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Claire’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 28 Aug 2007

Location: New Zealand

Mapoh how i can hate compters at times! i'd just written an nice couple of paragraphs continuing my tale and the stupid thing decided to delete the lot, argh, hmph and all that!

anyway as i was saying before...

sorry guys its been a while since i last updated this, i think i left you all in stewart island which was about 4 weeks ago now, but it's been a rather quiet few weeks so shouldn't take me too long to fill you in (famous last words i feel).

after stewart island we headed to Dunedin, for those of you not up to scratch with your gaelic that's Edinburgh to you and me. not quite as fair as our wee city, but nice to have a few familiar names about the place. non less familiar than the McKinlay's shoe shop, unfoltunatly we were there on a Sunday so i'm yet to make it beyond the window. i did however make another purchase when in Dunedin, i bought myself a fancy new camera, it's black and big and looks like an old school proper camera, has a 12 x optical zoom (which is great, can see everything all up close) and lots of other fancy buttons to play with (some of which i know what they do!). as well as the purchase of a new camera we also visited and climbed the steepest street in the world! i must say it is rather steep and its quite scary watching cars try and get up it and walking down is rather odd too. unfortunatly in playing with my camera i managed to delete all the photos of my up baldwin street so there is no evidence of the climb or how steep it is but i promise i did it!

after dunedin we headed back to queenstown where me and tom hit the slopes, it's been a good few years since i attached some sticks to my feet and slid down a snowy mountain but thankfully it came back to me alright. still slightly freaky skiing in august on actual snow but never mind about that. i managed to stay on my feet the whole time except one minor incedent where i was practically knocked out by the most evil of evil chairlifts, but i survived and managed to get a semi impressive bruise to show for it. we had a really nice couple of days on the slopes, and me and tom were similar standards, or as he said, i was probably better but he was more confident so we were about the same speed, good fun!

i'm really not sure what else we did in queenstown, met up with some friends that we'd seen on our way round at various points which was nice and generally relaxed (people should really just relax more the world is a better place for it you know!) and somehow another few days past and we headed up to Christchurch. it would seem at this time of year there aren't that many backpackers and a lot of the buses are really empty but we had a lovely sociable trip up to christchurch chatting to the other two people on the bus, and despite it apparently being mid winter we sat out and had our lunch in the sunshine with the boys in short sleeves, madness, they claim they get propoer winters down here, they lie!!! to be fair a few days later it was rather chilly again but still i'd not quite say as cold as it gets at home, maybe i'm just hardend to it nolw.

Again i didn't really get up to all that much in Christhchurch, i was staying with my friend tris again and we largely sat about watching dvd's, i met up with some of my travel buddies and took a wander round the botanics one day, not the best season for it with just about nothing out but nice little walk. went to a couple of really cool eateries, first one we had dinner at and you choose your meat and whatever and they bring it out on a really hot stone thing and you cook it yourself at the table, much fun and dead tastey. we also went to a cafe that was called the Bathroom and all the seats were made out of toilets, and it was all made up kind of bathroom style, slightly strange but very cool! think the idea behind it is that in this day and age with all the mobile phones and email and all that the only time you get to actually be by yourself and relax is in the toilet sothey've made it a cafe, with lots of fancy toilet seats. so yeah that was my time in chirstchurch, oh and there was an arts festival on so we saw a really cool wee band playing water coolers and the like in the main square on evening, oh and i went to the museum so yeah i did some stuff but when you're staying with someone you feel less of a need to do lots, and i've been to christchurch before. oh yeah we also played poker one night, don't think i really understood all the rules or what have you but i won so obviously i'm a natrural! :)

i headed north again after my relaxing time in chirstchurch, a night in kaikoura (known for whale watching but i've done that so i wandered). and then back up to Wellington, where i met up with a friend Jenny from home which was nice, always good to see a familar face in a land far far away (so if anyone fancies visiting me, that's be nice!). and then up to Bay View to see Susan, Robert, Richard and Sean, and Lucy the dog. had a really nice few days with them, also very relaxing (seems to be a bit of a theme....) really nice to have some home comforts again, fluffy towels, never under apreciate the joys of a fluffy towel people! and lots of home made cakes which was fantastic! we went to a fundraiser at one of the local schools which was a really cool dinner thing, where there's 10 tables each of which has a 3 course menu, you choose which starter you'd like and sit at that table, then the main and move tables and then the pudding and move to that table, gets everyone moving around and mingiling, really good idea i think. also means you can choose your meal but also the cooks know what they're cooking before hand.

i had a long weekend with the stewarts then headed north again back to Auckland where i had another friend to stay with (free accommodation!!). Had a lovely few days staying with dean, he works crazy amounts so lots of relaxing (hmmmmmmmmmm there's that word again). as well as the relaxing we went out for drinks with lots of people from his modeling agency one night, a slightly unusal experience for me, i don't often find myself mingiling with models so that was fun and slightly odd all at the same time. unfortunatly the free accommodation couldn't last forever so i moved down the road back to the fat camel (my real home in auckland where i've stayed a few times and a few of the staff seem to recognise me, i'm not sure if that's a sign that i've been here too much or that it's nice and welcoming...) where i am now (look at me catching up with myself) again still not up to all that much, the camel is a social hub for a lot of the stray bus drivers when they're in auckland so i've caught up with a few of the drivers i met on my travels and am half heartedly looking for work in auckland, i'm not really sure if i want to stay here or move on southwards to wellington for a bit, its a tough choice and i cna't be bothered making choices, that's not relaxing!!! so i think i'll hang about here for a bit, hand my CV in to a few places and if nothing happens move on, but at the moment my plans are changing daily, i think if i'd have written this yesterday i'd have said something different and no doubt i'd say something else tomorrow but we'll see.

well that brings me till now so i think that's probably enough writting for now, also i need to find myself some food. hope you are all well, i'd like to hear more from you all please, i'm far away and need to know what's going on at home!!!

lots of love,