Location: Queenstown baby!, New Zealand
Phew! finally i'm onto New Zealand!
first night was ok, i arrived in auckland, met an irish girl who invited me down to the bar pretty much immediately and after that i was a lot more confident about meeting people! the next day i had to get a coach to the bay of islands-paihia. nearly missed it and had to hike up a hill with my ma-HUSIVE bag which was NOT a good start! when i got there, i stayed in the nearest base hostel and got chatting to a couple from USA, they were actually lovely, against all odds! and then another two guys from somewhere down south arrived. it was the first time EVER that i, as an english person, has been in the minority in a hostel room!
next day, i realised that my chanel sunglasses had gone AWOL and literally mourned all day, i was DEVESTATED! went for lots of long walks around paihia and visited the treaty ground, which was a little dull, i have to be honest-it was completely deserted and cos i was all alone, i had to do the really sad thing of putting a camera on a wall on a slef time to prove that i had been there!! funny times! and i actually sunbathed, it was that hot! unexpectedly. later i met a belgian guy who managed to cheer me up over my lost chanels!
the next day i got up early to get the coach to rotorua, got attacked by a duck who was after my bacon sandwich (it was very persistent and when i denied him a bite, he brought all his seagull mates to come and intimidate me-harsh times.) and also met an argentinian who i then bumped into again in queenstown, but thats another story. not a particularly exciting one. so that passed a good chunk of the nine hours! that night, couldnt be arsed to do anything so watched as good as it gets-jack nicholson and went to bed early! although it was just me and this old guy in the dorm room which freaked me out a bit but it was all good.
the next day, the first thing i had to do was buy some warm things!! it was so cold in rotorua and i was still in my flip flops (my converses were covered in beer and broken glass after a bottle broke in my backpack! and ive just had to throw them away cos they've gone mouldy! bad times) so i bought some furry boots and a massive stripy scarf and felt much more into the NZ spirit! went to the park and saw all the pools of boiling mud which was pretty cool! the place absolutely stank though, it was gross. tried to take some video of the mud but people kept wandering past and i was talking to myself, well to the video really but it was all a bit embarrassing so not sure how successful it was! then i went to a museum (so cultured) which was pretty interesting, i learnt how all the mud came to be there and how loads of people died in a massive volcano/earthquake years ago. it was very sad. also watched a film about it in a mini cinema, where i was the only person and all the seats started shaking and moving like in the natural history museum! it was very exciting! that night i watched zorro (you can tell that i didnt meet many people in rotorua!)
got the coach back to auckland, which is a nice city but very similar to every other city! i bought harry potter and read it by the next afternoon! saw indiana jones, which was good, but bit of a controversial ending! also bumped into matt and ruth, a couple i met on sunset waya in fiji, which was lovely. went to dinner with them although id already eaten and cos i didnt order, i nicked some of theres, second best lamb shank and the lamb chops literally melted in my mouth. it was fan-bloody-tastic. also had brandy snaps with lots of cream-random but yummy!
next day i went shopping (literally nothing else to do in auckland!!) and waited for my flight. which turned out to be cancelled. not cool at all. apparently it was the snow in christchurch! so they put us up in a really nice hotel for free! i had TWO double beds in my room! totally uneccessary-what situation could possibly demand two double beds?! but very nice. finalluy got to CC the next morning, and met david and deidra, an english lad and irish girl and chatted to them all night, we went and got pissed in the downstairs bar and ended up cracking a massive mirror in the toilets! it wasnt my fault, deidra was throwing wet tissues at me (dont ask why, i have NO idea!) the next morning, fighting my hangover (!) i persuaded the others to go bone carving with me-it was maga cool, i loved it! have made a beautiful necklace! also bumped into cavey and seb-the beachcomber boys!! exciting stuff! not really actually, chatted to them for a bit then went upstairs to do some washing! also met two lovely irish girls, who were SO good to gossip with, you have no idea how much ive missed doing that!
ok, its midnight so i'll stop but will finish NZ soon i promise! lots of love as always! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Location: New Zealand
ok, so we've left sunset and heading for bay of plenty...
when we first got there, i have to say, i was a little disappointed by the lack of beach but we were quickly whisked away to a coconut demonstration gien to us by lasco, the main man who basically did everything activities related!! he told us how the leaves are stripped down to make brooms for inside and the branches are used for outside sweeping (a woman's job apparently. dont worry, we put him right) and then he sliced off the top of a coconut and we all drank the juice inside, it was really nice and refreshing, very sweet! then he taught us how to shave off bits of the coconut using a pole thing. there are two ways of sitting on the pole, like a man, or like a woman. worryingly, i found the mans way far more comfortable, i think hannah may have pictures or even a video of me shaving a coconut, which i never want to see! then las put all the coconut into a gauze and squeezed all the milk from it into bowls of papaya-really sickly but nice to begin with. pretended i needed the loo so i didnt have to finish it :s
later that night, we played more of the flick game although i think the fijians were VERY keen to show us their skill, so i dont think that i got to play much, when we were partnering up!! then me and han chilled in a hammock and i dozed while han and las talked about rugby. and rugby. and rugby. and oh yeah!! rugby.
then master duncan took over and we did a short question and answer sesh about each of us in turn-and even though it felt a bit like an AA meeting (Hello my name is Rhianna and i dont like mosquitoes) it was really touching that they were even bothered! next up, we learnt fijian!! this was the best bit! yandra means good morning, bula means hello and lako tani means go away!! we used that a lot on Joe and Lasco over the next few days!
the next was VERY action packed as we got joes water taxi (!) to the blue lagoon, where they filmed the brooke shields film. its beautiful but tiny. anyway, so we're lying there on the sand, having a little snooze, when we hear these shouts. so we look up but all me can see is this old guy with his wife swimming alongside him. these shouts soon turn into coughs but his wife is pretty much ignoring him. i called out after a while to see if he was ok but he didnt reply, then after a while, me and han suddenly heard him say "je ne peux pas respirer". me and han being amazing french AS level students (yeah right) looked at each other and said-HE CANT BREATHE!! so we legged it into the water, still clothed i might add! and dragged him back to shore, although more people had come to help by this time (jumping on the bandwagon!) and he was vomiting all over the shop, it was pretty gross! we had to translate between him and the guy who was trying to help (han was particularly good at this!!) eventually i think he had to get airlifted to hospital! hopefully he's ok, he swallowed some water while snorkling, but fingers crossed!
anyway, i would love to finish off fiji but i REALLY want to get on to NZ so maybe i'll update this another time, but i had the best two weeks of my life. nuff said!!
Location: FIJI!!, New Zealand
long time no speak, really sorry, have been ultra busy and i guess a bit lazy :s
fiji was AMAZING!! the most incredible experience yet, i think. when we arrived, first thing i did on the mainland was have a curry, (i know my priorities) which was a major disappointment and we also had to wait for about an hour for it. we would soon discover that this is because everyone is working on "fiji time", my new fave expression (mum-a bit like GMT-greek maaaaabeh time!!)
the next morning, i had set my alarm from hannah's watch for 6.30 because we had to book our boat so managed, just, to get up and wake han. we left our 36 person dorm (!) and it was then i realised that it wasn't yet 6am. hannah's watch had LIED to us and we had got up unnecessarily early especially considering that we had had NO sleep the night before because our flight was SO DAMN EARLY!!! so not a good start to our first day in fiji...and it gets worse...we got a catamaran (my heart sank when i saw it) all the way to the top island of the yasawaras. i was right to be nervous as i was SO seasick it was unreal, eventually had to sit outside with the crew who got me a sick bag and some napkins (bless). thank god i didnt actually need them but i had tears rolling down my face and couldnt really chat to the group of guys from essex who we met on he boat, who are not particularly relevent until later in my story...the plot thickens!
anyway, we were supposed to be meeting some guys who had been on our oz experience from the very beginning but who we didnt actually manage to properly chat to until maggy island. so we had arranged to meet them on long beach but seeing as there is no internet on the islands, we were going to be hard pushed to find them...!
we arrived at long beach about 5 hours later, a small island, with basic food but nice, lots of carbs and a slice of paw paw with each meal for desert. me and han were supposed to go and get cake at 4 but were so exhausted from our strenuous journey that we fell asleep for hours! when we finally made an appearance at dinner, we met an older couple, carol and tony, who became our NBFs (new best friends) for basically the rest of fiji! but the boys we were supposed to be meeting were nowehere to be seen. hmmmm. by now it had started raining. yep raining. in fiji. BAD TIMES! so we played a LOT of cards, not only that evening but all the next morning too. i am now an expert at shit-head (hey, i didnt make up the name!)
our first night on long beach was also the first time wewere introduced to...CAVA!!! and no, i dont mean the rather nice, sparkling wine which you alcoholics are so accustomed to! its a drink made for the roots of a pepper tree and tastes uncannily like mud. bears a striking resemblence to it too. its a "natural narcotic" and is supposed to relax you and make you sleep. well, my card playing became noticeably worse ("whats trumps again?" "what are we playing...?") but i couldnt sleep for hours so i'm not sure that the fijians werent lying and feeding us pond water and laughing behind our backs!
the next afternoon, the sun finally decided to show its face and taking full advantage, i went for my first fijian swim (alone-han was practising her new favourite hobby-lying in a hammock!) and tried to pretend that it hadnt started raining again. then, in the distance, i saw a boat!! with people in!! so i ran in, told han, which was enough to dislodge her, and sure enough the boys were striding towards us!! cavey, seb, dan and mole #2 (seriously, who meets TWO different people on their travels called MOLE?!)
we all went swimming again, until we really couldnt ignore the fact that we were nearly drowning from the water coming from ABOVE and our flip flops nearly got washed away, only just saved by cavey, my hero. that night, we were taught the flick game by the boys who played it on whichever island they had been on. its a fijian game, a mixture of pool and air hockey except you have to flick the puck at little pieces and get them in one of the four holes (see pictures). was being coached by dan who even managed to turn my negative shots (like potting the puck) into positive comments (its really hard to do that actually, well done!) the flick game became a big part of our lives from that day forward (i'm going to make one when i get home-it'll be a great uni game!)
next day, we got shipped to beachcomber, mainly because..THE BIG MATCH WAS ON!!! the boys were going to watch it and we only got booked in at the very last minute-tense times! we also got upgraded to twin rooms with an ensuite instead of the 90+ dorm that was being done up!! thank GOD! the boys taught us the BULA dance! which is the fijian version of the macarena-soooooo funny, we all got up and did it on the dance floor, nearly wet myself laughing at cavey rolling his hands in the air, head flung back as far as it could go! there's a video but you kind of had to be there! couldnt afford any alcohol (lots of you will be pleased to hear) but bought lots of drinks from dans fake bar-fake tequila is much nicer and has less of a kick that the real deal! found a couple of bed bugs later-not nice!
6 am-get woken up by seb poking my knee-time for MAN U vs chelsea. i wont bore you with the results (YES MAN UNITED WINNING ON PENALTIES!! NO JOHN TERRY MISSING HIS AND CRYING FOR AN HOUR!!!) but i dont think ive ever been so tense! we all celebrated (cavey and seb also man u fans) by playing kkkkrrrrrazy golf, which i didnt suck at as much as i thought! found a blue star fish on our attemt to swim in the 10cm deep sea. finished the day with a crab race-we (the boys) entered an auction to buy a crab and got bula-the fijian crab. we didnt win which was a suprise, we thought they'd have pumped bula with steroids or something!
the next day, we were very sad to say goodbye to the boys for good but soon cheered up when we randomly bumped into...NICKI and CHLOE!! very exciting and we arranged to meet on long beach as they were going to be there for a week. on the little boat to sunset waya, our next destination, we got chatting to another group of 3 boys-oli, tom and fred and found out that they were from brighton too!! and later (and this IS weird) i found out that oli knows jade from the saltdean tavern!! we all went to another village on another island which connects to sunset when the tide is out and watched an inter-village rugby match, which wasnt that thrilling i have to admit. beforehand though, we wandered past some kiddies playing rugby with a water bottle, the passion, excitement and VIOLENCE was astounding! kids as young as 4 were lpaying with 12 year olds, jumping on top of each other and were fine! if only english children were so robust!
later that night, we played cards and watched tom do an impossible trick, which he promised he'd show us if we ever bumped into each other in brighton!! also threatened oli with a machete because he kept screwing me over in shit-head. i know how to earn respect!!
next day we wove our own bracelets, which i was very proud of and i also did an anklet! i'm clearly a natural for threading pineapple leaves together! they guys built a hut and we had a bonfire in the evening, which a couple of fijian guys doing fire dancing (badly-they dropped the fire sticks SO many times!). the next day, despite an offer from a random guy that i could stay on sunset if i swept the beach for 1 hour then give him a massage, we headed to bay of plenty. best thing i have EVER done. will finish this soon cos am knackered now but hope ive given an insight into fiji!!
lots of love xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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Response: Bula indeed! why john orrells..? tastebud have defo improved, i tried curried goat remember!
ronaldo IS NOT thinking of joining madrid!!! apparently he's playing a star part in all the matches so far! just seen the rugby-totally atrocious, am ashamed of the england team!! although topsy ojo (what a name) was great.
glad to hear about the chattri, watched the video from the link! i welled up, it was lovely seeing you, if only briefly! i forgot you dont have a beard!!!
i'm sorry. WHAT exactly are you talking about when you say men's unmentionables...? do i want to know? there's no snow anyway, all the skiers are incredibly pissed off right now! i'll see you really soon anyway-TEN DAYS!! cant wait! hope you've taken the whole day off to celebrate! LOVE YOU xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Response: cava sounds great! have been teaching the bula even here in NZ (no, really!) cant wait for sunny LA, and the pina coladas are on you!! love you! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Response: it's so nice to hear from you too, sorry i was out of contact for so long! exploits in NZ are fairly minimal at the mo, although hopefully thia will change as i'm now in the south island!!
i hope nick and flick are doing well in oz!! lots of love xxxx
Response: yeah it was, but i thought he was called rich all night!! very embarassing!!
havent decided yet!! answers on a postcard please! i'll do a plea for help on facebook! you must be in thailand now! wow!! how was the rest of singapore? didnt meet the guys in the end-flight got cancelled til the next day! love u lots xxxxxxxx
Response: the tree was immense-to use poppy's word! i miss fiji and you too :( guess what-bumped into ruth and matt from sunset!! weird! love u babe xxx
Response: i do blame you, everyday, for everyTHING!! ;)
am having a pretty good time, and dont worry, i will pass on the message!!
have a wicked time in thailand! if you get a chance, could u or pops get me those havaianas? will ovvers pay you back, there are about $50+ here, which is about 25 squid! anything u want from NZ? xxx
Response: hey mrs las!!
flight was ok, how was urs? i'm missing you loads, woke up on my first morning in NZ and thought, better wake han so we can have some brekkie!! thanks for the yes optus piccy, u know i love it! how was the zoo, did u see everything u thought? was it nice to meet with norm and norma? you must be off today, have a fab time in singapore! love you lots,
mrs joe xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
ps. there we are...WELL DONE!!!
Response: oh my GOD of course i watched it, i managed to find the only island in the whole of fiji that was showing it!!! it was AMAZING!!! WE WON!!!! yeah life is really hard out here, so stressful, you know how it is!!! in NZ at the mo, exciting times!!
hope all is good your end, when are you next away??
lots of love, Rhianna...(boo boo) xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Response: hey cha cha,
yeah i'm having an awesome time! seen loads of wildlife, which has been the best bit. it was only my arm not my arse, dont worry! haven't had kangaroo yet :( shame and i wanted to try shark too. the culture is mainly to be as sleazy and innappropriate as possible (men) and to be honest, i dont think the women are too friendly either, although you get the odd few. we were talking to a security guard the other day, trying to find our bus stop and after a while, he said that people hated them (as an institution) because they thought they were racist. and when i asked him why people thought they were racist, he said it was because they hate blacks. well mainly aboriginals because they're scum, smell, dont work, etc. i was so horrified, i was nearly in tears, and walked away as quickly as possible. as mum said, it was nasty but not really a surprise.
and to be fair, i think i've been getting the least hammered of everyone, including my alcoholic cha cha by the sounds of it! tell keshi that i will see her as soon as i can and think of her lots, especially now its her birthday coming up! can't believe she's growing up so fast, poppy thought she was still 2 years old! love to andrea too, hope they enjoy their trip down to brighton, shame i'm not there to see them!
miss you and love you lots xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Response: wow dad, loving the long long message, even if most of it was nicked from the guardian (which i surprisingly miss. well the weekend mag anyway). shame you give me all that advice the day before i leave australia! and dont worry about the drunk aussies, i have been EXTREMELY cutting with my remarks, they all seem to have enormous chips on their shoulders when it comes to us being from england, because apparently WE should take responsibilty for sending criminals over there in the first place. i think they are lacking in the brain cell area. to be honest, the scariest thing we've faced so far is probably a weird welshman called wes who's working at our hostel. bad times. did you know that there arent any snakes in new zealand OR ireland. how random! hope evryone at school is ok, say hi to trevor. flying to fiji early sunday morning-anything to worry about there? apparently we can carve bracelets out of coconuts! meeting up (maybe) with a couple of guys from the oz experience then when i fly to NZ may meet up with the original boys from byron and then again with them in LA. will try and ring tonight as unlikely there will be many opportunities in fiji!
love you lots and lots xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
ps i never saw 27 dresses but did see made of honour which was pretty good! they both involve weddings anyway (doesnt evey romcom) i cried a lot! as ususal! xxxx
Response: Aw, thatnk you. the cattle rods were certainly a highlight of some kind...! am about to update, sorry its taking so long! xxx
Response: glad you like them, there's plenty more to show you when i come back!!! wish you were here too, miss you LOADS!
Response: He was cuddly but he pooed on me-bad times. Cairns was ok...will explain in detail later but right now am doing more photos-good times! in PD at the mo-its fantastic! love you xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Response: Hi sue, don't worry about it!! we were all off radar for a bit, its understandable! we're having an amazing time here, me and han are starting to plan fiji too!
hope everything is ok in brighton! x
Response: Hi! I can't believe your moving for such a long time! I'm sure you'll have an incredible time though-good luck with the new jobs! Oz is fantastic-i'm having the best time!
Lots of love xxx
Response: Fraser island was fantastic as were the whitsundays! hope everything is good at home. lots of love xxx
fraser was fab, cold is not much better though!
could you tell chel that i deleted her message accidently! i'm so sorry! so this is my reply....
hey chel, glad to hear about your birthday, sounds like you had a fantastic time! glad you liked the bag too, i saw it and immediately thought of you!!
the underground ride at alton towers sounds amazing-you're so brave, don't think i could have done that!!
speak to you soon, lots of love!!
Response: Thanks very much-Noosa really was amazing! I hope the sun stays out for you!
Lots of Love xxxx
Response: thats so funny cos its so hot here and i just had a coffee and lime ice-cream (they didnt have lemon) for you!! took a pic t make you jealous but you probs got yours from morroccos so i'm the jealous one!
have literally had some of the best few days of the trip so far!!
love you xxx
Response: Thanks very much, it's great to hear from you! Tell Amanda congratulations on her fantastic run. Still having a wonderful time here, we're heading to brisbane later today.
Hope all is good down your end!
Lots of love xxx
Response: the sea was pretty cold! didnt go inside the opera house, we did our own version outside-there was no need!
drinking lots of VB (Victoria Bitter) and goon (which is really cheap wine-main ingredients being egg and fish...) bought myself some havaianas, which are REALLY nice flip flops here-they're white with fluoro pink on the "thongs". LOVE YOU xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Response: Woah dad, du wanna write my blog for me?! loving the major comment! dont tell me ur gonna get a black car? again?
did sort of get the rules except it seemed that they could be as dirty as poss and not get sent off! ashley cole would be in heaven!
curried grubs are NEVER gonna be the in thing dad, however hard you try to get them in! was craving ur crab dish earlier tho!
read my blog to see the "amazing" thing i dragged everyone to, just for you!!
Love that you have admitted to the world that you read heat. on the loo. so many issues...!
cheers for the extra info, i'll bear it in mind...!
missing you loads, espesh after this message, forgot how H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S you can be!!
LOVE YOU xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Response: am well looking forward to sydney!! ha ha dad will have to be snowed in, perhaps he could do some cleaning or something...?
beach was nice but SOOOOOOO windy!
going for pizza and cocktails tonight for oue last night in melbourne!
love you loads xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx