A Travellerspoint blog

Kaikoura, Blenheim, a car problem and wine tasting

What a couple of days

sunny 14 °C
View Round t' World on pollyali's travel map.

Well, Where do we begin? First point to be made refers to a comment left after our last entry. The issue of authorship of these entries. WE would like it to be known that they are a team effort and not solely the work of the male half of the duo. i.e. I just happen to be faster at typing whilst the Polmeister is faster at talking!

Anyhoo, back to the story.
We picked the car up from the car dealer on Monday afternoon and after some MORE last minute shopping we drove to a picturesque town called Akaroa. This was originally settled by the French and still maintains a strong tie to the mother country (Its streets are still called Rues and there is a French flag flying!) Akaroa is a small holiday town frequented by Christchurch's wealthy and as such had a lack of activities for the intrepid adventurers that we are! In fact, the biggest peice of news in the local paper was regarding planning permission for an outdoor swimming pool... People actually complained saying it would ruin the ambience!

After a swift Coffee and walk, we proceeded North up to a town called Kaikoura. The map pointed this place out as a area to spot dolphins and whales. Well, we would have done if the visibility was more than 10metres! It rained and rained and rained and if we closed our eyes we thought we were back in Manchester! But we werent... We stayed in a small cabin as it was too wet to camp and Pol put her new found bargaining skills to work to secure us a third discount of the trip (1: Walking boots, 2: Car (Betsy the Beast) and 3: Cabin)To say that it was cold was an understatement and we both woke to more rain and chilly winds.

Yesterday was a funny old day. We started the drive up to Nelson went Betsy started complaining and juddering loudly. We managed to make it to Blenheim were we sought a mechanics advice. The damn garage we took the car to originally hadnt replaced an oil pipe properly and transmission oil had been leaking all the way from Christchurch. Anyway, after much nail biting, the mechanic declared the problem fixed and after the salesman we bought the car from promised the refund us the cost onto our card!

After all this excitement, Poor old Polly was in dire need of some refreshment. The Marlborough region (does this name ring a bell for anyone! - Joan,Dad,Sara?)Famous for its wine! especially Sauvignon Blanc was our current location so we popped into a couple of the local wineries to sample their wares. (Note to self and others - Do NOT buy from the Fromme Winery.. very vinegary!) We did however got to one called Kathy Linskey and her Sauv Blanc was absolutely Heavenly! We intend on taking a bike tour round the area in a couple of weeks when the weather is better and getting smashed!

Day ended in Nelson, meeting up with the Swedens! Went for a curry and then a drink. Off to turn Betsy into a floating fortress today (bed in back!) so we can sample the delights of the Abel Tasman National park! Weather today.. sunny but cold!

Take care everyone... our New Zealand Mob number is 02115198863.

Pollyali (Pol is GOING to write the next one!)

xxx

Posted by pollyali 12:46 Archived in New Zealand Tagged round_the_world Comments (3)

New Zealand

CCCChrist(its a tad cold) Church

overcast 14 °C
View Round t' World on pollyali's travel map.

Its us again (who did you expect?!?)
Arrived safe and sound in Christchurch around ten thirty yesterday morning. We are staying in a nice hostel in the centre called Base backpackers.. Its very busy and there appears to be lots of Yankee Doodle Dandies staying here. Nuff said about that then!
First major thing was a tooth related disaster for me.. we were in an outdoor shop looking for some walking boots. I put a peice of chewing gum in as i was suffering from major coffee breath. Next thing i know.. i was chewing on sommat really hard. Lo and behold, the filling i had replaced merely three months early had decided to make an early appearance. Queue frantic phone calls and a rushed trip to an out of hours dentist where she gave me a white filling for $85 (about thirty pounds) She looked at the one that had fallen out and shook her head while asking "Where did you get that one done? a cowboy?" to which i replied Önly the finest the NHS has to offer in Manchester!" Needless to say, she didnt reply to that!
After the dentist, we had a couple of shandies last night in a two for one special from the bar downstairs and plotted our itineray for the next few weeks:
1: Buy a car... DONE... completed around half one today when we signed papers for a Subaru Legacy 4x4.. purchased from a garage and a salesman of dubious heritage (he was born and raised in Dundee - Scotland!) Anyway - Pol managed to outwit the poor bloke and secured a $450 reduction on the advertised price by claiming we would starve if we paid the full amount. We pick the car up tomorrow and intend on seeing our very first glimpses of rural New Zealand (I cant wait! Especially as we dont tend to agree on driving practices and we always.. i repeat... always end up having a ruck when we drive anywhere. Even to Asda!)
2: Updated our insect bite count... current is 14-6 to the Polmeister (sorry about the lack of updates on this!)
3: The purchase of some warm clothing was also deemed necessary so we toddled off and spend even more cash on some nifty clobber!
This may be your lot for a few days as we are off walking and camping for a while.. next chance we have, we will upload some pics of the scenery we come across.

Take care all,

Pollyali

xx

Posted by pollyali 01:48 Archived in New Zealand Tagged round_the_world Comments (6)

Fiji in a nut shell

The Good, The Bad and The Damn Right Ugly

rain 25 °C
View Round t' World on pollyali's travel map.

Hello everybody,

Sorry about the delay in writing the latest episode of our adventures.. we have been in Fiji for the last week and the internet has been slow, non existent in places and so bad that we havent bothered. So be ready for a monster one.
Current time is 12.48am on Saturday morning (in Fiji) and its mid morning for you lucky people still at work.
We arrived last Sunday Am after crossing the international date line and losing Saturday completely... (boo!) and we checked into a hostel called smugglers cove, staying in the pirates Dorm (oooo arghh me hearties!)
Sunday Am: After waking up with merely three hours sleep under our belts.. we made the gravest mistakes of booking some further accomodation without properly researching the idea. We spoke to a lovely lady in the travel office at the hotel who recommended that we embark on a cruise to the Yasawas Islands and stay in some of the secluded resorts there... so we did... no questions asked (oops i hear you say!) The boat ride took us to a small island almost four hours away from the mainland and to a resort called Coralview...

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First impresssions were... well, lets just say, "Average". The resort looked like a cross between Brigadoon (one for you there mums) and Castaway with Wills good friend Ben Fogle! The "resort" was some what dated and "traditional" as it was described in the rather sparse brochure.

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Anyway, we were greated by hordes of staff who sang to us and offered us refreshments and were whisked away for lunch. "Great" we both thought, that was until we had to check in. The Credit card machine that we were advised on, didnt exist, and being a desert island in the middle of the pacific, the chances of a Cashpoint (Even a fee charging one) were slim to non existent. Anway, to cut a long story short, the resort, didnt take anything but cold hard currency. So we were in a bit of a pickle... we managed, eventually, to haggle them into accepting a driving license as collateral and we set about enjoying our stay.
Our only gripe with the resort was that the beach wasnt a beach and it didnt really cater for stays as long as ours (Five days!) So we settled into two days of cards, UNO, volleyball and general lazing around. "How can that be so bad?" I hear you cry? Well it wasnt to be fair! Just wish the weather had been better!
Anyhoo, after a couple of beers on the first night, we decided to make a break for another island, and boarded the big yellow boat. After a chat to staff, we settled on a lovely resort called Bounty island... and no its not where the chocolate bars are made.. but it is..AND WAIT FOR IT...where they filmed the first series of CELEBRITY LOVE ISLAND. The original set was still there (albeit a bit worse for wears...) and we also sat on the pier were Kelly Brooke and Patrick Keilty hosted the prog! The first night, we took part in a Kava Ceremony ( a traditional Fijian welcome - even the Queen took part in one!)

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(Ali) was made honorary Chief for the event! What an honour! i even got to drink second out of everyone!
Today was special.. it was special because we plucked up the courage to go Scuba diving... What an experience, although i must say that the pool session was a bit strange and it took us both a little time to get use to breathing through a regulator. We dived to an amazing coral formation called Jackies reef (just off our resort) and we saw some of the most incredible fish you can imagine. We even saw some Nemo's! and they were cool.. they swam up to the instructor and kinda squared up to him as if saying "This is my reef, get lost!" Didnt see any sharks thankfully and now we both want to do more when we get the chance!
To sum up Fiji - If anyone is thinking of coming here.. Its a nice place away from the main island.. the Yasawas and mamanucas are an idyllic sun kissed Backpackers paradise.. We loved the snorkelling, the diving and the blue star fish.

Just make sure that you research the islands first! Dont take the tour operators word for it.. they are on commission!
Thanks for all the comments and we promise we will email you all when we have reliable, fast internet access.. (prob tomorrow.)
Will: Hope the Kitchen and bathroom come on ok!
Parents: We are both ok..Need a proper shower and clean clothes though! Please be careful about Sweden comments.. our friends might read it!
Emily: How did Maisy enjoy her first swim, is she a natural? And more importantly, will she be representing the UK in the Olympics?
Sandrine: Seen some cute dogs. Coral view had its very own Charlotte (with balls!)
Laura H and Col: If you are still reading this.. hope you are ok and flat is cool.
Matt S: Nugget!
Mish: Who was Torso of the week?
Mike and Carol: Didnt come across any bare breasted maidens coming out of the sea whilst visiting Tahiti, Plenty of calendars though!
The Bagnalls: Thanks for reminding me of the Man Utd vs Arsenal Score.. Please the Computers are holding up!

Thats your lot for tonight. We are off to catch a plane to New Zealand... Will update piccies asap.

Take care:

love pollyali

xxxx

Posted by pollyali 05:12 Archived in Fiji Tagged round_the_world Comments (3)

the final days of rarotonga

what a time was had by all!

Hello everyone,

Its been a while so we thought we would update you on our last few days.

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Since the trek across the Raro, we have chilled and met some incredibly different people.
The Swedens: A couple from the northern wastelands of Sweden who were poles apart from each other (get it?!?) She was a ginger (dyed blonde) hairdresser who had a tendency to over use the word Fxxk and to scream at the merest hint of anything with wings. He was an electronics salesman who was hilarious and somewhat more subdued than her. Both however were great fun and we fully intend on imposing ourselves on them as we venture round New Zealand.
UK People: As we are, all very nice and with a similar tendency to drink too much and run around doing silly things!
Main happenings: One evening was spent having a few drinks with a girl called Katie, The Swedens and and English Couple called Phil and Katie.. needless to say, several trips to the shop to refill on the booze were needed and the night ended with the females of the party chucking themselves in the sea.
We managed to see a bit more of the island by hiring some scooters.. We used them to venture further afield to various snorkelling patches and in the process saw some incredible fish.. angel fish, giant clams and some little blighters that chased pol and made her scream!
Island night on Thursday was excellent.. saw some authentic half nude Polynesian men (and women) strut their stuff and make us all laugh. The night was compered by a chunky bald maori who had numerous digs at the brits!.

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In Fiji now and are about to embark on an island adventure.. staying in a nice hotel about four hours by boat from the main island in Fiji.. will update in a couple of days with some more pics.

Loz: Happy Birthday and well done on the RAF.
Phil: Can you reply to your sis's email if you want the money for the bills.

Time is up so good bye.

love and hugs

Pollyali

xxx

Posted by pollyali 16:12 Archived in Cook Islands Tagged backpacking Comments (9)

the day after

What a day

sunny 30 °C

Hello everybody...
Feeling a tad tender today as we managed a most amazing cross island trek yesterday (8km in total)
6 of us from the hostel geared up at nine oclock and after a short bus ride, entered the interior of the island, shortly before 11. After stumbling across a tied up pig and several incidents of roadkill.. the road disappeared (completely) and all we had to follow were muddy footprints trailing off into the forest. Well, it got worse as the almost vertical climbs up tree roots and over branches nearly got the better of ali as he banged his head and looked a complete loser as sweat began to appear where it really shouldnt do!

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Any way, to cut a long story short, we made it to the needle (the highest point on the trek) where we consumed two marmite sandwiches (Thanks Pols Mum!) and managed to cool off while taking some great pics.

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The way down was slightly easier and after some closer encounters with some rather large spiders, we made it to the waterfall where we all cooled off and gave the mosquitoes a feast. Four km's later and we arrived back at the hostel, slightly worse for wears but in need of some alcholic refreshments! Last night was spent drunk and playing some card games with the rest of the UK contingent (great fun) but someone has pinched our lonely planet..grr.
Thanks for the comments everyone,

Alis mum: Sorry about the day off yesterday.. hope this placates your hunger for more news!
Pols mum and dad: How did Loz get on with his interview? and how is the Rabbitoid?
Sandrine: Nice to know Topshop havent forgotten about me yet!
David: Wish i could say the same about work! However, having too much fun out here to contemplate organising your week for you!

Miss you all

Pollyali

Posted by pollyali 14:30 Archived in Cook Islands Tagged round_the_world Comments (7)

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