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The Big Easy

Welcome to my Travel Page. Here is where I will be keeping a record of my travels for all of you to read. Please feel free to leave a comment for me. If I have time in between exploring new places and meeting new people I will reply to them! Missing you all xx

Diary Entries

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Location: Pauanui, New Zealand

I know it's beena realy long time since writing in this.

I am now living with the fella in Pauanui in The Coromandel region of the North Island.

Since I left Oz I spent about 2 weeks looking for a job. I have now been working for about 4 weeks. I am working in a little cafe in town.

Work is keeping me pretty busy but am looking forward to visits from Zazie and the Scottish girlies I met for my 30th in Byron Bay We have a great little spare mezzanine room for guests and we are pretty comfortable there.

I am currently saving a load of money for the winter. And also going through a tonne of medicals so that I can extend my visa for another year. Next week I have to have a chest xray. They don't take any chances!!

We have some great stuff planned for the enxt few months. We are headng to New Plymouth to see Jack Johnson play. Can't wait and we're going to go camping as well. I am then planning a trip to the Bay of Islands before heading abck for James's wedding.

Will try to writ emore often but not sure whether people sill ready this will facebook now so active.

Tuesday, 08 January 2008

Location: Coolangatta, Australia

Yet again I find myslef waiting in an airport for 6 hours for aplane - Yes I know I should have planned better.

It's hot sticky and stormy up here on The Gold Coast and I am being very patient.

Melbourne was fantastic. It was great to catch up wiht Katie R (climbing buddy now residing in Seattle) and her friend Cheech. Melbourne has a fab European feel to it and so easy to wander round. We met up on the water front for abottle or 2 of Yarra wine!

The girsl were fab and let me gate craash their trip. I was of some use to them though as they had;nt driven on the correct side of the road so I showed themhow to do it by driving themto Philip Island. We ewnt to see the Penguins which standing tall at 30 cms comeout of the water in littlegroups at sunset. It was fantastic. Before that we checked out the Koalas and even saw a snake - It was truely a nature experience!!!! We even had to check under the car incase any said pensguins/koalas decided to play house under it!

The following day the girls kindly took me to the 12 Apostles. This was fantastic despitemycamera breaking. The place is stunning and am so glad I had a chance to do both. Then we drove back to Melbourne in a flash for my over night bus to Adelaide.

Have just spent a fab 2 days with Tort and Steve. They drove me round showing me the sights and eating lots of lovely food. Am hoping son seeing them soon. My lastnight in Oz wass spent eating Thai food while watching the sunset!

A good way to go I think.

NZ here I come,.........

Thursday, 03 January 2008

Location: Sydney Kingsford Airport, Australia

Well it's a whole new year!!! And am still travelling (kind of)!

Am currently waiting a flight to Melbouynre. Mine's just beenc ancelled so am on the enxt one an hour or so later! The trials of travelling I tell you! Still it gives me achance to sort out lots of stuff!

So have had a fab month so far back in Oz - The East Cosat was a treat with a bit of surfing and catching up wiht old mates and new.

Arrived in Sydney to see my lvoely little angel of a Godson and his family whihc was fantastic - we went to the beach and visited the gibbons in the Zoo as well!! Saw a fantastic Carol Service with a bunch of Irish in Sydney too.

Has been great catching up wiht Mum and Dad and we had a very relaxing Christmas supping Champagne on the balcony and eating smoked Salmon!!

For NYE we joined the Scotts at The Italian Village on the Rocks to see the firewqorks. Dad did his usal and charmed the maitre D into our own little room and table with a fab view. That Laura for finding the spot it was an awsome eve.

We left Sydney on NY day and headed up to the Hunter Valley for a touch of wine tasting adn then on to the Blue Mountians where we stayed in a very smart Orient Express Hotel - but alas back to 14bed dorms for me for the next couple of days.

AM off to Melbourne then Adelaide beofre the journey back to NZ when the holiday is over for at leadt 5 months!!!

Over and Out


Wednesday, 05 December 2007

Location: Byron Bay, Australia

Can you believe it - back in Oz.

NZ has trreated me very well indeed - after Napier we continued up the East Coast via Gisbourne to check out all the Maouri Marae's and carvings. It is pretty well un travelled so not much choice in places to stay - it was an eye opener but very interesting none the less!

Have spent the last 2 weeks in little place in the Coromandel Peninusla called pauanui whihc has a fab little (2k) beach for me to run on and get the cob webs off the surf board after 6 months!

It is official I can;t surf anymore! But hopefully being in Oz will sort that out otherwise it is saianara (spelt wrong) to the surf board!

it'd good to be back in Oz with the warmth and yes the rain too! Had a pretty rubbish flight but am looking forward to hitting the beach tomorrow rain snow or wind!!!

Missing the old boy and waiting in anticipation to turning 30 finally!

Will have a fair bit of time on my hands over the next few weeks so will deffo get the NZ pics online - they are beautiful. Oh and did I mentiona and heading back that way in Jan so if anyone wants to visit just let me know.


Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Location: Napier, New Zealand

Well just got back to the North Island after 3 fantastic weeks in the South Island.

Was very disappointed yesterday as I was going to go and do the Tongariro Crossing but unfortunately it decided to snow and we weren't able to do it - It was just like work again being told we had a closed day!

But better news - I got a Sky Dive in instead - It is the most amazing thing I have eveer done and yes I did buy the T shirt - just not the DVD!

Well after Milford Sound we headed to Central Otago to stay with some bee keepers and then onto Dunedin, Methven, Christchurch, Kaikoura - to watch the sperm whales (they are truely fantastic species!) and then back to visit friends in Marahau after being eaten alive by sandflies in the Nelson Lakes!!

I also tried fishing for the first time - I kind of get it it is quite theraputic but I can imagine frustrating - and you need a whole lot of patience!!!

IN Napier at the moo whihc is very pretty as it is all Art Deco - reminds me of my school ceramics project! And slowly heading round the East Coast to the Coromandel.

Will get some pics on soon I promise!!! I have just put 800 on disc!!!!

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Location: Queenstown, New Zealand

So have arrived in the South Island - In fact we've been here a week now!

Left Kune on such a good note we had a massive leaving do whihc went down very well witha few free drinks.

Jumped into Ale's car and drove to Wellington to get the ferry over to Picton. Wellington's a rpetty city and look forward to seeing more on our way back from the South.

We arrived in Picton and took an incredibly scenic route through the Malborough Sounds to meet up with my old flatmate Chris in Nelson. The weather has been fab (almost) since we left Kune and we've seen so much in the ast 8 days.

We picked mussels on the ebach at farewell spit and cooked up some mussel pasta sauce for supper (very civilised travellers and delicious) and camped in Totoranui campgound in the Able Tasman nationals park where we walked some of the coastal track.

from Abel Tasman we headed down the west coast and saw a seal colony at Westport (they are pretty smelly and it's the wrong time of year so not many there!!!) Pancake rocks and Hokitika (where they make all the jade and fish for Whitebait! We then headed to the Glaciers whihc are totally spectacular and not what I expected.

Franz Joseph is a really laid back town and as we arrived pretty late we headed to the Glacier first thing. We then headed to Fox Glacier (much of the same picturesquness and hugeness of ice) I even tasted some - kind of tastes like ice but it's millions of years old!

From the glaciers we headed to Wanaka and Queenstown so nice to be in a big towna dn we have found the bars and relaxing rather nice from having been moviing from place to place pretty quickly. Here for another day or 2 beofre we head on an overnight boat trip to Milford Sound - I am very excited about this.

The thing about New Zealand is you can't describe how beautiful everything really is. Every road you drive and every corner you turn is another stunning photograph.

One of these days I'll get my pics up and you can try to imagine what I am seeing!!!

After Milford Sound it's to Ranfurly, Dunedin, Moreaki, Hanmer Springs, Christchurch and Kaikora. All with a bottle of wine at dinner time!

So much to do so little time.........

Monday, 22 October 2007

Location: Ohakune, New Zealand

It's the end of an era..

Last day of the season today the mountian is finally closed until next winter. It's wierd being unemployed yet again but I don't mind though as am super excited about heading to the South Island on Wednesday.

Ohakue has been filled with memories some more fuzzy than the others and have made some really good friends who will hopefully see soon (in the South if not later perhaps even next season!!!).

I have had some fabulous skiing days in all sorts of weather conditions from bluebird days to complete white out. I can now ski on ice, hard and soft packed snow trails, powder and some amazing off piste surrondings. I have survived an erruption and a couple of tremors.

I have seen another day after staff nights in the Lodge and Ladies nights in the Keg!!! And survived many closed days. Checked out Taupo, Taranaki, Palmerston North, Hamilton and Wanganui and seen my first black beach!

Can't wait for the South Island for more wonders and beautiful sights to see.............

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Location: New Zealand

Well I know no news for ages but have heaps now.

Last night the Volcano we work on erupted and a lahar has hit the other side of the mountian - We are obviously closed today but it won't effect business and we are all back at work tomorrow. It's very exciting though as I'd pretty much forgotten that I am working on an active volcano. Sadly there was no light show or gush of lava just the lahar!

Have managed to get over to Taupo which is a really nice town and watched Chris - my flatmate do an awesome bungy jump. We also went to Huka Falls which are pretty crazy and did a nice walk through the thermal park to the Falls. It was really nice to visit a large town and get some shopping in.

Yesterday headed over to Taranaki and saw the sea for the first time in about 5 months. The sand on the West coast is black from the volcano rocks which is pretty amazing. We went to see Mt Egmont but sadly it was raining so saw nothing further than 3 ft in front but we did walk to Dawson Falls which were very pretty too.

Apart from the erruption there is no other news - the town has gone a bit mad for it because of no work and it's school holidays so there are a lot of people around. We only have another month left here and then it is time to head south wards.

I am getting rather attached to NZ life and it's going to be tough to fly back to Oz - AM thinking of returning in Jan to finish my working holiday visa!

Over and OUT C..A..T..

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Location: Kune, New Zealand

Have had a crazy week at work because of such lush weather. We had our busiest day on sat with 6000 people coming to the mountain. Sunday was pretty full on too but and got a great ski in yesterday - went over to Whakapapa to see what the ski was like - great snow over there and they have heeaps more than us - shame that the weather has gone a bit pants again. We also need to start snow dancing!!!!

On Thursday we had Turoa vs Whakapapa Tug o War it was a fab night out over at Whakapapa village. If we hadn't won we would have done with our chanting it was a fab night we were a united front - went to the lodge afterwards!

Not much else to report have 6 weeks left here before I head south. Have been doing abit of boarding recently and having heaps of fun doing it! So have decided that I am going o ive it a go once a week!

Have met fellow surfie who is going to be spending some time in the north surfing with me which I am already looking forward to!

Monday, 20 August 2007

Location: Kune, New Zealand

Well not much has been going on over the last week or so. We have finally had some marvellous weather and have had some pretty good skiing days in. The new chair lift has been open and will post some pics from the bluebird days soon as it has been truely beautiful and finally worth being here!

We have also had some closed days yet again - Visited a couple of other local towns - Have now been to Raetihi, Wanganui and Taihape (all very strange farming small towns, Taihape is gum (wellies to you and me) boot capital!) did some shopping and got out of Kune for a day which is the main thing - it's good to get a change of scenery.

Have had a pretty full on cold/flu so been resting up socially but a couple of the rentals guys had a "p" party yesterday - I went as a pixie princess - I think I may have looked more like Gollum tho!!! Pics will follow.

Not much else to report apart from I have been fed up with 9 hour days, closed days, no money and up until today I was going to jack it all in so I have had a word with my manager and gone semi full-time - this means will be very poor but it does mean I get the afternoons off during the week and will work full time at the weekends - finally I think I will be able to improve my skiing and boarding no end.

Had a fab ski today and tomorrow I have decided to give boarding another chance and am going to get up there and kick arse!!! Tomorrow is also the pimps and porn stars party - I am not yet sure what I think of this one or whether I will partake - feel a bit old for it!

Oh and even more exciting I have taken up crochet!!! My Grannies would be so proud of me. I have finished a beanie already and it doesn't look too bad for my first go. Will put a pic on my blog for you all to see and I willt ake requests for a small fee and be warned all you Christmas babies you'll all end up with beanies for presents this year!!!

Over and out for now CAT

Monday, 06 August 2007

Location: New Zealand

Yet another week hs past - This week I had some visitors - Zara and Brandon from Planet Perth trip can to stay for a few days.

They had some great days skiing in and both did really well learning - and thankfully have got them both hooked!!!

We had some great nights out in Altitude and Margies for half price Mexican (Salsa has to be put on hold this week- hopefully will catch up with the missed moves this wed) Thursday we went to Ladies night at the Keg - This is the only time most of us can afford the Powderkeg!

Went to see the Mangawhero Falls with Zara and Brand - this is where Gollum fishes in Lord of the Rings. And even more exciting is Merry or Pippin (Charlie from Lost) was up for a ski on Sat! They satyed in the Powderhorn Chateau when they filmed here. We were all very excited! Shame the weather closed in at midday and the mountain closed!!!! ON sat night Cornerstome Roots a regae band were playing in one of the local bars whihc was ace.

No other news as yet Row is coming to stay an a couple of weeks and am doing the avalanche course soon.

Monday, 30 July 2007

Location: Kune, New Zealand

Not a huge amount has changed since last week. I have finally sorted out my rental boots and now have the right size so can turn my feet without them lifting out of my boot!!! And the difference ios amazing.

Had a great ski this morning - the weather yet again is pants like all my days off but the snow was lush and am definitely improving.

The weekend brought our first event of the season. It was the Retro GS with handicap times depending on age of gear and amount of neon used in clothing - It was hilarious. There were some great porno Mo's out and about too! Aftwer event drinks were also very amusing!

The girls in customer services have started going to salsa now on wednesday nights which is taken by some of the Chilean guys who also work up the hill (we geta greta discount) - It is great fun and good to do something a bit different - My hips are loving it and it is great after a bit of a ski to losen up the legs a little! It is such a laugh - We are trying to recruit more guys tho - why is it men are so reluctant to try out a bit of dancing??? !!!!

Off to book my flights back to OZ will be celebrating the BIG 30 in Byron if anyone fancies it???


Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Location: Kune, New Zealand

Not much to report - school holidays here are finally over - The last couple of weeks have been crazy mad at work - working 6 days and playing hard too.

Have finally got out on the snow a couple of times - Have also done a bit of boarding - on the beginner slopes mind you but I can link my turns and enjoying it heaps so going to get a couple of lessons in to get a bit better at it. Went for an awesome ski yesterday got right to the top of the mountain on the new chair lift and did a couple of black runs (red for us Euros) but it was fantastic.

We had a closed day last week so Customer Services dept headed down to Tihape and went to Gravity Canyon where we did a flying fox - It was great fun and good to get out of Kune for an hour or 2. The landscape round here is pretty spectacular and i can understand why people come back year after year.

Will put the pics up soon.

Our local the Turoa Lodge is fequently visited and is great on staff nights. And have joined the gym as my legs need to get a hell of a lot stronger and my tummy is turning to jelly!!!!!

That's about it for now am planning a trip to Taupo to do a skydive but not sure yet when. Will keep you all posted.


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Recent Messages

From Sarah
hi babes, hope you enjoyed the rugby today... good that the wind was up so you got to watch it.... maybe it will be england vs argentina in a few weeks...hopefully speak sunday s X
Response: The rugby is too depressing!!!! cxxx
From Bella & Tort
Hello my lovely - we were just looking at your amazing photos - Tort can't wait to get there! And I'm looking forward to you (both) coming home!
Hope you're enjoying the skiing.
Send us a beanie!
Tort and Bells xxx
Response: The crocheting is going very well am getting heaps of requests already! Looking forwadr to seeign you both very soon too. Take care my loves. cx
From Ems
Hi love,
Loving keeping upto date with your travels! I've been usless this year, managing two flights back to the Uk which has pretty much wiped out all other travelling.. Life over here continues to be awesome though with lots of weekends away to thailand/Malaysia and Indonesia! Take care and stay safe. Ems xxx
Response: Will be wiht you on second week of Jan hopefully. Hope all wellMum and Dad are coming to see me for Christmas in Oz can't wait. Take care. cx
From Sarah
HI babes, just back from my sisters wedding, yeh! Will send you some photos. Wet wet wet this end and would love to have some sun and snow. Text when your about and will call you this week for catch up. love s X
Response: Hi love great to hear from you - glad the wedding went well. My legs are sore - chat to you tomorrow. Sorry about today - popped up the mountian. cxxxxxxx
From emma n
sounds like you're still having a great time!! v. jealous - NZ is one of my favourite countries!! no hols for me just yet - so a muddy, long w'end in glastonbury will have to suffice!! enjoy the boarding!

Response: Great to hear from you - I heard Glasto was pretty wet but some great bands playing - very jealous. It'
s all Regae and Drum & Bass here!!! cxxxx
From Katie
ALSO! I went to Vassee Felix when I was there in March! I love it that we have been to at least one of the same places. Hooray! Sounds like you are having a blast. So jealous.

For my part, I am moving back to Seattle on 19 August. Sadcakes. At least have Oz to look forward to in January!
Response: Keep me posted on the move - may pop over to visit you next year on my way home!!
From Katie
Hello my lovely Cat! I booked my ticket to Oz for my sabbatical - I will be on the East Coast for the whole month of January. Are you still around then?
Response: May very well be there - keep me posted on your
From pete
HI Catrina - I've been looking through your pics, & they are wonderful. It's lovely being able to share some of what you have seen & experienced. I did love the campa bus.
So how is the job going? You must be working VERY hard because I don't see any diary entry since the start of June. Stay in one piece, or I'll come over and x-ray you.
Keep well, & lots of love from us all. Pete, Mike, Rob, Kate etc
Response: All going well - Working 5 days a week and loving mountain life - still waiting for the snow to come properly though!
From sarah
Hey babes, loving the recent photos... wow esp the sandboarding at hangover beach!! All looks wicked and your so tanned and healthy. In Scotland for my sisters hen and have been showing them your blog (they are just back from Oz too...) will call this week to see where you are as Chris has some mates in NZ he will introduce you to and hes very jealous your out there. Take care babes XS
Response: Thanks love,

Head to Ohakune tomorrow to get settled in to the village and find a place to live. Have a fab hen do.

Take care
From JP
Hey babes

Looks like you having a wicked time! enjoy NZ and skiing - don't work too hard!

Response: Can't remember how to work hard - SORRY!
Hope all well with you???cxxxxx
From pete
Hi Catrina - I've just picked up my computer after very expensive insgtallation charges, so now I can keep up with your travels! I haven't got time to read your log now, because my broher Rob arrives fro China on Friday and in between moving beds and preparing, arranging car hire and insurance and time off from work, I also have to put in an appearance at work.
But I shall spend time this w/end catching up with you, and look forward to reading your news.
I hope you are having a wonderfl time, travel safely.
Lots of love! Pete
Response: lovely to hear from you. It's beena while since I updated the sight so it should now be a bit more up to date! cx
From Zaz
Hi honey! Wowee, sounds like you're having an amazing time. So sorry not to messaged much - never seem to have access to planet ranger and I'm also terrible! BUT I am always thinking about you loads. Can't believe it was over a year ago you had your party in Rinky Dinks - was that after the marathon? Crazy times! Anyway lovely, I'm glad all's well. Take lots of care and I promise I'll try and stay more in touch. Loads of love Zxxxx
Response: Good to hear from you. All going well - Off to NZ today whihc feels wierd. Will also send big email soon for proper update......
From Toby
Hi Cat

Good to see the fun continues! Just logged on to the site after a bit of absence - saw the Sydney photos of the The Royal at 5 Ways and Arthur's Pizza where Claire and I were on my first day in Sydney: jet lagged, spaced, and in need of booze and pizzas. Wonderful to see those and other sites again, even if from afar. All the best! Toby
Response: Off to NZ today which is exciting and nerve raking! All been AB FAB in Oz tho would recommend the West for your next trip out here. cx
From Leitchy
hello my dear. sounds like you've been having a fab time travelling, and photos grrreat!!! Check your email girly xxx
Response: Been out in the camper but will check emials shortly. Have an admin day today so sorting it all out. lot sof love and miss you lots too. cxxxx
From Suz
Hi Cat :)
Saw pic of you on Toms facebook profile! You look great. Sounds like you having a great time. Alls good here, just working, and going out too much...organising abis surprise birthday celebrations, going to pauls wedding next weekend in cork and trying to get i can fit into a vintage dress i got VERY cheap last weekend......but am eating like a horse so we'll see! will email properly soon. lots of love Suzxxxx
Response: Sounds like your having a blast. Keep in touch I miss everyones news loads.
PS Off to NZ on the 1st June
From tort
hello my lovely

Just had a catch up on all your photos they look fab and how big is that croc!!!!
Email me soon laters potaters
Response: Just sent you an email and facebooked ya.....
In Perth and suitably winding up Tom he's going to hate me by the end of the 10 day trip up the coast!! Lots of love and missing you. cx
What fab photos. Very envious of yours. Mine of Egypt are nothing in comparison to yours. Mum
Response: I loved your Egypt pics you look so nice and relaxed. Will chat when i get back from Broome and give you the lowdown! Lots of love cx
Hi love, only just had time to go on your website to see how things are going. We are very envious of you as it all sounds terrific. Hope the rest is as good. Chat soon. Love M
Response: Good to chat to you the other day - you sounded very relaxed after your hols. All going well in Cairns - Diving was amazing. Chat sunday. cx
another email from me (betcha can't wait)... jo xxxxxxx
Response: Am already there - and loving it all - sorry messages are few at the mo! Chat soon cxxxxx
From jo
hey cat - had dinner with torts t'other day and caught up on all your news. glad to hear you are settled - for a bit anyway. hope you are doing well, thinking of you. will email soon love.
jo x
Response: Fab to hear from you. Moving again at the end of this week but at least it's for the last time in a while. Looking forward to travelling now and seeing some exciting stuff. Work is massively overrated. Paddo has treated me well for the last 2 weeks tho. Thinking of you all too. cxxxx
From Katie
I can't believe you are heading to Perth in May when I have just returned. YOU MUST go wine tasting..and hit the beach...and have a drink at the Lucky Shag bar. God, wish I was taking a year myself now! Hmm. Maybe I will!
Response: Keep me posted on your movements - still hoping on seeing you later this year. Any more tips on Perth let me know. cx
From Wendy
Hi there, You Mom and Dad arrived safely yesterday for a visit with Oumie. Have a new member of the family called Stan (3month old Jack Russel). Great to see your folks again and looking forward to a good visit with them. You seem to continue to party away. Go for it girl and good luck with you future plans. Lots of love from all in Gonubie
Response: Love to all in Gonubie. Still having fun and looking forward to doing some travel soon. Work is definitely overrated. I just hope that Molly isn't getting jealous. cx
From Jenny Pickles
Thank you for my birthday wishes!! You were missed on saturday for Torts and my drinking session. All good fun and quite drunken.

Sorry to hear about the moving palava - pants to that.

Glad you're seeing the girls from surfaris - say hi from me.
Response: Glad you all had fun - and what are birthday's if not drunken. The girls are doing well and say hi. Laura is coming to do some diving with me in Cairns - can't wait to get on the road finally. cx
From Nikki & Adrian
Hi Cat
Sounds like you are still having a fantastic time and the photos are fab. Just thought you would like to know that Kane Jnr will be arriving in September!! Getting fat already! Off to NZ in 3 weeks tho and can't wait. Take care of yourself. Love N, A & the Bean! xx
Response: CONGRATULATIONS such fabulous news take care of your selves and the bean and can't wait to meet the little one when he/she is about 6 months. Lots of love to all cx
From jo
i sent you a big long email to catch up, check it out!
Response: Hi there, Thanks for the lovely long email - good to hear your news glad all going well at uni and the broadcasting going well -c an;t waitt o see you on the Beeb. Miss you lots love cx