Place 70 – Day 8: Victoria,BC – Fisherman’s Wharf

The day started relaxed but productive.

We got some admin done, such as uploading photos and videos to Facebook. Not important, but needed to be done. We also spoke with Kim’s parents.

We went out to get some fresh air and went for a walk down to Fisherman’s Wharf which is only down the road.

This place is busy during the summer and has a few eateries, ice cream places and experiences.

Some of the floating houses

In the winter, these places are closed, but it is still great to look around. There are houses in the water, known as ‘floating houses’, which are actually privately owned and used, but you can still look around them.

We left here and went to the supermarket to get a couple of things. We got garlic bread, which took ages to find, as well as more cereal and some coffee. The coffee was fun as we selected the bean we wanted and got to grind it ourselves, which was stressful but fun.

We left the supermarket and came back, just in time for Kim to start on the pasta bolognese, which tasted fantastic! The garlic bread we bought was not so good, though.

We sat and watched TV with Linda for the rest of the evening, as well as doing laundry.

This time last year!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 68 – Day 7: Kerikeri – Paihia & Russell

We weren’t doing any work today, so we decided to had it out the house.

We had breakfast and got ready, then we got in the car and drove 30 minutes to Paihia.

Paihia had been recommended to us multiple times by many people, so we thought we had to check it out.

Once we got a parking spot, we wandered around the very small place. There wasn’t really anything of note, but we did get hungry so we stopped at a rib place for some lunch.

We got loaded wedges to share, which had bacon, cheese and pepper on.

We finished lunch, had more of a look around and then got on the ferry for the 10 minute journey to another small town called Russell.

A photo from the boat of Paihia

We got to Russell and explored around a little bit. This is only a small place, so there wasn’t much to see again. It is quite old and French in places, so it was worth a look.

We then stopped in at a cafe for a coffee and relax.

We walked a little bit more after our coffee and then re-boarded the boat to go back to Paihia.

We got back and got in the car to go back to the house.

We got back and got some admin done and chilled. The family returned home and we then all helped make homemade pizza! We had a pizza each which was delicious. We all sat and had a chat at dinner and then after the washing up was done, Kim got to have the pet budgie on her finger briefly, until she was pecked!

We went to bed shortly after, along with a delicious whisky each.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 68 – Day 6: Kerikeri – Singing Bird & Split

We were up a little later at about 09:00 today as we were doing just 2/3 hours of cleaning today.

Kim spent the time washing the outside of the house and Curtis cleaned the inside of the windows. We got a lot done in the short time, which felt great!

Curtis watched hockey and we had tuna sandwiches for lunch.

We then booked up a place from Wednesday for a few days.

After that, we made dinner. Dinner was steak sandwiches, which were delicious as ever. Whilst making dinner, we had music on and soon realised that the bird was chirping along! We tested this by stopping the music and playing again and, she enough, when the music wasn’t on, the bird didn’t chirp…we found this much more entertaining then it should be!

We ate dinner and then spent the rest of the evening watching TV and films. We watched the film Split which was an excellent film!

Tomorrow, we have a plan to go out for the day, so that should be a good read.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 68 – Day 5: Kerikeri – Weeding Complete, Cleaning The House & BirdBox

We were up at the usual time of 08:00 and had some Weet-Bix for breakfast.

We got outside with the goal of finishing the weeding! It started difficult as the part we were on had a lot of tough weeds, but we eventually got it all sorted, which was a relief!

We then moved on to cleaning the outside of the house. To do this, we had a little process which was to brush everything down first, too remice the cobwebs, use the brush with a hose attachment to soap up the house and scrub it down, followed by hosing it down. Then, Curtis cleaned the windows.

We spent a couple of hours doing this and then we got showered and had some lunch.

We had leftover couscous from dinner yesterday as well as sandwiches. Kim then made coffees with the barista coffee machine…delicious!

Once we had those and chilled out for a bit, Kim did some more visa things and then we got ready and went out for dinner.

We walked a bit down from where we parked and there was a bar/restaurant which didn’t seem great from the outside, but we thought we’d give it a go.

Curtis ordered a salmon fillet with green beans, mashed potato & hollandaise sauce and Kim had a medium rare steak with mushroom sauce, salad and potato gratin.

We ate our incredible food and then wandered around the centre of Kerikeri, but there isn’t really anything there.

We then went to countdown to get some ice cream and headed back home.

Once we got back, we had a fun time trying to find the Apple TV remote and once we eventually found it, watched the film Bird Box to see what all the fuss was about. It was an alright film, but we don’t get much of what the fuss is about.

After we watched this, we had ourice cream and watched Brooklyn Nine-Nine before going to bed.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 49 – Day 381: Auckland – Fancy Affogato & ‘1000 Doors’

We did absolutely nothing until and 16:15 when we took the 35 minute walk to the city.

We wanted to go to an ice cream and waffle shop to get an affogato as it had been recommended to Kim multiple times. The place was called OKO and is in the centre of Auckland, in Aotea Square.

We each got an affogato, Curtis’ was with chocolate and stracciatella ice cream and Kim’s was with caramel and chocolate. There were double shots of coffee too, so they were certainly strong!

After our coffee, there was something called ‘1000 doors’ next to us which we just had to check out.

We paid $10 each to enter. This was a maze type thing in which there were all different rooms with different films and different things to look at and touch. A lot of the rooms smelled bad, too, but we aren’t sure if that was part of it, though.

