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On the Road to Adventure How can we call this place earth, when clearly it is ocean..

Kia Ora New Zealand

NEW ZEALAND | Sunday, 22 February 2009 | Views [925] | Comments [1]

I should start this entry with a warning.. there may be a substantial amount of horse anecdotes in the next few entrys.. it will become clear why this is over the next few lines...

So after a long days travelling from cairns to sydney and then sydney to auckland we arrived in New Zealand. After emerging from the airport cluctching out New Zealand Dollars we started to look for the bus we had been told we should get to our hostel, after alot of gormless wandering we were informed that the bus stops running at 2200 and it was now 0030, so we hopped into a surprisingly cheap shuttle bus instead. We soon discovered why it was so cheap when we were the last stop and it took them over 2 hours to deliver us to our hostel instead of the half hour it should have taken.

We got a little bit overtired and silly and once we had checked into our hostel muchly annoyed everybody else in the room as we attempted to make our beds, without turning the light on because we didnt want to disturb anyone , and instead stubbing our toes and ending up giggling very loudly and disturbing them lots. As you can imagine we were very tired and so we overslept, we didnt mean to oversleep, only when we had read the review in lonely planet of our hostel we had thought the were exagerating when they discribed our hostel as a windowless box,but no it really was a windowless box. As a consequence of this we had both woken up several times that morning and assumed it was really early as it was still dark, when i eventually looked at my phone to check the time it was 1300!!

We didnt see much of Auckland as we were busy sorting out all the boring stuff reachingg a new country involves like buying a new sim card, stocking up on shampoo, copying photos to CD etc etc. Had a nice early bed time to prepare for my 0430am start the next day.

Dragged myself out of bed at some ungodly hour the next morning and made my way to the airport feeling rather less than awake and certainly not looking my best. My sprirts rose quickly though when i discovered i was on the same flight as an entire argentinian rugby squad. yum. A quick trip to the ladies and i was looking and feeling considerably perkier! After a pleasant few hours with the rugby boys i arrived in Christchurch airport and settled down for the 5 hour wait for the bus that would take me to Waimate. At somepoint during this wait my spirits began a slow decline but i comforted myself with the thought that this was not aslong as i had been forced to wait in sydney for Kate to finish work, and that i only had a 3hour bus journey ahead of me rather than the 12 hour bus rides we had to endure during our last few weeks of Australia!

I arrived in Waimate at 1830, and was dropped off at what appeared to be  roadside cafe in the middle of nowhere and completely abandoned. The bus driver enquired if i was walking the rest of the way, a joke not taken in good form by me, as i was wondering where on earth i had ended up. After 2 Months of the OZ backpacker circuit being alone completely in the middle of the countryside was a bit strange. Shortly though my saviours arrived and Hayley and Annie picked me up and returned me to civilisation.

Once we arrived at the farm i was introduced to the family, Hayley and Richie (Mum and Dad), Annie (7), Cara (6), Whiskey, Bailey, Snoopy and Woody (my charges for the next month - the horses), Pearl and Mouse( the kids ponies), Zena and Butch (the dogs), Jerry and Monkey (the cats)and of course the 1200 cows that make the money! I swiftly settled into my room and revelled in not having to share it with 12 other people (you dont realise how much you miss wandering around naked until you cant do it anymore) and having a double bed again (i did my best starfish impression for several nights. The deal was sealed when i peaked out my window and noticed the hot tub - here was a place i could stay!

So i have the four horses to get fit which means alot of riding, on the first day i rode about 30km, on the second day i could barely walk! My muscles hate me and i want to curl up in bed, but im being fed and watered in exchange for looking after the horses so my guilty conscience forces me out the door. There have been some funn incidents like me forgetting the name of the road i need to ride down and getting lost so i have to turn round and ride back the way i came when weve already been out for over an hour (the horses are suposed to be ridden for an hour each day) or when i fell off Whiskey (the old sensible horse) because i was daydreaming but im not going to go on about them because i have them written in the journal for my memories and they would probably bore anyone else. From now on lets just assume that unless i has been peeing down with rain, i have been riding.

It took a few days for my muscles to forgive me, probably not helped by the girls insisting on taking me for a bike ride or two, but eventually they did and then JP and Richie took two fo the horses away for a weekends trekking, i was left with only one horse to ride, so us girls decided to make use of getting rid of the boys and went siteseeing and shopping!

Friday was a national holiday.. Waitangi Day (the day a treaty was signed between the english and the maori) so the kids were off school and we decided to head out north to Timaru for a wander down the beach (caroline bay) and some shopping. Whislt there we managed to find the cutest little 3 week old minature foal who was quite content to sleep on Caras lap

so we stopped to play with him for a while, before grabbing chish and fips to take upto white horse hill where you can see over all of waimate, towards the hunter hills to the west, and to the sea in the east.

Saturday morning i was up and riding before brekkie as we had a busy day ahead. Today we headed south past Omaru to the Moreaki Boulders (some huge perfectly spherical boulders on the beach)

and then it was back to Omaru for lunch in the city gardens and then off on the "Lakes Loop" This was  beautiful scenic drive made all the better by coming from 13 degree low cloud cover into 27 degree bright sunshine in the mountains. We drove past lake waitaki, lake aviemore, lake benmore, and lake ohau before stopping in Twizel for a swim in the balicly cold town pool. It was 20degree in the water, and i got laughed at when i complained that in england i go in the sea in 18degree water in a drysuit with thermals underneath, definately NOT in a bikini.

After we left Twizel we drove past lake pukaki and stopped at a salmon farm where we fed the fish, and i was very naughty and got the girls wet my throwing the food just in front of them, and the fish were doing huge tail flapping jumps splashing them. Whilst there we picked up a tasty fillet for tomorrows tucker. We then continued on round to lake tekapo, as we were driving round we had the most picture perfect views across the lake to mount cook (new zealands highest peak.)

 And then Hayley vowed to show me what cold really is as we dipped out toes in the waters of lake teakpo which consist primarliy of melted snow off the mountains! We then drove up to Fairlie where the boys trek was based for a couple of beers and a few hours banter before getting the kids home to bed.

I was shocked by how barren it was up in Mackenzie country , on the farm here its very green because of the irrigation but up there it was just empty, bare, yellow and charred looking. It gets so hot up there in summer and so cold in winter that nothing lives there and it looked much more how i had imagined australia would look than the picture i had in my mind of NZ.

The last couple of weeks have been spent around the farm, i went to the pub with sune and JP which was an experience as we were the only people in there and they decided to kick us out and close up at 2130 so we relocated to their house for more drinks and i was introduced to the 'springbok' a south african shot of peppermint liquer and baileys. And i have learnt how to milk and did a milking session of herd 2. Oh my god, it is back breaking work, and as they have a rotating platform i was struggling to get the cups on fast enough and sometimes ended up chasing cows around the platform. Was a lot of fun tho and Hayley took some pictures of me doing it so ill get them up as soon as. I was looking very dashing i must say sporting overalls, wellies, a huge apron, special sleeves and a large quantitie of cow shit.

I really am loving it here though and cant believe im leaving in just over a week, Hayley and Richie dont want me to go and if im honest i dont want to go, but i have comitted to go to the trekking stables so ill give it ago and Hayley and Richie have been warned that if i dont like it ill be on the next bus back,and ill also definately be back to take to horses hunting!!

Tags: horses, milking cows




Sounds like you had a great trip but its a shame you didnt get a chance to see much of Auckland as thats where a lot of popular tourist attractions are. Twizel is a great place and the closest town to Mount Cook.

  nztraveller Feb 24, 2009 1:38 PM

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