Place 70 – Day 18: Victoria, BC – World’s Tallest Free Standing Totum Pole

World’s Tallest Free Standing Totum Pole

We started the day as usual – eating breakfast and drinking coffee.

We were up pretty early for us so we were out of the door at a good time, too.

We walked to Beacon Hill Park, past Ogden Point, to go and see the world’s tallest free standing totum pole.

Possible Seals?

It took us a bit of time to get there and, on the way, we saw something flopping around in the water! It was either a whale or seals, but more likely to be seals.

The Totum Poll

We got to a large flag pole with the Canadian flag flying and then had to walk through some light forest to get to it. Unfortunately, this meant accidentally walking past a creepy man living in the woods, but we got past all fine and arrived at the totum pole.

The 39 metre tall totum pole!

This pole was built in 1956 and restored in 2011 as it was showing its age. It was cool to see, but we weren’t there for long.


World’s Tallest Free Standing Totum Pole | Beacon Hill Park


Beacon Hill Park

We walked around the park for a bit and saw a gathering of people around a tall tree, taking photos. We were unsure what they were taking a photo of, which turned out to be a peacock in the tree.

The Killer Peacock

Curtis is not a big fan of peacocks as he was attacked when he was a child, so of course, as we were walking past the big tree, the peacock flew past us and scared him!

Beacon Drive In

We stopped at the Beacon Drive In and curtis got a coffee whilst Kim got an award winning chocolate swirl ice cream.

Kim looking pleased with her ice cream

Beacon Drive In | Victoria, BC


Authentic Italian

We went out just down the road with Linda as well as 2 people from Linda’s family.

We went to an authentic Italian restaurant, which was authentic indeed and delicious! The waiting staff were also all Italian which added to the feel.

Kim had the lasagne which was tremendous and Curtis had the canelloni which was crab and lobster filled.

Both dishes were great.

For dessert, Curtis had a tiramisu and Kim had profiteroles.

Our food was excellent as well as the atmosphere at Il Covo Trattoria.


Il Covo Trattoria | Victoria, BC


The Evening

We all went back to Linda’s and chatted for a couple of hours and then, when everyone left, we all sat and relaxed for about 30 minutes before going to bed.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

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 69 – Day 1: Kaitaia – An Octopus, Crabs & Clever Seagulls

We said goodbye to our HelpX hosts in the morning when they went off to work and then we had breakfast, got ourselves ready and tidied the room.

We left the house after packing the car and drove up to Kaitaia.

Kaitaia is our base town for a couple of things we want to do as it is in the perfect location.

We got to our accomodation, a nice B&B with a lovely pool and it also backs onto a river! The owner was nice enough to let us check in early and gave us some hints. It’s actually a really nice room! A little small, but really nice.

We got unpacked here and went to find some lunch.

We drove down to the town, parked up and walked around. There wasn’t much there, so we got a subway amd drove back to the room to eat it.

After lunch, we went out for a bit of the evening. We are near the 90 mile beach, which extends over a lot of Northland.

We got to a point called Shipwreck Bay, which we thought had a shipwreck there, but we didn’t see anything and we also had to either pay to park there or drive onto the beach, which we didn’t really want to do.

We drove back up the road and found the perfect parking spot (for free) and wandered onto the beach. There were a lot of rocks but we wanted to walk on them, so that is what we did! We walked towards shipwreck bay until we couldn’t go any further! Along the way, we saw fish & a lot of crabs in between the rocks.

As we were about to head back, Kim saw a crab sitting next to the water and took a bit of a closer look, whilst filming, and to both of our surprise, there was an octopus which decided it wanted the crab!

We stuck around this area for a while, watching the octopus move around and hoping it did something else. Low and behold, it did! It wanted to eat a fish, so it grabbed it.

We moved on from the octopus and then saw a seagull swoop down and grab a crab. It flew away with it and then drop it. It then picked it back up again, flew higher and dropped it again. We thought this was accidental but it turns out it was deliberate to try and crack it open, which it did!

We left the beach after walking back and stopped at the supermarket to get some drinks for the next few weeks.