We left this area and walked towards the water for a stroll around.

We got to KFC and decided to have dinner here, which was OK.

We walked from here back to the hostel which took about 20 minutes.

We got back and we got everything booked for the rest of our time in New Zealand which was useful!

We then watched some TV and that was that. We also packed our stuff up as we have a new place to go tomorrow…jumping back into HelpX!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 49 – Day 380: Auckland – Fresh New Locks, Damn Cars & Arcade Games

We were up at 07:45 so Kim could go out for breakfast with Kelsey & Liz as a ‘goodbye’ meetup. They chatted for a while and then Kim walked back to the hostel, stopping to get Curtis some breakfast on the way.

We watched some TV whilst Curtis ate his croissant and drank his coffee.

Post breakfast, Curtis went for a shower and got ready to go out.

Kim had an appointment to go to in Birkenhead, so we drove out to there, which surprisingly to us only took us 15 minutes!

We took a bag of clothes that we no longer want as well as some other stuff and the first port of call was to drop that at a charity shop. The first place we went to wasn’t taking donations but the second was, so we left it there and that is one less thing to do.

We then walked towards where Kim needed to go and Curtis spotted a barber that seemed nice so he went in there to get a haircut. After a short wait, Curtis was seen as got a fresh new look, exactly how he likes it.

Kim was not finished with her appointment, so Curtis wandered around Birkenhead to kill some time.

Once Kim was done, we went to the car and noticed that the engine warning light was on, which was typical when we’re just about to sell it! After checking the oil, it seems we were a little low, so we drove to a shop and bought some more to put in. We put enough in but it was still showing the light. The resident mechanic at the parts shop said we can get the ECU checked to see what the error codes are, but they can’t do it at their store at the moment, so we’d need to drive to the other end of town to get it done. We called ahead and it was Ok to go, so we drove across town for 25/30 minutes to get this done.

The staff had trouble finding our car model on the system for some reason, but eventually found it and scanned the ECU. The first attempt crashed the tablet and the 2nd attempt said there were 3 errors but showed no codes or descriptions! The recommendation was to take it to a mechanic, so we will need to, but none are open until Monday!

After this news, we met up with Josh and Danielle very local to where we were to get some food and watch a movie.

The restaurant Josh wanted to go to, as his birthday celebration, was no longer there, so we had to choose something else.

We found a pretty new chicken & ribs place. We both shared 1/4 chicken with hot sauce and 1/2 pound of ribs with some kumara fries whilst Josh had ribs and tatertots and Danielle ate a cheeseburger and curly fries. It was all pretty good food, but didn’t blow us away. Probably a 6.5/10.

We finished up and went to the cinema, about an hour early! We spent some time in the arcade just playing some games. Kim and Danielle played against each other in the basketball and then Josh wiped the floor with Curtis at it.

After basketball, we played against each other in a hard fought battle of bubble hockey! It went to overtime with Curtis winning with a lucky goal.

Josh and Danielle then raced each other on the racing game and the winner gets a free game, which was awesome! Josh then played about 6 free races and people kept coming and going and he kept winning! This kept us entertained until the film.

We watched the film ‘instant family’ which was meant to a comedy but was pretty sad/heartwarming. A very good film, actually!

We left the cinema quite late, came back to the hostel and now here we are. Looking forward to sleeping!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 49 – Day 379: Auckland – Biometrics & Back in The Hostel Life

Waking at 05:45, we all hopped in the car with Kim’s family’s bags and drove to the airport. There was no traffic, but we did need to stop for some fuel on the way.

We got to the airport and it was pretty busy! We walked all the way to the correct check in location and left Tom & Maggie there. It was pretty emotional for Kim!

We deove back and we were very tired. We had a late checkout from the hotel, so we didn’t have to leave until 12:00.

We slept when we got back until around 09:45. Curtis then had a coffee and we got packed and did a bit of admin.

We eventually checked out at 12:00 and moved all of our baggage to the car. We walked to a coffee shop in the centre of town, got a ham and cheese croissant each and a coffee for breakfast.

We left the coffee shop and Kim did a bit of shopping around the city centre. Once Kim had finished, we walked up to the Visa Application Centre for Curtis to get his biometrics for his visa completed. We turned up 15 minutes early but were seen anyway and had it completed just after the original planned time, which was a result.

Once we finished there, we went to get Curtis’ hair cut. We went to his usual place and were told it would be 20 minutes. We waited for 45 and were then told it’s another 30 minutes and the were 2 people ahead. We didn’t want to wait any longer so we left and went back to the hotel.

We picked up the car and drove to our next accommodation.

We are officially back in hostel life! At least for the moment. We got to the place and no-one was there to check us in. We called and they said we cannot check in until 16:00. We spoke with them and asked which room we are in and we were allowed in. We went to the room and it was disgusting with bugs everywhere and also a lot of mould, so we asked to move to another room we had seen which looks nicer.

Once we were in the new room, we waited to get our key at 16:00 and then had fun with them regarding payment…we went to the shop to get some drinks as we were very thirsty!

Once we got back, we moved all of our bags in and Curtis started to feel a bit unwell so we relaxed for a bit until he felt better.

We went out for a late dinner at a cheap Italian place which was OK but nothing special.

What was special was the sky after our dinner during our walk around!

We got back and did more admin as well as catch up on some TV.

It’s weird, and certainly not as nice, to be in a hostel again, even if it is a private room (shared bathroom)!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale