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Tashas Travels

Hope you all enjoy my travel pages, for alternative view points check out Claire and Katy's pages (clairerichards katyjohnson). Oh and please feel free to let me know how life is back home.

Diary Entries

Friday, 07 September 2007

Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Kia Ora! (The meaning of this word has been given to me in 59 languages by the bus driver on the Maori night , in English it means hey, hello, hows it going, see you later, and is a fruit cordial.

This is my last day last day in New Zealand, all year I have been looking forward to being here and now its come to an end. Do you remember how long the six weeks holiday used to be? Much longer than the six weeks I've been here. People say old age makes time seem faster. I refuse to believe this over simplified explanation, and firmly believe that the earth is spinning 3.2 times faster than it used to.

Its true to say that I didn't come to New Zealand for a cultural experience. As the Kiwi's way of life is very similar to ours, well similar to ours sometime in the past. Some of the places I have visited have been scarily lacking in people, like Westport on the South Island. A place I can only describe as Blackpool after biological bomb. With the few survivors suffering the neurological affects of the bomb.

I've heard conflicting reports on the crime rates in this country. With people saying that this place is so crime free that they have to import the news from America. A view that I am inclined to believe, especially after listening to 'Pets on the lose' on prime time radio. Unfortunately this is contrasted with reports of this country having some of the highest suicide and rape rates in the world. I suppose this is very possible as the idea of the metrosexual male has yet to cross the water.

One thing that I really do like is the fact that the kids are treated with respect. They are given space and time, you get the feeling that they are loved and appreciated and not judged for their over sized clothing.

Although I called Wanaka home and could imagine living there for a while. I wouldn't like to stay in this country permanently, because I constantly feel like I'm waiting for something to happen - but it never does! which is strange of a country that is crumbed packed with adrenalin activities.

I wish that I understood more about the feeling between the Maori's and the White's. Everything appears fine on the surface, but their cultures are still very different and I wounder if they both respect each others. At the end of the Maori night, we were asked if we had learned anything about the Maori culture and if we had, to take that away and tell others. From what I gather they seemed to love fighting, and would take the occasional break for a song. Not sure what exactly your supposed to pass on??

I think I'm done alls that left is to say goodbye from the country ....
...that is full of amazing landscapes
...where buses offer door to door service
...where you can buy tickets for any mode of transport, activities, nights out all under one roof
...where every sentence is ended with the question, aye?
and where UB40 is played constantly

Tuesday, 04 September 2007

Location: Napier, New Zealand

Hot Springs!

Just realised its been a while, I did end up back in Wanaka, however the boys decided to keep moving on to Fox, and as I had been there decided to stay and have my last day on the slopes. Tried out Trebble Cone which is quite a difficult mountain, as it is very steep. I obviously hit a learning plateau, well more a learning dip, because I spent the morning on my bottom. So I decided I would have to try to rectify the problem, and soon realised that, the steaper the mountain the more you have to lean forward?!! Which I suppose makes sense, but is quite difficult to put into practice. Trebble Cone has the best view, probably some of the best I have seen in this county, and I didnt take my camera - gutted! From Wanaka I took a bus to Christchurch via Mt Cook, decided to do that as its the tallest mountain in NZ. Unfortunately it wasnt the clearest days, but suppose it was still worth the trip? I spent a couple of nights in Christchurch, and then flew to Rotorua, on the north Island, an extremely volcanic area that I thought deserved some time. I was there a night, but then decided I wanted a car and it was cheaper hiring one in Auckland. So I headed up there stopped with Claire's friend Anna and her boyfriend Chris for a couple of nights. Which was very cool as they quickly informed me that they were having a bbq the next day, and I thought it rude not to attend. I didn't end up hiring a car, mainly due to my lack of 'actual' license and so headed back to Rotorua on the bus - great! I really hate buses and come to think of it all public transport. Anyways in Rotorua I went to a Maori night and then visited Wai-O-Tapu national park. What I crazy place that is, the ground steams, every where you look there is steam raising from the ground. Kinda like the grids in New York, but for entirely different reasons.

I did think it was quite strange that the Lady Knox Geyser, went off at a specific time every day. However the reason became apparent when a little man armed with soap powder came and sprinkled it down the hole. Basically what this does is displaces the cold water, that is acting as a lid to the boiling hot water. Allowing it to rip, this would happen , every 24 to 48 hours, due to the natural build up of pressure. But it would be harder to charge for, so they give it a helping hand.

Now I'm in Napier, a city that was ruined by an earthquake in the 1930's and the whole town was rebuilt, Art Deco style.

Only 3 more days left boohooo, then back to student life wooohooo!!

See you soon, for what will be my last entry.

Friday, 24 August 2007

Location: New Zealand

I've seen the round rocks!

Once I'd ditched the camper, and boy did that feel good, I checked into a hostel. There I got chatting to two Irish lads Ciaran and Andrew, I told them I was off snowboarding the next day and they decided to come with. Since then they have been my new road partners, well more I have become theirs since they have the car. The day after boarding we headed down to Dunedin, which was colonizes by the Scots, Dunedin is actually Celtic for Edinburgh. From Dunedin we did a day trip up to see the Moraki rocks (aka the amazing round rocks). The boys were as overwhelmed as I was to see these 'almost unique' geological features. No, they were quite cool I suppose, may have been a better day if we had got to see some seals or penguins, but the are a was sectioned of for shooting?

Now we are back in Queenstown, and we did have just done the luge. Which is like a race track at the top of a mountain. Its pretty cool as you have to take a gondola up to the top, and the views are magnificent. I think its fair to say that I am warming to Queenstown, but its not Wanaka, which I think we are heading back to tomorrow. Adious!

Monday, 20 August 2007

Location: Queenstown, New Zealand

What a week!

This last week with C has really flown by, but when I look back and reminisce, I realise that we have crammed in an awful lot. After the sky dive we headed south to Te Aunu to see another incredibly beautiful area, Doubtful Sounds. Not meaning to sound unappreciative, but the most beautiful thing down there was the bathrooms at the camp site. Thats probably a little harsh the trip to Doubtful, on a whole was good, we got taken around a hydro-electric power station to start. Then shown the Sounds (which is an are of hills and water, called sounds but are actually froids, which means that they were created by ice as apposed to water). These were supposed to be spectacular, and turned out to be 'nice', however it was an amazingly sunny day and we got to see lots of wildlife. Even played with the Dolphins which were jumping out of the water. Unfortunately the 3 second delay on my camera means that all I have to show is a series of dolphins splashes.

After the Sounds we headed back to Wanaka aka home, to do a spot of boarding. C an accomplished skier had a go at boarding, and took to it like a fish out of water (just kidding babe). Sunday, although it could easily have been a different story, turned out to be a brilliant day, C went back to skies and we whizzed down the mountain together. At this point I would just like to thank Baz our driver is shinning Armour, who lent us money for our lift passes, after we realised, at the top of the mountain that we didnt have enough money on us and had brought out the wrong card!!!!

Its evening now, C has gone and its just me. Time for part 2! Which begins with boarding in Queenstown.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Location: Te Anau, New Zealand

The adrenalin has just stopped after jumping out of a plane on Sunday. Skydiving was amazing, its just a shame that its over so quickly, suppose I'll just have to do it again, maybe do 15 000ft!

We are now in Te Anau, (another very quiet NZ town, I never imagined that I would have this country to myself). On our way down to Doubtful Sounds, another beautiful area. We are booked to cruise around the lakes and maybe up to the Tasmin Sea if the weathers nice. So I'll be may with more scenic views soon.

Friday, 10 August 2007

Location: Wanaka, New Zealand

Hungry, hungover and in a maze??

We are down in Wanaka now, which is undoubtedly the coolest town I have ever been to. I feel so out of place! Nobody is younger than 16 or older than 40, and everybody is supercool. The sizing seems to be a little different here, as everybody's clothes seems to be on the large side. Its like living in a skate video, and the skaters definitely come first. Children come second to the skaters in the play ground and cars definitely get second place in the car park. Another thing that makes me smile is the lingo, listening to adults constantly saying things 'suck' or they are 'neat' or that something is 'farout' is quite peculiar!

Yesterday we went to Puzzling World, a cool little place that you can sit in and do puzzles. Or visit the illusion rooms and then work your way out via a maze. The illusion room was brilliant, especially this room that was on an 45 degree angle. Which meant that things appeared to defy gravity, like a pool ball rolling up the table, and water flowing upstream. Very cool and fitting.

Before Wanaka we did a spot of helihiking in Fox Glacier, and the question did get raised, if thats where Foxes Glacier Mints got there name (thats one for you Rob). Glacier walking was fantastic, the day was lovely, the warmest I've been. The views were amazing, to be fair New Zealand is full of amazing views. Which I dont thing the photo's do justice. Its quite strange everywhere we have been, the locals, ever so proud of there country, keep telling us the best is yet to come?? Which to be honest I don't think is true everywhere on the south Island is stunning!

Next Stop Queenstown.

Monday, 06 August 2007

Location: Fox Glacier, New Zealand

Moving on in our Motorhome

I am happy to inform that things have perked up a little, for a minute there I was worried.

Eventually flew to Wellington, where this time I was met by Claire and Katy - woohooo! Crossed into Picton (South Island) on the freight service, which basically meant that nothing was open so when had a 3.5 hour journey with nothing but kids colouring books to entertain us.

Then I had my first experience of driving the camper, on Queen Charlotte's Pass. Which I think Claire knew was the most treacherous stretch of driving on the trip! Anyway we survived, the journey to be met by some gruesome looking locals on old Macdonalds farm.

The next day we parked up the camper and had lunch by the lake, absolutely beautiful! This was followed by a water taxi to Anchorage, and a very pleasant walk along the beach and in the forest. Panic did start to set in when 1 hour 30 mins into our 1 hour 30 min walk we were heading into the mountains and not back to the beach for our taxi home. Between the three of us we reckoned we could light a fire build a hut and choose which berries were edible.

Ok i'm gonna make it short now as i'm getting bored, been in the internet cafe for hours. Other things seen are pancake rocks, jade factories (to many yo mention, i'm completely jaded) and looked around lake Matheson.

So far New Zealand has been massively lacking in people, and the food lovely.

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Location: Aukland Airport, New Zealand

Welcome to New Zealand!

So far not so good, the plane stank, and i was next to the food bit. Slightly worrying.

Got dates mixed up with C, who thought that i was getting in yest, and so booked us fights to welligton for 10am this morn thinking i would have had time to have a good night sleep. Got in before nine so could possible have made the plane, if i hadnt have got stopped at customs and my bag searched. I asked why i had be stopped, to wish i got a rubbishly vague answer. I later overheard them talking, and they wondered how i could afford to go away twice in one yr?????

Oh well things can only get better.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Location: Chorley but not 4 much longer, UK

The New Zealand countdown begins!

Not long now, 11 days to be exact, I can’t wait, bring on the exhilaration. The six week adrenalin rush is soon to begin. To avoid hospitalization I’ve decided not to go paddling and stick to the less risky activities, such as skydiving, parasailing and snowboarding.

Tuesday, 07 November 2006

Location: Chorley, UK

Chorley the Centre of the Universe!

Oh it’s great to be back in the UK, and it’s even better to be back up north, and just to top it off royally I’m back in CHORLEY. Which comes second only to Manchester in the greyest, rainiest places in England category?

Travelling is now a very distant memory, and being back with the folks is very much a reality! In saying g that, it’s not all bad, I have actually enjoyed being back. My Mother and Step-Father are great comedy duo, and have provided me with many laughs.

Bar laughing I have mostly been enjoying being on the dole and watching Diagnosis Murder. Alas even that my one pleasure in life is soon to come to an end, as I have just got myself a job and will be dole scum, no longer! Back to grown up stuff for me, I think I’m gonna have a bit of a... lets call it period of adjustment, when I have to go back to work. As I haven’t worked since May, and haven’t seen 9am, since then either! hehe. That’s gonna be fun!

Well that me, might be a while till me installment, as i predict i'll be too tired to type (that sounds famililar?)

Monday, 28 August 2006

Location: Bangkok, still., Thailand

Thailand the Conclusion..................Hopefully!?

Thailand is undoubtedly a beautiful country with lots to see and do. However many parts of it are marred, sometimes by the people, sometimes by the pollution, but often both. Granted the western tourists (like me) are probably the main reason for this.

After my first few negative experience, mainly the lobster, but also the Tuk Tuk driver that took us to see crap shrines, and lots of shops, so that he could get petrol coupons. To the very pushy man in the TAT (Tourism Authority Thailand) that tried to sell us a packaged holiday when all we wanted was a map! I cant help put feel that I’m being ripped off, and am very weary of the ‘where you from?’ question, because you think its being used to decide how much to charge you.

Lessons learned

* When you are told that you have the choice between VIP bus and super VIP. What you really have the choice between is a normal bus, and a bus with a toilet.
* Everybody will lie to you, even the sweet old ladies will tell you a fib or two and it is completely accepted.
* The Thai's cant 'loose face' that means that if they have absolutely no idea what you are on about, they will smile and nod, instead of saying they don't understand. eg 'is the bus station this way or this way?' reply 'yes, umhuh!'


* What do Chinese people do with all their photographs?
* Why are there so many, fat or ugly or old, white men with sexy Thai wives???
* Is it compulsory for farang, to carry a Lonely P in Thailand?

Let me end with some of the things that like, an Ice cream van that is a man driving a motorbike with a side car that is refrigerated - pure comedy! Oh can't believe that i nearly forgot about the food. Especially when I've spent most of my time here eating.

And in conclusion to my conclusion I have discovered that there aren't any answers, only questions!

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Recent Messages

From Claire
Glad you enjoyed Rotorua and Maori night. Some of those chaps looked familiar! Sounds like it was a good thing I didn't opt for my first snowboarding lesson on treble cone...I was on my bottom enough on the gentle slopes of Cardrona...where can you go from your bottom?! Look forward to chatting soon- Cx
Response: Hey babe, i'm actually replying to you, from Dans office in London. How bizzare! Thanks for all the msgs. Chat soon.
From John (one half of th
Hello Tash,
Here's the news...
The Nightingales are going to Wales tomorrow.
I'm back at work.
Sales of KFC have dropped by 47% in the Northwest.
Your mum sends her love & there's nothing happening behind the crack.
From The Fitts
hey big/little sis, me and alex are back from turkey(ages ago like but hey..) had a really good time. we both hope your having a good time and thanks for all the cool captions on the wedding pics, they're brill. take it easy and we'll see you when your back..

guess what me and alex have only been to KFC twice! so nur!! WE CAN COOK!!!

lots of love Trev & Alex


p.s "Always Carry a Big Stick!"
Response: Hehe, only twice!!! I just had to pick myself up off the floor. Just kidding babe, and its not that I dont believe you, but I may have to put this cooking theory to the test. So thats dinner at yours when I get back. Glad you had a good hol, love to you both. See you soon.
From Jealous Claire
How jealous am I? You are actually coming out of one of the rocks!!!

Do I detect a hint of sarcasim or did you all like them? I'm glad you've got new travelling buddies, you're too much fun to be on your tod. Have fun, Cx

p.s I like the blue top on you!
Response: I know i'm being hatched, i did that just for you. Oh and i'm loving the new wardrobe, thank you.
From John (one half of th
Parkwise send their love - spend the money wisely!!!
Response: Nice one, as the money has already been spent :)
From Rob
Hi Tasha,
I enjoyed reading your diary and looking at your pics so far. I got back from my 2 week hol in Switzerland on monday and am now back at work. I did get to climb a few mountains, so it was worth the trip. Hope all is sunshine and fun in NZ. Bye, Rob.
Response: Glad you had a good trip, so your knees held out? Still having a top time especially since it has been sunny and lovely for the last couple of weeks.
From Mike and Carol
Hi Tasha
Brilliant seeing your photos of the sky dive - beats seeing that lady you have in for cleaning the van! Why has your hair gone grey in one of Claire's photos - was that when you knew you'd run out of fuel on the boat back? Oh silly us, it's your posh hat. Continue to amuse us with your tales. Just had a little look at your brother's wedding photos, can't believe he is married, too young but so in love. Great seeing all the family. love to all
Response: The grey hair, was caused by the tough crowd. I kept pulling out the jokes and trying to keep them entertained with charades. But none of them found mt Titanic or Jaws references funny!???
From ashley
grandad is taking me,nicole and jade to feed the feed the ducks today.lots of love ashley xxx
From jade nightingale
Response: I'm impressed at how well you type your name Jade, you Just need to work on, a few other words.

Tell Nic i'm still waiting for her msg.
From John (one half of th
Thursday, 12:00pm.
Yes, I typed the message from your Mum. But it was her thoughts (mostly) - after looking at your skydiving pics. she wanted to know what would happen if you needed the toilet on the way down, eh? Trev & Alex have just been, they had a lovely time in Turkey.
I'm going to bed now - might have a look through the crack.
Response: Hehe, old habbits die hard, I know. But I bet there is just as much going on behind the crack now, as there was when I was there. Oh and in reply to the toilet question, I guess you would just have to go. Although the whole thing only lasted about 20 mins. 19 up and 45 secs down. So you have a serious prob if you cant wait that long.
From Mum
Yes I thought the wedding pics were brilliant - especially the 'guess who's Mum' one. And ha! I spelt especially right - John had to look in the dictionary! So ner to your reply. (I don't no what ner means, John)
Response: Hehe, I knew I was right.
we are going to wales at the end of august and there is a swimming pool outside we're staying and a beach round the corner lots of love ashley xxxxxxxxxx
Response: That sounds great, have a wicked time. What date do you get back?
From Carol and Mike
Hi Tasha
Lovely going onto your web site and seeing you girls again -hard to believe this time last year it was Thailand we were logging onto. I love comparing you 2 girls tales of what is going on! Claire cleaning the van - what is wrong with the girl. Is that to guarantee you get the deposit back, she looks a real Mrs Mop, she'll be fluffing up the cushions in the van next! Or don't you have such luxuries as cushions. Good job you are tiny, the van looks a little neat. The skydive looks amazing love your photo from just leaving the plane. Take care of one another. love C&Mxxx
Response: Its nice to know you're keeping up to speed with our travels. We are having a wicked time, well I am Claire is often preoccupied with more menial tasks. However I was amazed that I managed to drag her away from the cleaning to jump out of a plane!!!! :) Keep logging on, and take care!
hello tasha my auntie sarah has had a baby called philip lots of love ashley xxxxxxx
Response: Hi Ash, thanks for the message. Say congratulations to Sarah when you see her again. Are you enjoying the school holidays?
From Mum
Hiya Sweetpea,
Lovely to see you're having an excellent time - the pictures are fantastic. I'm missing you & Trev like mad (but the house is lovely without you both). Grandad OK & eveybody else OK - except uncle T - he fell off a brick & broke his leg!!! I saw him yesterday - guess where? In his shop with his leg up on a shelf! Nothing stops him working.
love you loads,
speak to you soon,
Response: Hey nice of you to drop me a line, however the excellent grammar and punctuation leaves me to believe, that you did not, as they say 'pen this letter'. Glad that you are enjoying having the place to yourself, just don't get to comfortable - I'm coming back :) Love you loads and see you soon. Oh and what do you think of the wedding pics?
From Window cleaner
You owe me 2 dollars!
Response: Sorry I wasn't impressed with the service.
From little/big sis
Big deal skydiving in New Zealand, i'm in Chorley watchig big brother and wait for it..............X Factor starts on Saturday so add that 2 ur travels tasha. luv u xx
Response: Your joking, not X Factor, gutted I love that show :)
Love and hugs to you all, ask Ash where my msg is, or did she write this one?
From John (one half of th
Your mum's finally stopped crying and started to enjoy the empty nest. (Though it wasn't empty for long - we had the babies over the weekend). Trev's still in Turkey. Your Grandad sends his love. Your mum keeps threatening me with the gym...
Be safe.
Response: Love to you all. Looking forward to seeing the lean you in a few weeks. Enjoy the quiet!
From Anna
Hi Tash! Glad you caught up with Katy and Claire-we we're all very confused when you didn't get off the plane! Hope the jet lag has gone, and you're having fun in the south island. Not sure whether you're planning on speaning anytime in Auckland-if you are, feel free to come and stay with us. We move into our new house on 25th Aug, so just let us know if you need a place to crash xx
Response: Thanks babe, thats really kind of you. I'm heading north on the 30th, so i'll prob pop by for a day or two sometime after that. I'll be in touch closer to the time. Re the flight, completely my fault, Claire had asked when i arrived i casually said the Monday, meaning to confirm it with her later. It was only sometime over the Pacific that i realised it was tues in NZ!
From Rob
Are you welly wanging in Wellington?
Response: No helihiking in Fox Glacier.
From Liese
hey hey! touch down then. how was your brother's wedding? did everyone tell you how pretty your dress was? :)

Where are you off to first?

Response: Hey babe, yep got here ok, in Wellington at the mo, which surprisingly is the capital. The wedding was lovely a bit sad, but think thats cos it was 'little Trev' getting wed. The dress got some nice comments, but not as many as i would have liked :)
From Smarty Pants.
Then that would be Tashas' Travels...'
By the way - we clocked up 400 miles taking you to the airport.
It was worth it though...
Response: hehe! you coping with mum?
From John (one half of th
Of course that would be Tasha's Travels...
Response: Nope! anyone of the same name is free to document their journey. Smarty pants ;)
hello tasha
From Rob
Pre-emptive strike!

How's your trip? Not gone yet?
You just told me I had to post 1 message, so this is it! Just kidding!
Response: Nope not gone yet, still sitting right next to you! For that I am now upping the quota to two msgs, and I can see I have to be specific, so that’s two whilst I'm actually in NZ.