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Jac and D's New Beginnings

Hi Guys

We only have 3 sleeps until we leave kiwi land. So we are setting this up so that you can keep in touch with where we are wandering

Diary Entries

Monday, 24 September 2007

Location: Sunshine Coast, Australia

Hello family and friends

Sorry we haven't wrote anything in awhile. We have been rather busy, getting transportation (Gertie the van), applying for tax numbers, getting bank accounts and moving into our own place in the sunshine coast. We are busy looking for jobs, but now we have our own place, (we only moved in yesterday) we are getting much more serious in our search.

I will try and write a bit more tomorrow and I promise I will bring in the cord and camera in and you can see our new van and also our apartment. We have moved in with a friend of Darrell's. It is a lovely place. It has a pool, spa, steam room and gymnasium in the complex. So now time for me to get off that excess flab and get into shape for the long hot summer haha.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Location: Byron Bay, Australia

Hi sorry it has been so long. It has been quite a journey trying to get a van. We found one and thought it was going to be quite simple, but it didn't have a warrant or registration. So it took us a few days trying to organise that. I have taken a photo of the van but forgot to bring the cord to put it on here, I'll do that next time I am on line.

It is an old van a Nissan E20 about 1976. It goes good tho, although it is a bit hard on the arms turning as no power steering. It has a pop top roof so that we can stand up in it. Also came with a tv, fridge and lots of plugs and things. Unfortunately we can't get the fridge to work. But everything else does.

We went up to Sunshine coast for a couple of days to visit D's friend while we were waiting for the van to be repaired. It was lovely, we stayed in a lovely apartment and went to the beach. Then we headed off to Gold Coast to visit my daughter. She has a lovely apartment with sea views. Had a lovely couple of days with her, it was a bonus that it was her days off.

Then we set off to Byron Bay. It is awesome and I felt like I had come home. I think it is because it is so much like Golden Bay. The people ar very much the same and they are very friendly. We also went further south to Lennox Heads and Ballina to have a look. We have decided to look for work in Byron first and if we have no joy here will start heading back up North.

I was wrong in my last diary entry. The rain has followed us to Aussie. We have just had a week of it. D and I are thinking of offering ourselves to drought stricken countries, as wherever we go the rain seems to follow Tee hee. Didn't think we would need sweatshirts and rain coates in Oz.

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Location: Brisbane, Australia


We are in Australia and it is beautiful. Survived Thailand LOL. On the Saturday we went for a look around. We started walking but then got in a tuk tuk. That was very exciting, they are like a three wheeled motorbike and you sit in the back and the driver in front. They whiz around the city. We went and looked at some budha's, they are really amazing. Also the driver took us to some jewellary wholesalers as they get petrol vouchers for taking us. We only went to 2 and then said we had had enough. It is so hot in Thailand, the heat hits you as soon as you step out of hotel. It doesn't matter what time of the day or night it is still really hot. So nice to be warm.

We walked around the streets, lots of stalls and shops to look in, but after awhile it is all the same. I had a Thai massage every day, 180 Barht for an hour which is about $6-00 NZ. On Sunday we got picked up from Hotel at 6.30am and set off to Pattaya, it is about 2 hours from Bangkok. We were in a mini van and only 4 other people with us. It was a bumpy ride but one couple were from Perth and they were lovely. When we got to Pattaya, we were bnlown away by the beauty, gorgeous beach and palm trees.

Then we jumped on a ferry to take us to Golden Island. The ferry stopped half way out and we got on a big boat with a platform on it. For 500 Barht you could get hooked up to a parachute and they took you on a circuit of harbour. Lots of people were doing it. As on came in they unhooked the person and hooked the next one on. We have photo's will try and put them on today. It looked fabulous but we were not ready to do it. Next time we will. We both would like to come back to Pattaya and just have a week in the sun. It is like Hawaii but cheaper.

So then we go to the island. It was gorgeous and we had 4 hours to do what we wanted. We just lay on the beach on luxury deck chairs under umbrellas and went for swims. The water was like bath water, no matter how deep you went. I got a leg and foot massage, manicure and pedicure. I thought I was in heaven. My nails have never looked so good, with gorgeous pattern on them. I felt totally decadent and thought this is the life I was born to live haha. The whole thing came to the grand total of $25. They gave us lunch on the island which was part of the package. It was an awesome lunch, fish, chicken and vegetables in a lovely batter, stir fried veges and rice, then water melon.

We very reluctantly climbed back on board the boat to go back to the mainland. Back on the mainland and they took us to a jewellary place, it didn't matter if we bought anything, but we got a free drink and got to use their lovely clean toilets. So we were keen to do that as all day we had had to use toilets that had no seats, you had to squat over them.

Well the jewellary place was fantastic, you got on a wee train and they took you round a display that showed the history of how gem stones made and how they had been mined through the ages. It was incredible and me and a sri lankan couple opposite us were taking photos and videos, then taking photos of each other in the place. Then a man came out and asked me not to use camera as it was not allowed. Apparently they had said before we had set off, but none of us in our cart had heard, whoops. Got same great shots tho tee hee.

Darrell and I were both tempted with a ring and got a token to remember our stay in Thailand. Then we got to sit in a nice bar and enjoy a drink before setting off back to Bangkok. I slept all the way back, as had had only 30 mins sleep the night before. Unfortunately our hotel was opposite a night club and it was very noisy until 4am. The first night we were there wasn't too bad as European music, but every night after that it was like very very bad kareoke.

Next day we went to a shopping mall which each floor was bigger than Northlands and there were 6 stories. From there we took a sky train and went to find a market we had been told about. We got to the place and all there was was girly nightclubs. After walking around for awhile we found out the market only goes in the evenings. We couldn't really go back that night as we had to be up at 2.30am the next day to get the plane.

We arrived in Brisbane late Tuesday night and by the time we got to our hotel it was midnight. The hotel was fully booked and had no record of our booking. Apparently it was some bogus booking place we had found on line. This hotel had had 4 people that week that had used it. So they kindly found another hotel and booked us a taxi and then went back to bed. After 20 mins the taxi had not arrived and so we went for a walk trying to find one, eventually flagging one down. We got to our hotel at 1am phew. It's a hard life travelling haha. It was a lovely hotel right in the city.

So now we have got a rental car and we are looking for our own transport. We are staying with some friends. The weather is gorgeous, a bit cool in the evenings, but gorgeous sunny days, only need to wear shorts and singlet, bliss. So glad the rain didn't follow us from England. Will put some photo's on later today, better go and check out some vans.

Lots of love to all

Friday, 24 August 2007

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Hi sorry guys, our last week in UK just went so fast and we didn't have any time to put in something to our blog.

We are finally in Bangkok, but we will try and fill in the last week for you. The last time we wrote we were in a lovely village called Totnes, I loved it as the people were so like Golden Bay people. I could easily have lived there. The weather was showery tho, which has been the case with most of our time in UK. D bought his first ever umbrella and used it often and I bought a raincoat.

That night after checking into a nice camping f\ground in Peignton we went to see a lovely model village called Babbacombe. It is an amazing place and has a small city, cricket ground, wembley stadium, a thatched cottage village and so much more. It was lovely as it was getting dark when we got there and all the lights were on and you could see what was happening inside the houses and buildings too. We both loved it. I had seen it a few times before but as it changes all the time there was lots of new things to see.

The next morning we went to a village called Cockington. By the way we caught up with our laundry last night so all smelling sweet again haha. Cockington is gorgeous, a quaint village where all the houses are thatched, they have a smithy there that you used to be able to pin your name on for luck. They had all gone and the blacksmith said that OSH made him take them down as they are a fire hazard. In over 200 years people have been doing it and never was there a fire from it. OSH is as crazy in UK as NZ, in fact I would even say crazier. Darrell really enjoyed seeing the cricket pitch as it is in like a bowl. So when the ball is hit out, it rolls back in. We sat at the manor house and had another devonshire tea. With our Pot of tea and lovely scones, jam and clotted cream (this is to die for, wish they had it in NZ). We felt like we where living in the land of luxury and wondered what all the poor people were doing tee hee.

That afternoon we went along the South of England, driving thru Christchurch, D said just another town, but we took photos of the road signs. We went to a gorgeous village on the coast called Mudeford. The weather was beautiful and lots of people doing all sorts of activities, on and beside the sea. We got to see the Isle of Whyte from there and the needles. I would have liked to go over to the island but not enough time left.

After staying in another camping ground we set off for Dover. We drove through Brighton on the way and it was so sad, it has become such a dump. About 90 percent of the houses and hotels were run down and had For Sale signs on them. We just drove all around the coast until we got to Dover. Had to pay $7.50 to see the white cliffs of Dover haha. Darrell says just another Pay and Display. He has been mortified here as everywhere you go you have to pay to park. Also if you want to use an air pump at a garage it costs 20p. D did it relecutantly and by the time he had got to the fourth tyre it had ran out. So he could put air in but didn't know how much haha. He is saying just another rip off. He has found a real difference in UK. You pay for everything, but I guess thats the difference between having 4 mill and 60 mill people in a country.

So Saturday morning we went in search of Darrell's ancestors home time, a small place called Minster in Kent. He found the cottage I think would have been where his great great grandfather lived before coming to NZ in 1863. It used to be called Black Cottage, but had a name change to Tudor cottage. It was actually quite a large Tudor home with a thatched roof. We took some photos. We also went around the graveyard and found 3 head stones with Fright on them, one of them a George Fright. Also another William Fright.

We then drove for 2 and a half hours, backwards and forwards, east and west, north and south, looking for a camping ground. We finally found one about 15 miles from Dover. We went nearly a complete circle, but had a lot of laughs. During that time we went thru Canterbury, it is a lovely city and has a University called Christchurch.

Sunday back to London for my Aunt's birthday party, via the Motorway ring road of London. It is an experience. It is so huge. It took us hours longer to get to my Aunt's than anticipated. We did stop and have a lovely lunch in a quaint cafe. D looked on in horror as I devoured a huge plate of Liver, Bacon, Onions, Gravy, Peas and Chips. It was the best meal I had had here, yum.

Got to my Aunt's and her family were all there, so that was lovely.

We thought we had sold our van in London back to the original owner, so gave him a ring and he said ring back Monday morning. Well we rang an rang him all morning and no reply. So we had a mission of a job driving across London to his house and he wasn't there. He finally text us and said he realised he had too many cars and would buy it back off us at half the price we had paid him. We were shocked as thought it was a done deal. Poor naive kiwi's. We could have been advertising it on the net.

That really knocked us back as the MOT on the van ran out the next day, so we managed to find a garage that would do it the next day and then headed into London. So Back on the tube again We went to Covent Gardens market which was awesome. Then watched a very funny busker for awhile. We then headed to Shaftesbury Avenue as my cousin told D it was full of music stores, we didn't find one.

We went back to the garage to find the bad news, we needed a few things fixed which they could do, but we also needed a new seat belt retractor. They couldn't get one so we had to hunt for a wreckers. Found one thanks to my Aunt and that was a wonderful experience in there. The guys were hard cases and very entertaining watching them smash the cars up to get parts, sometimes smashing the parts as they went. Luckily ours came out whole.

Next morning we took the car back, had a bit of a mishap. My Aunt said she would come with us and pick us up. She was still asleep so I said to D quick we will take off and be back before she knows, haha. He said she will be angry, but I assured him I would take full responsibility haha. Off we went, then went to jump on the tube back and found cos it was peak time it would cost a lot more. So we decided to walk. In the meantime my Aunt had woke, thought the little bu**ers and come racing after us. Luckily I spotted her or she could have been wondering where we were.

The upshot is we got an MOT and my cousin is selling it for us. While they were working on car, we went and checked out Buckingham Palace and St Paul's. St Paul's is an amazing cathedral, I thought it the best we had seen.

So we arrived in Bangkok today, we managed to sleep a bit on the plane as we had 3 seats between us. But we are feeling a bit jaded now. We are trying to stay awake so that we can get into there time frame. We have been walking around the streets, it's really different. We might grab a bite to eat of something and then have a Thai massage before bed. Darrell said they are selling food on the side of the street everywhere, mmmmmmmm he hopes its nice LOL. I can't see him trying anything, but we are here a few days he might give it a go. He reckons he saw McDonalds.

Goodnight sweet people all our love to you all. Unfortunately our cell phones don't work here so we will be incomunicado beside e-mail or this until Tuesday (in Oz).

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Recent Messages

From neroli
Finally got to check you page out is cool to read what you guys are up to and see the pictures.
Take care xxx
Response: Will put a picture of our new van on soon
From Me
Uncle Brian said they have had great weather since you left UK lol. U can't beat NZ for
Response: Weather good here now, hope it lasts. We seem to be the bearers of bad weather haha
From Sarah
Hey Auntie Jac and co....
I haven't had much time to read your blog but just thought I'd let you know what I've been up to since you've been gone.

School: got a merit in Shakespeare, joined barbershop and got picked to be a acting prefect(while the seniors have exams I'm a prefect pretty much)
and I don't think I have done too badly in anything yet this year. We had our Year 9 and 10 dance last Friday which I was on the accounting committee for. It was great, everyone had heaps of fun. The only glitch was the DJ. He arrived an hour later than he needed to but with the help of the committee he was set up in just enough time to start playing as the doors opened. We are doing photography and Painting in art at the moment. My two favorite standards...yay. I have to pick options for NCEA next year within the next couple of weeks...And decided whether of not I want to do NCEA and Cainbridge Exams. Apparently its good to do Cainbridge if you want to travel which I have thought about...I shouldn't have to decide this now I'm only 14!!!

Anyway, Life is good although I do wish I was flitting around the planet like you are instead of writing essays everynight...

My prayers are with you,
Response: That sounds awesome sweet. Well done. Anything that you can do now that will help you travel later will be good. It is awesome. We will write our blog in the next couple of days to keep you up with what we are doing. But we are having fun.
Love you lots you are awesome XXX
From caroline
How was the Thai food D?? I hope you were adventious!!!! and didnt live off Mackers!!!
Will write soon :) xx
Response: The Thai food was ok, D was very adventurous, but neither of us was daring enough to eat from street stall. We only went to Burger King once for breakfast haha. Gorgeous weather in Brisbane, really warm and sunny
From helen and robert
Hi can't believe how fast that trip went, it has been great reading about your adventures felt like I was at home keep in touch on my home email have lots to tell you

nz post just the same ha ha
Response: Hi sweet
Will get in touch on your e-mail soon, just arrived Brisbane and will get organised then get in touch
From Margaret(FRIGHT)
Hello to you both,
Darrell and Jacqui It sounds like you have had the most wonderful trip. The town I am living in In New Hampshire in the USA is also called Dover. There are many many places here that carry the names of those in England and also from CHCH. Even a street up this way called New Zealand Street.
I will email you via your regular email safe journey Much Love Margaret
Response: Good to hear from you. Yes I have found a lot of same place names too. My e-mail now is X
From steve and kiri
Hey guys,
Glad u are having a great time, sorry we havent caught up for a while.

I hope u got to Camden market.

Enjoy yourselves in Bkok. Lookin fwd to more photos!

Will be great to speak to u when u hit Aus. Remember to secure the loose outer pockets of your bags when you leave guys!

So jealous of you both and so happy youve done SO much.

Liams growing every day and is a complete and utter joy.

Cya bro+Jax, Steve+Kiri.
Response: Nice. We in Brisbane now. Will add more diary and photo's in next couple of days XXX
From Sonni
Hi, great reading about your travels; am reminiscing about my trip around the UK in a lime green Kombi! Am so proud of you both. CU soon. xx
Response: Yup having a great time, not long till Oz now. Keep the sun shining we need a warm up. Haven't got time to update diary at mo, will shortly
From caroline
Wow - you got to see all the places you wanted to see. Oban is where you catch the ferry to go uist where callum is from :) Shame the weather was not so kind to you in Scotland, but that is Scotland for you lol. Still miss you on the balcony xx
Response: Miss your smiling friendly face. Having great trip
From Ro and Pete
Gosh we are enjoying your trip so much as we have been to so many places that you are visiting, keep having fun, we look farward to the rest of your trip. Love and kisses Ro and Pete xxxxxx
Response: Thanks for message, yes certainly having a great time. Hope your family gathering went well
From Michelle
Hi travellers it was great talking to you the other day, I had a nice birthday and your phone call was a great start. Passed on your comments re Orkney and will show the photos next time Harv senior is down (the folks that were staying with him were pleased you enjoyed your trip there). By the way the lady you spoke to was going to speak to Pete who is brother of Anna who was staying out here. He is the one you mentioned who lives near Skara Brae.

Would have thought there would have been huge signage going between Northern/Southern Ireland! Your wheels look pretty tidy, love the curtains Darrell must have been another talent you picked up from Mum/me.

We're getting great weather here the last few days, long may it last.

Lots of love xx
Response: No problem, glad you had a great birthday, love to all.
From Me
Been waiting to see your van gosh its impressive. Thanks D I hope that curtain is between you....thats my boy ..

Hope you have heard a few more good Irish jokes...xx
Response: Sorry to dissapoint, but couldn't keep her out haha
From Anne and Mike
Hi Jacquie and Darrell, have just read your Blog, it's fantastic, I can't believe you have fit so much into your trip. You have been to all the places we were at just a month ago, i.e. Beamish (upset me a bit as there were too many things in the museum that I could remember)Scarbourough and Whitby we even went to the Magpie. you didn't mention the village of Goathland the place that heartbeat was filmed at, that would have been nice to see. pity we couldn't have been there at the same time. You have seen so much that we didn't I think we need to go again and do the Orkneys and down the West coast to Wales.
Drive safely, looking forward to reading your next entry.
All our Love,
Anne and Mike.
Response: We drove past Goathland. It's been great, you might have had a better look than us. It was a pity we missed you. Looking forward to seeing your photo's esp Morocco
From Michaelena
Hello Dearest Jacquie!

You have been in my thoughts and my heart. I must say that I am quite tardy
in my reply to your email. I can't believe it's been weeks since I received
it. I hope that you and Darrell are enJOYing your romp through Europe,
which I am sure you are. I haven't had a chance to read your journal yet,
however I look forward to doing so soon and I shall live vicariously through
your marvelous journeys. I am looking forward to any photos that you wish
to share when and if you have the opportunity to do so. It must be quite
different from our trek through Peru!!! I am feeling quite good these days
and have scheduled my first massage client in months. We'll see how it
goes! I just had a chance to look at the photos that you've posted ~ LOVELY! (and Darrell is as well) I'll catch up on journal reading next!!!
My Love to You, Michaelena

Response: Haha very funny, re D. I just got your e-mail but haven't got long enough to reply to e-mails. Love you lots XX
From Ron Bell
Hi Guys,
I wasn't far out with my prediction of your Scottish journey,I had a mate in the RAF from Pitlochry called Doug, did you come accross him? Your love of scenery is inherited from Grandad Parnaby and myself,next you will be smoking a pipe and listening to brass band music.
Take care you two!
Love Daddy and Marg.xx
Response: We had lots of good yarns with Doug haha. Already smoke tobacco and love brass bands

Love you
From Me
Loved the snaps Beryl sent me. U look sunburned. Forwarded them to Michelle.
Pitlochry sounds familiar from way back. You will be ready for a holiday when you get to Oz. Lots of Love to you both xx
Response: Trying to do photos
From george @ janice.
Hello D @ J
Hope your trip is going O.K.
We had a real dollop of rain last weekend. Has opened up the mouth of the Kakanui river, so millions of whitebait can now get up the river!!!
Booked Motel for Labour weekend, for school Jubilee. Going up with Pete and Ro.
Canterbury beat Bay of Plenty. Ali might be leaving Auck. to go to Waikato or Canterbury. Good eh. Let us know how Roy and Hayley are getting on, and is it true they have triplets!!
See you later. G @ J
P.S.The piece of string was two meters.
Response: Cool glad all is ok, rugby? what's that haha. Hardly seen any Coro, we don't have one in our van
From lynda cameron
hi you guys
It's great being able to read your news and it sounds as though you're having a great time. The weather is warming up here finally altho we all know how it can get in August. I'm relieved you didn't get caught up in the floods - we heard about Tewksbury and the area around there.
Nothing much changes here. Everyone is okay. Keep enjoying your trip and each other's company. Love to you both. Lynda
Response: Hi sweet
We are having a ball, up in Scotland now, have hardly seen any internet places
From Ron Bell
Hi Jacquie and Darrel,
Where to next? I'm guessing Holy Island then on to Edinburgh,cross the Forth bridge going up to Inverness,then you can look for Nessy in Lockness on your way down the West coast.Once through Glasgow it's very interesting at Gretna Green! Be happy and safe,love you. Daddy.Marg enjoys your blogs,looking forward to pics.
Response: You guessed it LOL
Maybe tomorrow, for photo's this is the first internet place we seen in a week
From caroline
Hey - everything is turning out just as you imagined - glad Darrell is coping with all the reallies - i know how you feel Daz!! lol
I'm on leave this week - Yah - Enjoy your week. xx
Response: Did you go to Oz??

We having great time and D likes my Rellies
From steve and kiri

Great to hear from you last night bro.
Sounds like u are havin a great time - If youre near Stirling, then go to the castle there - ...but u cant take our FREEEDOM!!!... n that kinda bravehearty stuff.
Hope u are taking heaps of photos guys - can u put some up on the blog or email some when you find a smidge of time?
Liam slept 6 1/2 hrs last night - so maybe there is light at the end of the sleepless express..

Anyway - Have a good one - Hope to speak again soon,

Steve and Kiri.
Response: Thanks Bro, will put more on blog soon. Yip speak we i can..
From michelle
Have a couple of contacts if you want in Scotland. Great weather here today, just been for a walk with Mum around the river etc, very warm. Mum rang about your carpark, she got something in the mail back yesterday, do you want her to open it? (Its not like you can I spose, ha ha) Loving this page to keep in touch. Take care alls well here. xx
Response: Ta, will speak to ma re that soon. Will be in touch if soon. x
From George @ janice
What Darrell with an umbrella!! Next it will be a bowler hat and briefcase. Hope you are no where near the bad flooding. Good to hear you are both having a great time. All is well here. Groundhog days!!! but what the hec, whitebait season is just round the corner!! Have bought a new dinghy from Dunedin which will pick up when ready. Finished covering set net for use when river is too rough or dirty. Great party at Peter's. George was Indian chief with three squaws. love J @ G
Response: Was very close to flooding. Glad we didn't get caught in it. Sorry we missed the party sounds like it was fun. Glad all is good, all good here, love D
From Ron Bell
Hi Guys,
Wondering how you fared with all the rain and flooding,hope you reached Peter and Heathers place before it started.Give our regards to all the family,not forgetting Heathers parents.
Takecare. Daddy and Marg.xx
Response: Will tell all in blog. Lots of love X
From jules
Hi Guys. Sorry taken me so long. Sounds like u r having a ball - good on ya. Makes me think about my travellimg days and wonder what the hell i stopped for?? thanks heaps for returning the book but it wasn't a biggie - i wouldn't have cared if u had kept it. meant to get in to work to see u on your last day but something happened (funeral) so wasn't able = sos. so glad u r having a great time - keep in touch. jules
Response: Glad you got the book, England is awesome. Miss our balconey company X