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Jon’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 03 Aug 2006

Location: Home, Canada

MapSo today I have safely arrived home. After being away for 7 months it's nice to come home to a nice peaceful house. So it's catch up time to what's happened since I last reported anything. So I travelled around the North Island with Theressa and Jana (aka the two German girls), which was a great laugh. We had a good time taking the piss out of each other and there were many times I had to use the word "idiot" in a fun joking way, example when Jana stopped the car because she saw some sheep with there heads through the fence eating grass, so she stops and thinks she is just going to go up and pet the sheep - sheep don't like to be pet, I don't even think they like people being close? Good try Jana, I think you may need to go to a petting zoo. So from the sheep farm we visited a nice small town of Napier, and then cruised up to Taupo. Just north of Taupo we went and visited this great place that had sulpher pools (that were incredibley smelly) and bubbling mud from thermal activity. It was a very magical place, from there toured to Rotorua which is the most touristy city in NZ where we went to the Polynesian Spa (Thermal activity heats the pools, 40-42 C), did the street car luge again!, and checked out Zorbing. Now Zorbing is a new extreme sport that is bound to pick up in the next few years. It's a big ball in a giant ball, you climb in and hang out in the big ball and then are hurled down the hill. Funds were low so I didn't get the chance to take part but it looked like a good thrill. Many ways you can Zorb, Hydro-cycle - throw water into the ball with you and you just slip slide around like your in a wash machine - strap you tight to the inside of the ball and you do summer saults the whole way down - or you can attempt to do the hamster run. Whatever is your fancy. We travelled up through Tauranga (surf town and where my goodmate grew up, Anna) then to Opoutere, Coromandel then went up to Auckland. In Opoutere Theressa and I took out Kayaks in the morning and went for a stroll down this river. Last time I went Kayaking with T. we were in a double kayak and she was just enjoying the ride while I was doing all the paddling. Terrible. We also crashed into many bushes as well, so this time we went in single kayaks which was a much better idea! There were spots were the water was so low from the tide rolling out that we had to jerk the kayak to fight through and not get stuck to the lakes floor. No one managed to fall in and ended up being a beautiful day to kayak. We took off to Auckland afterwards where I was meeting up with Anna.
The trip started off with me getting picked up by Anna's dad in his little 1973 Jaguar (sharp car) which then went to the airport to pick up Anna. Anna and her dad live on Waiheke Island so we took the fairy across to hang out on the island for the last few days in NZ. I met Anna's little God sister (3) who was a doll and who didn't like my beard at all. I think Lulu quoted it was "yukky" and so I shaved, but she was very fun to play with and reminded me of playing with Zachary and the boys next door. The highlight of Waiheke was walking to the winery where Anna worked and having to sit down because we were laughing so much. It all started with this rediculous little small black belt. Anyway it ended up being my prop and was good for all types of cool things like the obvious a belt, headband, tie etc. I guess you had to be there but anytime Anna tried to take it away from me I just acted like a real "idiot" and started shouting and making a scene, remember we are heading up the road to a fancy winery. It was fun hanging out at Waiheke. Also I helped them pack, 4 boxes, due to the house getting a remodelling job done on it. I thought in general NZ people were laid back, well in Waiheke they are more laid back. Anna and her dad wanted to be all packed up by Monday when the builders would arrive and Saturday we started and a few bottles of wine later we stopped! It's funny how that happens.... The sunsets on the island I will always remember. They were fantastic! I will miss our long runs together Anna. I am going to try and do the half marathon in Toronto in September. I've deffinately been inspired by all the people that I have met training for either marathons or iron mans. Maybe someday I will be able to comple an iron man, first i need to learn how to swim! Flew out of NZ on the 30th at 9:30pm and into Vancouver on the 30th at 8:30pm (weird) where I stayed at this real dodgy hostel for the night where most people had at least 3 tattoos. Stayed the night and met up with Tracey in the early morning (sorry Trace it was so early). to be continued......