Kiwis, Maoris, wine , North Island and decisions
11.12.2013 23 °C
One week after getting back to melbourne the whole week wizzed past in a flurry of packing, re-packing, worrying about suitcase weights and catching up with people. Everything from decent coffee, mexican food, aboriginal art exhibition, beach days in a more manageable 34 degrees and spending time with Alex and the girls. Melbournians you know who you are and you deserve a gold star for car loans, bike loans, storage and bags of fun! Thank you!
I'm currently feeling pretty overwhelmed but keep trying to remind myself that Rome wasn't built in a day and not everything has to get done in the first few days. Ive done this before and i can do it again, i don't know why but this time I'm feeling a bit uneasy (all suggestions welcome). The very small nervous part of me that doesn't like adventure is saying what are you doing this for again just climb into a comfy chair and live happily ever after. However the other huge part of me that knows as soon as i climb in that comfy chair my feet will start itching and Ill smell the grass thats really really green on the other side. My rationale mind is shouting at me to shut up and don't think too far ahead. I have this terrible habit that as soon as I feel out of my comfort zone i start to worry about ridiculous things 10 years down the line or something equally as silly and let them whirl around my head
So the initial excitement of being here was covered in a light layer of dust at which I've quickly got round to brushing off and manning up a bit.
It unfortunately rained solidly for 3 days when i arrived which wasn't particularly mood lifting. However my good friends Michelle and Chris were there to make the transition much much easier. Huge thanks to them and their friends for the huge hospitality, maps, pointers and welcome!
So my first week in Auckland started with the obligatory dinner and drinks where we tried to contain our excitement and being re-united.......but yes we drank way too much wine and felt terrible for it the next day....but with that out the way and a new pact to stick to beers when heavy drinking I spent the next couple of days exploring Auckland in small doses. My kiwi friend kept telling me how amazing the food in NZ is and he wasn't wrong, everything I've eaten so far has been a sensation!
For the weekend Chris, Michelle and I packed up and headed off to Waiheke island. Chris and I started off the day with brunch while Michelle went to work...brunch quickly turned into a cheeky G&T at the ferry port and then a fresh fish platter and four locally brewed beers on our first stop in Oneroa......yes we're resourceful aren't we. The ferry from Auckland is 35 mins away. I dont know why but I wanted to try to make sure I kept to NZ food and drink, and that I did. We ate Kokoda (or raw fish) which is white fish in a kind of coconut soup with herbs, spices and capsicum and its delicious....I could live on this, buckets of it!
Delighted with our afternoon overlooking the beautiful beach from the hillside Michelle then joined us from work. We made our way to the accommodation in Onetangi and then strolled down 180 steps to the beach where I braved the water, it definitely was what I needed after those beers to freshen me back up. That night we went for a beautiful dinner on the beach in one of two restaurants, not too tricky really to decide where to eat! Polished off one bottle of crap wine and one delicious bottle of wine.
Wine carried on being the theme for that weekend with Waiheke and New Zealand come to think of it being pretty famed for wineries! The next day Michelle and I started off with a run and a beach workout followed by another freezy swim to ready ourselves for the rest of the day....a bit like eating an apple it cancels out a cake you know! After brunch where the waiter dropped two plates at the same table before and after their breakfast we went walking a we walked and walked all day. We concluded that he must have smoked something other than his cigarettes that morning!!
This day was the worlds most perfect day. In the sun we basically strolled between wineries up hills, down hills, through forests and vineyards and took in 4 vineyards, wine tasting and small plates of food including raw fish obviously! We laughed our heads off all day with Chris firmly stating at one point that he had had enough of wine tasting it was now time for wine drinking! Added to that a few other expletive jokes at the kiwi and Aussies expense.. .we wouldn't be true Brits if we didn't sarcastically mock the other nations now would we. The day was rounded off with the last vineyard having a DJ and way too many ponsy rich people for our liking dancing to Ibiza chill out!.....we left and went for ribs and sausage and mash and another bottle of Malbec! Oh and yes its true sausages in NZ are much better than Aussie snags!
Surprisingly we felt ok the next day, the Spanish have got the right idea slowly drink during the day and break it up with small plates of food.......oh and eat an apple it cancels everything out!
The next few days I got braver at figuring things out, you wouldn't think I've lived abroad for 14 months! Did some admin stuff and decided to drive solo to Gisborne (Gizzy) which is where I've been offered a job. I figured it might be an idea to check it out before coming to live here while I had time to spare. It took 7 hours with a stop off in Tauranga for lunch which was amazing to drive this on your own....pretty freeing, ipod firmly on and as expected the scenery was outstanding.
Came across a few tiny little Maori towns on my drive, loads of kids piling out of the little school with no shoes on.... as you know this is my kind of vibe! I probably should have stopped them and asked them to teach me a few things as my Maori pronunciation is terrible. It's working progress though, It'll get there! ...It has to, there's a lot of Maori in Gizzy and a lot of towns I can't pronounce! Maori tv is the way to go! Other sights along the road were sheep, cows, lots of places that looked like Ireland or Wales, kiwi fruits and signs for rodeo!!
So by the time I got to Gizzy I was wrecked from the driving so i had a mini explore which isn't hard to get your bearings, picked up some food and then chilled.
Had a real good look around the town and walked around trying to soak up what goes on and whether this is for me or not. The beaches are big and so amazing and there seems to be a lot to do. Surf town with lots of sports which is defo me and enough to keep you occupied .
Did some shopping then decided to pop into the travel agents as I still haven't got round to booking my flights to Vietnam for January ....ERROR!
She told me I need to get my visa first so with 1 week til Christmas when they SHUT The NZ visa office for the holidays she told me I would have to send off my passport not get my visa on arrival in Vietnam like I thought! ...Oh and I'm supposed to be going there in 4 weeks plus to spice it up also I won't be at my postage address after next week as we'll be on our NZ Xmas holidays! ..
Pat myself on the back!
With a dose of fate at going into the flight place and Debs advice from the travel agents within one hour after speaking to the embassy I pegged it to the post office and got all the stuff together somehow and couriered it to the embassy in Wellington. The visa woman says it will back by Thursday as long as I send it today!!! Prey for me because I'll be away 3 days after that for Xmas and lets hope I won't need my passport for anything!!!!
Nothing like living by the seat of your pants! I'm not usually one for disorganisation plus my friend Sam has been nagging me to get this for weeks...Ooops. Lets hope it all goes smoothly so I can book my flights!
So one more full day in Gizzy where I'm going to meet up with the people from the hospital to get an idea of what im heading for and then soak up a bit more Gizzy life before I can start thinking about our christmas holidays and less about logistics which is making me feel a bit stressed. It's hard to know if you are making the right decisions about what to do, but I need to keep remembering why I decided to embark on this adventure which has extended into another brucey bonus year. As suggested by my friend sarah put your big girl pants on and do this settling in malarkey again!
I'm mega excited about our trip to Coromandel and 'Tow-Paw' for Christmas and New Year though and next on the agenda is getting together camping stuff, a new camera, a trucker hat and a new bikini for the 'touring' bit of the north island after the holidays. On the plus side today I was thinking I haven't had any kind of winter style weather for 9 months...delighted about this!! However I'm really keen to make this Christmas 'Christmassy' I'm going to bake and buy some things to try to add a bit of British to our beach Christmas and to try to help with missing my lovely family!
Hopefully ill still remember how to be a midwife by the time February roles round! I am super excited to be here and there are tons of really cool things on the horizon in this green lush land!