We got back and watched some videos until we got hungry and then we went to one of the few places for dinner. Curtis got a steak with peppercorn sauce and Kim got a fancy chicken burger. Our food was alright but the service was awful so all in all we gave it a 5/10.

When we were back home, we watched some renovation TV shows on the TV we have in the room.

Tomorrow we have a cooked breakfast here at 08:30 so we’ll be up for that!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 68 – Day 9: Kerikeri – Rainbow Falls

We were up a bit later today, but it was also our last day of this HelpX.

We had about 1/3 of the outside of the house remaining to clean and the same amount of windows inside and out also.

We got all of this done and then had some pesto pasta and watched some TV. After lunch, we got all sun lotion’d up and got in the car to go down to Rainbow Falls, which is a waterfall just down the road from where we are.

We walked down to the waterfall and decided not to go into the water as it was full if very slippery rocks and quite dirty.

We did notice a lot of rocks down stream, so we walked down there instead. We found an area to enter the rocks and then walked down them. We got pretty far, navigating the rocks and trying not to fall in the water.

We eventually ran out of rocks near us so we walked all the way back to the waterfall and headed to the car.

We drove to the supermarket and got an ice cream which was much needed in the hot weather! We also got a doughnut from a local doughnut shop.

Once our host got home, she got our cheese and crackers, so we sat out on the sun eating cheese! A great end to the day.

We then relaxed and talked about our days and then our host made us a delicious spaghetti bolognese!

We watched some of the latest Kong film and then went to bed.

We will probably be leaving here around 10:00-11:00 tomorrow morning.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 68 – Day 4: Kerikeri – Clean Caravan, Stone Store & Delicious Lamb Leg

We woke at 08:00 and had a bit of breakfast before getting back out to do the weeding, continuing from yesterday.

We stopped a couple of hours in to have a break and one of the kids here made us some amazing waffles!

We went back out to do some weeding, and did another hour or so and we are nearly done with that. We had a supervisor with us, too.

We finished up and had an hour or work remaining, so we set on the next job which was to clean the outside of the caravan as the family will be taking this away this weekend.

We spent a while on this, using all sorts of tools and we got rather drenched but it was certainly fun and it also looks much better.

We finished up, showered and got dressed to go out. We wanted to do something this afternoon.

We had a sandwich and then jumped in the car. We went to the shop first to get cold supplies as we both have colds now!

We then drove out to an area here which has multiple walks, an amazing water area and some old buildings.

Firstly, we got an ice-cream at the cafe. The most important stop.

After this, we looked around the old stone shop which had been trading since the 1800s. Everything was old and the building was stone. It was pretty cool.

We then walked up to a hill which was a former Maori fortification, but there is nothing left there now, but there was a great view.

We had a little walk in the lake and we saw a baby duck!

We got home and sat outside doing some admin and admiring the incredible view from the house!

We then had a terrific leg of lamb which was their former lamb, too. This was paired with a couscous and vegetable salad and, of course, gravy.

We cleaned up, washed up and had a brief chat with our hosts before we left them to sort out things for their trip and we went to bed and chilled out.

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 60 – Day 7: Rotorua – Government Gardens & Night Luge

We had a leisurely morning this morning, after our skydive.

Tom was out fairly early, making use of the last day of cycling whilst the rest of us relaxed.

Kim and Maggie eventually went out to the centre of Rotorua where there is a big garden area called Government Gardens. They walked around this for a while in the incredible warmth past the big house as well as Lake Rotorua and then went for a coffee and a sit down.

Tom arrived back at the house whilst Curtis was there watching hockey and then he cycled his bike back to the shop, getting picked up on the way back by Kim and Maggie.

Eventually, we all went out for a spot to eat at a Thai place in the city, which was pretty good, but still not as good as Thailand!

We went from here to the luge place where we paid for 5 rides each for a discounted price as it was ‘night rides’.

We spent a couple of hours here as it was surprisingly busy! It was really good fun and we even did the hardest run, which was certainly next level. We got some nice photos of the sunset whilst waiting for the luge, too!

We left the luge place around 21:30 and drove home via McDonald’s to get an ice cream.

Once we got back we packed up as it is our last night here in Rotorua before we drive back to Auckland tomorrow.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale