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

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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

Place 49 – Day 377: Auckland – Complimentary Upgrade

We woke up at 07:00 to get the car packed up and head off on the road to Auckland.

We were in the car for a couple of hours and then stopped just past Hamilton where we met the family we met up with in Rotorua.

We checked out their place and had a drink and snack whilst chatting away. Lovely piece of land they have!

After a couple of hours, we got a move on and drove to Auckland, but not before a brief stop at a recommended ice cream shop where there were huge ice cream scoops!

We got back on the road for the remaining 45 minutes and headed to our hotel. Kim booked a nice hotel for us to lounge in for a couple of days before her parents leave the country. We got to the hotel and brought in everything from the car and we then checked in. When checking in, we were given a complimentary upgrade on each room, which was perfect!

We checked out the rooms and put our bags in and then jumped back in the car and went to Takapuna for some lunch. We stopped at Nam Nam first for a Banh Mi and then went to Tok Tok for a Vietnamese coffee.

Post lunch, we drove to our former apartment and got all of our bags and put them in our car.

We drove to the hotel again to drop our car off and then Kim and Tom took the rental car back as required.

We got back to the hotel and got some items packed and then all sat together and watched the film Unbreakable.

We left after watching the film to find some dinner.

We wanted a Japanese noodle box but our usual place was closed, so we kept walking. Kim noticed a hidden place that has delicous sounding Japanese food.

Once we found the entrance, it was beauitful and looked like Japan!

We ordered a smorgasbord of food, each of us getting chicken katsu curry but we got tempura prawns and chicken karage for the table. It was excellent Japanese food and very authentic.

We left here and walked back to our hotel, with a beautiful view of the city.

We got back to the hotel and headed right to bed.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 60 & 67 – Day 6 & 1: Rotorua & Taupo 🇳🇿 – 15000ft Skydive!

We were up early to get a bit of breakfast in us before driving to Taupo. The drive from here in Rotorua to Taupo is around 1 hour, so we left with plenty of time.

We needed to be at the location for 12:00, but we got there around 11:30.

We were doing a skydive at Skydive Taupo! We decided on the 15000ft skydive and Kim booked the handheld camera for herself.

We arrived and were greeted with a very happy set of employees which made everyone calm. That being said, neither of us were really nervous.

It was us two and Tom doing the skydive today!

We all sat and went through the information and safety videos and then went and got all suited up. We had a jumpsuit and harness on, an old school pilot hat and some thin plastic goggles.

We waited for around 5/10 minutes and then it was our turn! We met our tandem masters who introduced themselves. Kim had a kiwi guy and Tom & Curtis had Germans.

We all crammed into the plane and off we went.

The climb took about 20 minutes and during that time, we had to use oxygen masks as we got too high to breath!

Eventually, it was time.

Kim was the first of the three of us to go, followed by Tom and then Curtis as he was stuck at the back of the plane.

What an amazing experience! The first fall is a shock and takes your breath away, but it was an incredible view and a surreal feeling.

We had 75 seconds of freefall followed by 4 to 5 minutes of crusing with the parachute, and we got to control the parachute too!

Once we landed, we were all super happy and super glad we did it.

We went out for a spot of lunch after. We went to a place called Dixies at which Curtis had a Cuban Sandwich and Kim had potato wedges with multiple toppings including sour cream and chilli sauce.

We then drove the 1 hour trip backto the house and just completely chilled out. Tom went for a bike ride so we waited for him to come back and then we had a similar dinner as yesterday.

Tomorrow is a chilled day, we think!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale