6 speed standard.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the door to get in, was I was on the wrong side of the car.  I quickly toss my bag on the seat, acting like I met to open this door.  I then casually walk around to the right side and get in.

I adjust the seat, while hitting my head a few times.  I think a tall midget and a Chinese person was the last to drive it.  Anyways, I get the car started, find 1st gear and I am off.  So far, I made it around the first round about without anyone beeping at me for driving on the wrong side of the road.

As I approach the first intersection, I turn on my signal lights and see the wipers start moving.  Yes, those are on the opposite side.  I eventually signal as I am completing my right turn.  At least I found them, right?

Over the next 3 hours, I get my Bluetooth connected, radio on and have a rather uneventful drive.

Somethings my friends from home will love to hear about driving in New Zealand.

All roads are 100 KM/H unless you are in the city.  Even though you cannot reach 60 KM/H on a lot of roads, you can still drive 100.  I love this.  However, if you go more than 4 over, you will get a ticket.

Another thing is they do not stop for pedestrians.  If you are walking near a car, you better move.  They will hit you, as I found out several times.

My first stop is at Oamaru to see the cute little Blue Penguins.

I should have done a little more planning because the cute little Blue Penguins are hard to see unless you are there at night or early morning.  Good news is there are 3 on land that I get to see.  I also get to see their homes and some lazy ass seals.

They have signs everywhere stating no pictures and I see they are very serious, as I just noticed an employee watching me and cameras everywhere, but I was able to sneak a few.  The dark one is inside his little home.  He was sleeping.

Online picture of what I could see.

My next stop is going to be in Haast on the West coast.  The drive to Haast was uneventful, but has some really awesome pictures, as you can see below.

A Dam,

Me!  Mister Awesome!

Randoms

I arrived in Haast around 7 pm and checked into Haast Lodge Backpackers & Motor Park.

As I was checking in, guess who was standing there.  The 2 USA girls from New Years eve.  I was very happy, because this is my chance to apologize for how that night ended.  The one girl saw me first and said hi right away, the other girl pretty much avoided me, but did say hi.  However, I didn’t get my chance to say much right there, because the owner was checking me in.  The bad news is, I tried to find them before I left the next day, with no success.  So I didn’t get a chance to redeem myself.

I did have some great luck that night.  When I entered my room, the 3 other backpackers were not there.  Sometime around midnight they arrived at the hostel and decided they wanted a private room, and got one.  I ended up getting a 4 person dorm to myself.  Nice!

The next day I left the hostel early and headed down the road to find a nice place to eat breakfast.  This is where I ate my sandwich and had a ice coffee.


My next stop would be Fox Glacier.  You can’t see the glacier from the town, but a 5 minute drive down a back road, you get these nice views.  I stayed at the view point for about 20 minutes just enjoying it!

The views of Fox Glacier were pretty amazing, but I have to add this one picture of a beffed up cow that was standing along the road.

On my way out of Fox Glacier, I see a hitchhiker and I must pick him up.  I made this decision the day I got the rental car, that I would pick up every person I saw.  I have been picked up so many times, it’s time to pay back.

Trek is a 21 year old male from Japan and has been traveling around New Zealand for 7 months, often sleeping under bridges and has only used hitchhiking as his means of travel.  He has a very limited budget and didn’t want that to stop him from seeing New Zealand.

Trek behind me! πŸ™‚ Sneaky pic.

Trek is a funny guy, and has 100 questions about me.  Where am I from, what is Canada like, should he work and travel the rest of his life, or get married, etc.  But the questions are welcomed and I enjoy our time together.

Shortly after picking him up, I see another hitchhiker and pull over to get her.

Lina is a 23 year old girl from Belgium.  She has only been in New Zealand about 3 weeks and is loving it, but mentions several times, she is missing home and is not sure if travelling is for her.  I give Lina a few really good suggestions on how to make it more fun and how to get out of her shell.

One of my biggest suggestions is working for accommodation.  I told her about my experience in Hahei and how it felt so good to be in one place for a few weeks.

Less than an hour down the road is a campsite Lina wants to be dropped off at.  She isn’t sure how much it cost, so I told her we would wait and if she doesn’t want to stay, she can just hop back in and carry on with us until we find a good place.

The place was owned by a bunch of x bikers who were really rude.  Lina didn’t feel welcome so she continued on with us.  I have to say, I was a little surprised at how they acted.  My experience with bikers has never been like this.

Another 15 minutes down the road is a freedom campground that Lina loves.  It is on a lake and has lots of people her age.

Trek and I say goodbye to Lina and wish her the best in New Zealand.

It is another hour until we reach Greymouth, and our first stop is at the iSite.  This is where Trek decides he wants to depart.  My hostel for the night is also across the street.

Trek and I say goodbye, and I wish him the best of luck.  I know Trek will have a great life, because this kind deserve it.

At the hostel I decided take a dorm room for less than 1/3 the price of a private.  The dorm room has 4 beds, and I am the first to arrive.  Bottom bunk for me!

Later that day my only roommate arrives.  His name is Ian and he is a 36 year old Chinese commercial pilot. He currently is flying for Air China and is in New Zealand for 3 days, while he waits for his next flight.  A very nice break from flying.

Ian and I have a great conversation about flying and traveling around New Zealand.

Just before bed, I say goodnight and goodbye as Ian is leaving at 6 am, and I will be in dreamland.

Sleepy time!

kaikoura – Bunk Beds! Sad earthquake pictures.

Kaikoura is a beautiful town, but I arrived on a rainy day, and the rain didn’t stop until I left the next day.  However, I still enjoyed my stay.

This is going to be my first night sleeping in a dorm style room.  This means sharing a room, possibly even a bunk bed with other people.  If you know me, this is not my thing and a long ways out of my comfort zone.

When I entered the room, I saw 3 beds and one bunk bed.  Yupp! I got the bottom bunk.  Thank God! There is no way I would climb those stairs at night or in the morning to get out of bed.  There was only one person in the room at the moment, a young German guy.  I would class this guy as a hippy.  I tried striking up a conversation with him, but it didn’t go anywhere as his English was horrible.  No big deal.  A few minutes later a really cute young girl walked into room, about the same time the German guy left.  Another chance at meeting a new person and she is fun to look at.

So, I say hi and asked her how long she has been in Kaikoura.  I quickly pick up her funny, but familiar accent.  She is Canadian, from Ontario, but living in Banff.  I don’t remember her name though.  I will just reference her as ‘Little Red’.  Over the next 18 hours we have some really awesome conversations, ranging from Canada, to living the good life, traveling.  She is really nice and also reassures me that sleeping in a dorm is cool.  Most people are considerate and try not to annoy others.

After chatting with Little Red, I go for a walk in the rain enjoying the small friendly town.  I can’t see much, as there is a lot of fog.  I do see one thing, Mac’s Brewery.  Oh Yes! I want some tasters.

The tasty beers go down great, but I restrain myself from having more and head back to the hostel.

When I get to my room, Little Red is not there, so I just brush my teeth and jump into my bottom bunk.  Currently in the room there is the Hippy German, and 2 Chinese.  A guy and girl.

With some help of my beer, I quickly fall asleep.

Now that I have my first night in a bunk bed checked off, I don’t know why I was avoiding it.  It is 1/3 the price and not that bad.

My bus isn’t until 4 pm, so I decided to just hang out at the hostel, since it is raining.  While waiting, I started talking with an older couple from the UK.  I don’ recall their names either, but they are pretty nice.  The guy tells me all about his favorite hostel not far from my next stop.  I take some notes in case I get a chance to go there.

They also mentioned they have a daughter, so I mention I am single.  They then reminded me they already told me she is married.  I then politely ask if she has a daughter.  Nope! Was worth the try.

It starts to let up, and I am getting hungry.  They tell me about a very good fish and chip shop, with freshly caught fish.  Mmmmm! I am in and head down the hill.

They were totally correct, the fish is awesome.  For only 7 dollars, I got 4 rather large peaces of Blue Code.

I eat, smile and head back to the hostel.

Just before 4 pm, I see Little Red, and say goodbye.  I also see the UK couple and say goodbye as well.

The bus to Christchurch went by fast.  It was only 2 hours or so.

Back 4 or 5 years ago, Christchurch had two large earthquakes, and the damage is still evident.  I saw some major cracks in the streets that were caused from the second one.  A lot of historical buildings are still being restored.  Below is a picture of one from my walk to the next hostel and a new building, being constructed out of containers.

The hostel here was really different.  It is a loft, with a kitchen and living room on the second floor, and the third floor is a bathroom with two rooms.  My room has 3 beds in it.  Very tight.  This room is smaller than my last bedroom back home.

Anyways, my night here was good as well.  I am getting more comfortable with sleeping near other people.

While watching some Kiwi cop show, an older Kiwi couple told me all about the earthquakes and how some of the people died.  Some really sad stories.  One I will never forget is about the CTV News station that collapse killing 16 people.  He actually had details on how it fell.

His stories were really good reminders to love life, and to do what makes you happy.  I needed this reminder.  I was starting to go places just to see them, and not because I wanted too.  You’ll see soon, my plans change.

Back to my story.

Just before bed, a young German girl, Sophia was in her bed about to sleep and her and I started chatting.  We ended up talking for almost an hour about Canada.  She wanted to know everything.  From the animals, to the distance between towns, the landscape.  She told me over and over, she wants to come to Canada so badly, but didn’t get the visa and will try again next year.

Our conversation stopped when a young German guy, Rob, came into the room and Sophia told him his shoes stink.  It was actually mine and his. lol..

The 3 of us talk for another 30 minutes and then we decided to shut off the lights and go to sleep.

The next morning I was leaving early and only had a chance to say goodbye to Rob.  I wish I could have said goodbye to Sophia.  She was such a good person to chat with.

My next adventure is relocating a car from Christchurch to Greymouth.

Rotorua – Planes, Ferries, and Me

Kind of a cool story about randomly meeting the same person, so I wanted to add it here before the pretty pictures below.

When I was working in Hahei as a sexy stripper maid, I met a cute Texas girl named Darcie.  We only spoke a few short times, but decided to exchange contact information, in hopes we would see each other again, early the next week in Wellington.

Well, 2 days later, I took a 4 hour bus ride to Rotorua.  When I got there, I walked to a random hostel, and guess who is standing there.  Darcie!  I was so surprised I had no idea what to say.

Well, we ended up hanging out for 2 hours while she waited for her bus to somewhere.  I dunno.

Fast forward 2 more days, I am arriving in Wellington late and on a different day than I had said.  I get to my hostel and decided to text Darcie and tell her we won’t be meeting in Wellington, but guess what.  She is in the same hostel in the room across from me. Again, what an amazing surprise.  That night we just hung out and play some games in free area. πŸ™‚

Below is Darcie cheating at Man size, Connect 4.

Enough about Darcie the cheater!

You already know I took a bus from Hahei to Rotorua and it wasn’t all that exciting.

From Rotorua, I flew down to Wellington.  Was a nice short flight, about 55 minutes.  Again, nothing exciting, but some amazing views from the air.

Some below for your viewing pleasure.

I only stayed in Wellington 1 night.  It is just another city the same as the rest.

However, the ferry from Wellington to Picton (South Island) was awesome.  It was raining on and off, but still got some great viewing.

From Picton, I took another bus Kaikoura.  The bus ride went fast, as I fell in and out of sleep.  Woke up long enough to take some pictures. πŸ™‚

Rotorua – Thermal Pools

Today I left the hostel around 8:30 am and started my hike/long wonder around the parks here in Rotorua.  The first park with Thermal Pools is only 5 minutes from my hostel, so the fun begins very soon!

When I arrive at Kuirau Park, the place is empty.  I am the only person walking around, which is nice.  I take my sweet time, just looking at each pool, and chasing some of the funny looking birds.

The park is really kept up.  I am impressed at how nice everything is.

After about an hour of going, ewww and awww, I decide to continue into the next walkway.

Waterfront walkway was only 15 minute walk from the park.  Not bad and no hills, so I am very happy.

The first thing I see is a pretty cool looking tour paddle boat.  Similar to the ones I saw in New Orleans a few years back.

As I get closer to the boat, I also see a million, give or take a few, Black Swans.  I later found out, they are not native to New Zealand, but were imported from Australia a while back.  Still pretty cool bird, and a lot bigger than I expected.

The entire walk to Sulphur Point and back to the main street only took 45 minutes.  I got a lot of cool pictures in such a short walk.

The rest of the afternoon was rather uneventful, until later in the evening.  Around 6 pm I decided to walk down to the local brewery called Brew.   Very creative name!  Here I got a flight of tasters and enjoyed a nice relaxing 4 beers. Mmmmmm! So happy.

When I got back to the hostel, two Aussie guys were about to but on the 3rd Hobbit movie.  They asked if I wanted to join and I said, “Why not!”.

During the movie we basically talked the entire time.  The conversation mostly was about the different animals in both countries, and I found out that not all Aussies like snakes and spiders.  These two were both very scared of them.  I now don’t feel so bad about hating snakes.

When the movie ended I said goodbye and safe trip to the two Perth boys, and headed to bed.

The next day my flight is not until much later, so I spent a good amount of time sitting in the smaller common room wasting time after my checkout.   While sitting here, a young German girl came into the room to do the same.  After a few minutes Isabel and I start talking about where we are headed today, and where we have both traveled.  She is a really funny girl.  Always smiling and laugh at my lame jokes.  Maybe I am funnier than I think, I will let this go to my head. πŸ™‚

Isabel just left me, and I am now going to waste another hour before walking to my bus, which will then take me to my airport here in Rotorua.

My next post should be from the Ferry or South Island!

Hahei Team – Goodbye

When I left Canada, and started this big adventure I never imagined I would spend 3 weeks sharing a house with 4 hot young girls.  Well,  maybe in Thailand, but not here.

I also never thought I would be cleaning washrooms, for 3 hours a day either.

Well, the 21 days is up and I am now a boot to leaving the house.  Just as I am leaving, I look down at the kitchen table and see a sweet goodbye note from the girls.

I will truly miss these girls!

On my walk down to the bus stop, a few things ran through my mind. 1, was.  Age doesn’t really matter when it comes to making friends.  If the last 3 weeks has tough me anything, it is this.  Julia showed me an 18 year old girl can be great friends with a 36? year old guy.  It really only comes down too one thing.   If you are both good people, you will get along just fine and that is all that matters.

Another thing I learned, was patients.  If you want to get along in a group, you must be patient with each other.  This is not something I am well known for.  I rarely have patients when waiting.  I get very frustrated very easy and often voice my opinion.  This time has shown me, I am better than I was, but I have a long way to go.  I know the only way for me to get better, is to put myself in these situations more frequently and keep learning from them.  Wish me luck, and also the people who will be forced into these experiments with me luck. πŸ™‚

One thing I have known but never lived by, is that the job a person has doesn’t define them.  A persons actions, should be the only thing that defines who they are.  In the past I often judged a person on what their job was.  Which is really sad of me and I am starting to change.  Glen definitely helped in proving this.

My final thoughts are this.  I wish all the girls and Glen the best of luck, and too keep doing what they are doing, because I believe they are all on the right track to becoming truly successful in life.

Take care and I hope to see all of you again the future!

Still one of my favorite quotes and by a Canadian!
”I can tell you from experience the effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is.” – Jim Carrey

Hahei Team – Adventures of the crazy and insane

Cathedral Cove
After a fun day as always cleaning up the poop factory, we all headed off to Cathedral Cove for some swimming and sun.  Casey and Julia decided they would jog to the cove, while I would pace myself, in hopes that I actually make it.  The cove is about 1 hour hike, if you ask me from our house.  Casey seems to think it is 20 minutes.  Anyways, I leave first and within 15 minutes they all pass me, Casey gives me a nice peace sign, Julia smiles and laughs a bit, the two french walk right pass me and didn’t even notice it was me, huffing and puffing like an old man.  At this point, I am thinking, they are all dicks, but then the True French turns around and waits for me.  The rest of the hike is rather obvious, I bitch and complain about all of the hills, and about people double my age passing me.  Screw them all! lol.

We make it to the beach, and what amazing views.  I love this beach!  The cove is really cool, and the waves are fun the play in.

We stay for a few hours and then Aurelie and I start our death hike back.  Somehow the hike back is faster and not as bad.  I made it home! πŸ™‚

Here are some rad pictures of the cove and a short YouTube video here.
Youtube Video

Stingray Bay
Stingray bay is a little less than half way to Cathedral Cove, which I love because I am lazy.  The other bonus, is there is a lot less people.  Sometimes it gets annoying all of the young girls looking at me like I am a peace of meat.

Stingray bay was really awesome and I got to try my new fake, GoPro with my snorkel mask attachment.  We started off just playing in the beach area, splashing and taking pictures under water.

Then the girls got the idea to swim towards what looked like a cove.  My fat ass, also tried to swim there, but felt my life flashing past me.  For whatever reason, the 50 yard swim felt like a lifetime, but I made it.

The girls decided to climb over the rocks to the hole, that we thought was a cove.  While they were climbing, I was enjoying being able to touch the bottom, when all of a sudden it happened!  5 Stingrays were swimming all around me.  It scared the living shit out of me!  I just stood there hoping they would swim past me.  Finally after 30 minutes, or maybe 5 seconds, two went away, and I jumped at the opening, and slowly moved away from the other 3.  I tried to not scream like Ned Flanders, and act like a man.  It somewhat worked, no one saw me pissing myself.  I was finally in a safe area.

I see Casey and yelled at her, letting her know I see 5 Stingrays.  She came right down, and let me know, not to be a wussy, they are harmless.

We spend the next 10 minutes swimming around the Stingrays and taking pictures of them.  Below are a few from Casey’s GoPro.  I took all videos, which will be posted soon.

The rest of the time was spent sun tanning, and taking pictures.  Below is a beautiful picture of me trying to give Casey a ride of her life on the branch she was climbing. πŸ™‚  Sorry, if you are no longer innocent and pure Casey!

A few cool pictures below and a short YouTube video here.
YouTube Video

Stairs from Hell
Aurelie and I were at the beach and decided to try and find the stairs up to our house.  I remember Casey saying they are located just past the post.  We walk up to the post and do not see any stairs, so we continued down the beach and there they are, the stairs from hell.

We climb up about 10 steps.  That was not bad at all.  The rest of the way, is a beautiful walk which kept going on and on, but no stairs.  I recall saying to Aurelie, this seems to be a lot further than our house, and I don’t think those 10 steps are the stairs from hell.

After a little longer, we end up at the end of the path.  This is no where near our house.  We obviously took the wrong stairs, but loved the walk.

The next day, Casey shows us the stairs from hell, and they are no joke.  It took me longer to go up the stairs, then it did to walk all the way around, using the road.

After a few more times of doing the stairs, I did eventually start going up them without complaining. πŸ™‚

I wish I had a picture of the stairs so you can see what I mean.  When you look up them, all you see is step after step with no ending.

Aurelie sent me a picture πŸ™‚

Quesadillas Night
Not sure how this came about, but one day Casey and I were chatting and I bragged about doing Quesadillas on the BBQ.  The next thing I know, we are planning a Quesadilla night.

Only a few days later, we had the perfect weather day.  It started out as a perfect day should.  Hahei beach for some down time, and some good salt water.

After swimming it was time!

I fired up the BBQ, and pre-cooked the chicken.  The girls chopped up the prep food (Onion, Tomatoes, Tofu, graded cheese, etc).

Everything was now ready.  We all added what we wanted to each of our uncooked Quesadillas, and then it was time to show my skills.  Yup, the first one was slightly burned, then Casey’s was a little overdone, however, she wanted it that way.  The remaining turned out not bad.

Julia and Casey had already pulled our kitchen table outside, so all that was left was to have an amazing dinner.  Wine flowed, and great conversation was had.  Were my skills proven, probably not, but it was an amazing night and worth writing about.

Oh my, is Julia Posing Again!

Sandcastle
I don’t recall exactly what beach day this was, but I have to write about it.

All I remember was we had such an amazing day at the beach.  The sand in my face proves it.  Oh, you ask, why did I have sand in my face?  “Casey”, that’s all I have to say to explain it.

She decided her and I are building a sandcastle.  I did not know they severed Sand Sushi at sandcastle resorts, but she showed me, they do!

Below is a picture of me tasting the wonderful Sand Sushi.

Glen’s Birthday Party
Glen’s birthday night has so much, that I am going to skip somethings so this isn’t a novel.  It starts off with us catching a 10 minute bus ride to Purangi Winery.  When we arrive, we all grab a personal pitcher of their cider and order our pizza.

Next is sitting outside, enjoying the views and acting like idiots while we drink and wait for pizza.  As you can see from the pictures below, we are happy πŸ™‚

At some point, Glen recognized some old friends from Sweden were there and invited them to sit with us.  By this point, I was happy Rob drunk.  This worked perfectly, as we all laughed and shared some epic stories.  None of which I remember, other than, I was funny, charming and awesome, like I always am.

If you are ever in the area, go to this place.  It has amazing booze and even better pizza.

The rest of the evening at the Purangi Winery consisted of us trying to play ping pong, more shots, and a lot of bad jokes.  Truly awesome!

When we finally got on our bus to head back, I thought we forgot someone.  It was just my counting, the one I thought we missed was sitting in the front seat.

The night did not end here.  We decided to stop of the local pub for another drink.  This is where things got really fuzzy for most of us.

At one point I remember Glen leaving to walk home.  Not long after Aurelie and I also started our walk.

Half way up the Hill from Hell, Aurelie says, “Who is that on the ground?”  It’s Glen.  He is half sitting, half laying down, hugging an orange pillion.  I can’t remember how, but I got him up and he starts walking backwards down the hill.  I repeatedly shove him from behind.  Each time I do this, he stumbles about 10 steps towards home.  Eventually we all make it home and we leave Glen in his bed.

Somehow later Casey decided Glen must see the epic stars.  When she goes to get him, he is using his one foot and head to try and get through the doorway.  He was not using his hands at all. If only I could have seen this.

The rest of the night I don’t recall enough to write about, but I think Julia kissed a bunch of guys.  πŸ™‚ kidding.

The next day we all but Marie make it to work.
Go Team!

Don’t Pop The Bubble Casey
Just a random picture of Casey blowing bubbles in the Sea.  She is a bit of a hippy, but still pollutes the waters.

Someone left a Chocolate Bar
One day I was cleaning a toilet and I saw the coolest piece of crap sticking to the side of the bowl, so I immediately called Glen.  I told him there was something funny in the bowl.  He sticks his head in and says, “That’s impressive”.  I say, “looks like a Crunchy Chocolate Bar!”  Casey says, “What is it?”  But then Glen was nice and suggested she doesn’t look.

Sorry, I have no picture of this.

The work sucks some days, but it is worth it to get certified in washroom cleaning.

Goodbye Party
The night started off with us walking down to the campground for pizza, which we all thought was an easy task.  However, Casey and Julia saw the Lama that someone has as a house pet.  Casey has decided to name him Lenny  After waiting a few minutes of the girls taking selfies, we finally make it to the campground.  The place is pretty cool.  People everywhere, enjoying their day.

We all ordered and got our pizza and then headed down to the beach, to eat and drink.

We are done eating and Julia is officially drunk, and a happy drunk at that.
This what she wrote in the sand to show she will miss me. lol (Knob β™₯)

Our next task was to walk to rope swing and kick a bunch of kids off it, so we can have fun. Yes, you guessed it.  Julia had to pose for some pictures on the way there.

The rope swing was pretty awesome, below are some pictures.  One of the best parts was when Glen jumped on with Casey, and Casey once again became impure, but this time by the rope.  Sometimes she can scream like a true girl.

Me

Julia

Casey

Epic Glen

After the swing, the night took an crazy turn to the left.  Casey and Julia decided to go for a swim.  The next thing we see is Julia and Casey are naked, swimming and screaming like a bunch of kids. lol.  Some of the funnest things I have ever seen.

After they were finished, they couldn’t find their clothes back.  Glen and I were going to leave them there, but Aurelie, the sweet french girl showed them where they left them.  About 2 feet in front of their feet. haha!

Eventually we all left the two nuts at the beach and went home to sleep.  This was not the last I would hear from them that night.

About 45 minutes later, Casey and Julia arrived home and thought they would scare me.  However, they couldn’t figure out how to get my door open.  Next Casey tried my patio door, but it was locked.  This was my opportunity to scare the shit out of her.  I stood behind the curtain and waited for her to stop trying to open the door.  All became quit, and I jumped at the perfect timing.  I quickly pulled back the curtain and hit the glass with both hands yelling.  She jumped and screamed.  She then kept saying, I almost peed and you scared the shit out of me.  hahahahaha!
I WIN!


Julia and Casey now decided to cook a full meal.  This started off pretty bad, when Julia tossed the tea towel under the propane flame.  I saw it right away and calmly said, “I think I will move this out of your cooking way”  She didn’t even noticed.

The next funny thing was Julia says, “Should we add more Tomato?”, Casey replies, “We only have potatoes in here”, Julia says, “More tomato?”, Case replies, “Potato!”.  This goes on for a minute then they start talking about something else.

A few minutes later, Julia says, “Do you want this Tomato?.  Casey replies, “It’s a Potato!”, Julia looks and says, “Ok”, and then throws it across the table.

The question was never answered, “Do we have enough of whatever I am holding”

Eventually they are done cooking, and Casey has 3 plates on the table.  She tells me to get 3 plates.  I tell her there is 3 plates on the table.  She says, “well, then get those ones!”  Julia gets 3 new ones. Casey didn’t like this. lol.

I tell them I am not hungry, and Casey says, “We cooked for all of us, you are eating it!”  I eat it.

Julia has her plate full and is sitting.  Casey lets her know there is more.  Julia responds, “THERE IS MORE!!!” and runs over to get it.  The best part, is I have this on video.  You would have to see it, to see how funny her expression is.

The next and last funny part is when Julia was finished eating, but Casey was not.  Julia decided to take her fork and try and steal some off of Casey’s plate.  Her fork reached the plate, but Casey’s fast reactions, pulls her food to the other side of the plate, and lets out a loud GRRRRRRR! MINE!  Julia responds with, “I want some” and then takes what she can reach without getting stabbed.

Finally the girls are done eating and go to bed.  We are safe, no one burned the house down, and no one got stabbed.

Thanks girls and Glen for some amazing adventures and memories I will never forget!

Hahei Team – Bitch slapping, Poop cleaning, and Great new friends

It has been one hell of a learning experience living with people and cleaning other peoples crap over the last few weeks.  So get ready for some great updates of Tatahi Team.

The Tatahi Team is now 6 people, 5 of us are working for accommodations, and the other works full time.

Two days after being here, the owners hired another person to assist with the cleaning.  The first thing I asked about this new person was gender, age, and country. With great luck, she is 29, and not french Canadian.  She is true french, as she calls it.

Aurelie is a truly nice girl, and is a bit of a clean freak like me.  Which has made my stay in the house a lot easier, as she cleans often.  If you have ever had roommates, you will know that not everyone picks up after themselves.  So having her in the house, is a big plus.  And having one more eye candy, really helps.

I have to tell this one quick story about her and I.  The one day everyone was at the beach, but Aurelie and I. She decided she wanted to clean house. My plans were to have a few beer and enjoy the peace, and quite.  As she was cleaning, I did help her for a few minutes here and there.  Anyways, she was vacuuming and I was sitting in my comfy chair watching her.  She all of a sudden turned off the vacuumed, stared at me for a minute and said, “Just like a man to sit and watch a lady vacuum!”  I laughed and said, “I just enjoy watching women work!”  Since this day every time I have a beer, I tell her it just doesn’t feel right, when she is not vacuuming.  Another reason I get ‘The Look’ from the girls.

As you can probably tell, Aurelie and I get along pretty good.  I hope to one day see her again in France.

Awwww Julia, the 18 year old German girl, who I have decided  to call her “The German Princess Model”, as she is always posing in every picture. She is only 18, but her and I actually get along pretty good.  I tease her about everything, and she either tells me off, or nicely gives me the middle finger.  Probably about 3 times a day.

The German Princess Model

One funny story about these events, was one day she was getting up from the table and she kicked me by mistake, and I immediately said something bad, but can’t remember what.  Without hesitation she slapped me across the shoulder.  I then complained about being beat’n.

Julia is a funny and fun girl to live with.  She even shares her pancakes and random food she makes with me, when I am nice.

Julia acting like Julia below.

Enough about how perfect Julia is!

I don’t even know where to start when talking about Casey, the 23 year old Aussie.  I like to call her, “The Man of the House” as she always takes out the garbage, and is normally the one to tell others when they need to clean, but always in a nice way.

She is definitely outgoing, and seems to make friends everywhere she goes.  I see her has the Aussie, hippy surfer girl.  Even though she never showers, she still never smells bad.

Casey, loved by all!

I think I connect the most with Casey, mainly because we are only a few years apart in age, she also speaks really good to English, and we have a very similar sense of humor.  If someone trips, we both are the first to laugh, if someone falls, we are both the first to kick them when they are down, and for whatever reason, she laughs at my extremely lame jokes and normally joins in.

Below is a picture of the perfect example of what I mean.  Casey and I were building a sand castle? and Aurelie was taking a picture of our master peace.  With perfect timing, a handful of sand slapped me in the face.  Guess who!

Another great example, is when Glen was rolling up the garden hose and Casey decided to point it at my face.  As she says, she thought it was turned off, when she pulled the trigger.  BAM! right in the kisser again.  I didn’t even get mad,  I was maybe a little in shock, but at the same time it felt so good, cause it was one of the hottest day so far.  Since then, Casey has wanted bonus points for this event, because she says, she did me a favor my giving me a free beard wash.

Below is a picture of me about to pull down on the branch, while Casey yelled some random Aussie curse words. I don’t have an Aussie to Canadian translation book, but I am sure they were not nice words.

Onto Maria, the 26 year old French Canadian girl, who I just started calling, “The Sand eater”  This is because yesterday there were amazing waves at the beach, and 3 in a row made her fall down and eat sand.  We all had this happen, but not nearly as much as her.  The one time, she fell, and then almost got up, and then fell again, and now repeat that 2 or 3 more times.

Maria, I would say is a crazy movie buff, very quite, and a very nice girl.  We don’t talk too much, but when we do, we always have good conversations.  I normally tease her about not being Canadian, but French. Anytime I see her bending over while working, I try and give her a little nudge to see if she will fall over.  Surprisingly, she is the only one that doesn’t give me the finger.  Just gives me, “The Look!” lol.

On the left is Maria with Glen’s friend from Finland.

And then there is Glen, the just turned 40 year old, crazy guy Kiwi guy.  He is the extreme outgoing guy, full of energy, and super nice.  I don’t know how to explain this guy, without a few stories.

On his birthday, we all went to Purangi Winery for some amazing cider and pizza.  I won’t go into great details on the entire night, as that will be another posting.  Just image everyone drinking too much,  After the winery, we had a few more pints at the local pub.  There are some fuzzy parts, but for whatever reason, Glen left and tried waling home.  If you can remember, there is a crazy hill to our house.  Well, Glen never made it.  Aurelie and I were walking up the hill, when she says, “Who is that on the ground?”  It is Glen laying partially on the road, with one arm around one of the orange pillions.  I grab his arm and pull him up.  The rest of the way, I would give him a hard push from behind and he would stumble another 5 to 10 steps.  Eventually he made it.  The next day we ask him about it and Glen’s response was, “I tried so hard, but then I just decided, I am not going to make it, so I just laid down. The pillion seemed like a good mate.”

Glen is so funny and so full of it.  He spends his life working very hard with odd jobs, and when he has enough saved, he goes back to travelling the world.  Pretty awesome if you ask me.

Below is a picture of the team on Glen’s Birthday party night. From left to right (Me, Glen’s Friend from Finland, Aurelie, Julia, Casey, Maria, and Glen)

My next post will be details on our adventures.  Some absolutely crazy things happened.

Hahei – My first day in a maid outfit

It’s Sunday the 3rd of January and I am in Hamilton but only for the previous night.  Today I am on my way to Hahei to start my maintenance, maid job.  Not sure what to expect, as all I know is, it is 3 hours a day of cleaning at the hotel, in exchange for room and board, and that I will be sharing a house with 3 other people.  This is definitely a new experience for me.  I have lived alone since I was 17, and can’t imagine having roommates.

My bus arrives and I get on in the front seat.  The bus driver turns around and says, “Hi Rob!”.  I am like, “Hi?”.  How does he know my name.

Over the 2 hour bus ride, I find out Rich’s entire life.  He has lived in Hahei for over 30 years and personally knows the hotel owners I am going too.  He even mentions maybe we can go for a beer one night at the local pub.  If his wife allows him. lol.

2 hours passed really quickly and I am now walking up the driveway to Tatahi Lodge Beach Resort.  Debbie one of the owners is in the office and greats me with a big smile, and tells me I have excellent timing as the team just finished for the day.

The team currently consist of Casey, the 23 year old Aussie girl, Julia the 18 year old German girl and Maria, oh no!, a 26 year old French Canadian girl.

We chat for a few minutes and then Glen, a full time worker drives me and the girls up to the house and wow.  We live on the side of a cliff, over looking the Hahei beach.  What an amazing view from the living room and from my private room.  Yup!, I lucked out.  I get my own private room, with shower and crapper, because I am a guy and can’t share a room with the ladies.  Fine with me!

Below is a picture from my balcony, my room view and our living area.  About a 6 minute walk to Hahei beach.

The first night with roommates went by quickly.  We basically just chatted about the work, the area, and our past travelling adventures.

It is now the next day, and we are walking down the hill to work.  I am not going to enjoy walking back up this hill, I assure you.  Damn it is steep!  Casey laughs at me bitching about the hill, and Julia tells me I am old, double her age.  She points this out often.  No, worries, I get my revenge πŸ™‚

Well, we arrive at the lodge and today I will be working with Glen cleaning.  He will be my mentor for the first day to show me what I am doing.  Cleaning shitters is a highly technical job and I want to be certified by the end of day.

Without going into crazy long details, my job is to clean each bathroom, from 9:30 to 12:30 each day, and then sweep whatever if there is remaining time.

Fast forward a few days!

The job has been going great, but we rarely finish at 12:30 as we agreed.  Even if everything is completed, they try and sucker us into 15 or 20 minutes more.  Not sure how much I am liking this, as they are getting extremely cheap labor, without giving us meals, or days off.  Every woofing job I have heard about is commonly 3 hours a day, 6 days a week, in exchange for a bed, with 1 meal a day included.   However, the work is extremely easy, we live in an amazing house, with tones of cool beaches.  All free!

Lord Of Ring – Wearing a Maid’s Outfit – Asshole Rob comes out to play!

It has been a while since I was able to post an update, so
here goes another post embarrassing someone, or me.
After having an amazing Christmas dinner with the group up
in Kaitaia, I decided it was time to start exploring south of Auckland.

Boxing day as I know it, I say goodbye to anyone who is up from partying last night, and then I head to the bus.

Auckland I had no plans, but then over heard someone saying there is a volcano right here in Auckland.  I google it and find it is not far from me.  Woot Woot!

1 hour of walking and a lot of bitching in my head about the uphill climb, I make it to Mount Eden.  This volcano hasn’t been active in 50,000 years or more, but it still looks so cool!

Below is a picture from inside it and also two pictures showing the view outside.  In the one picture if you look close you can see two other volcanoes.  I will post a video soon!


A faster walk down, thank god.  Even better news, I pub in the middle of nowhere.  I think it was placed there for me. πŸ™‚

A few pints and I am a happy traveller.

My original plan was to head to Coromandel, where some
of the best snorkeling in all of New Zealand is.  However, when I called around for rooms, it
was completely booked. The next place on my list was to see the volcano from Lord Of The Ring and with good
luck, I found a place with a room, called Ski Haus, pronounced Ski House.

The next day I arrive in National
Park the town, and OMFG, what amazing views, I cannot believe
how realistic Mt Tongariro is.  You might better know it as Mount DOOM, the volcano in Lord Of The Rings.  There is
actually several in the area, but Mt Tongariro, looks like a volcano from the
cartoons.

In the picture below you can see Mount DOOM, and Mount Ngauruhoe is the one with snow and the one I climb :).

Video link here!

While at National Park, I decided I really wanted to
snorkel, and so I sent out a few messages to different hostels looking for
work, in trade for room and board. 
Quickly I got a response from Tatahi Lodge, stating they had an opening, 3 hours of cleaning, in exchange for a room.  I call and accept! 

Yup! I am officially going to be a maid for 3 hours a day.  Glad I shaved my legs before I left, because
I don’t want to look stupid in my maid outfit.

The bad news is, there are no buses that run from National
Park, to Coromandel – Hahei.  No big deal, there is a bus that goes to Turangi, and then Hamilton, and then Hahei.

I end up staying in Turangi for New Years.  What another interesting story.

When I called to book 3 nights in Turangi, the guy on the phone I could tell was out of the closet or should be, and sounded like a fun party’r.

Yup! Joel is obviously gay, and I think he is fun.  One downside, he is an American.  Uhhhh!  We spend the first day drinking from 11 am on, and talking about.  I don’t remember, but it wasn’t good.

Fast forward a day, it is now New Years.  Joel and I sit out under a shade tree drinking and again having horrible rude conversations about everything a straight guy and a flamboyant american shouldn’t say.  We are killing time waiting for the party to start at another hostel.

Time flies bye and we are now arriving at the other hostel.  I immediately see two girls sitting on a sofa and the last open spot is with them.  I jump onto the open spot and say, “Hi, I am Canadian, I mean Rob!”

Guess what! They are somewhat impressed, that I actually jumped onto the spot, the one girl says, “We are from American.”  I say, “Oh, if I knew, I would have sat with the gay guy! Just kidding, I like blondes!”  She and her even hotter friend laugh.

The night is going great.  I am the right amount of drunk, where I am confident and not annoying yet.  If I keep this up, I am for sure going to get numbers or more. πŸ˜‰

I was wrong!

Not sure how much time has passed, but I have been drinking way to fast and we all start to play drinking card games.  If you know me, you know I hate cards and don’t play them.  Even worse, the guy explaining the game doesn’t speak Canadian and I have no clue what I am doing.

After a few hands, the guy beside me starts making fun of me.  I get pissed and confront him rudely.  He shuts up and becomes a wussy.  And then it happens, I realized I am the asshole of the party.  Everyone heard whatever I said to him.

Rob, gets up, grabs his remaining booze and tries to sneak out.  

However, the two hot US girls spot me and rush over to stop me.  I said, “I am outta here, I am way to drunk.”

Both girls ask two see me the next day and for my number or Facebook.  Remember, Rob is drunk and pissed off.

I respond with, “I don’t even know your name, and your almost my age! so I doubt it!”  I don’t remember what happened next, all I remember is waking up in my bed.  Somehow I made it home.

The next day I was embarrassed and didn’t talk to anyone.  Eventually my bus came and I just left.

Yes, I was a complete asshole, and obviously I haven’t changed who I am at all.

The entire travel to Hahei, which included a night in Hamilton, and all I did was contemplate why I am doing this, why I am on this journey to be a better person when it looks like nothing has changed.

Did I sell everything, leave everyone, for no reason other than to not work?