Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sheepers.. New Zealand

Day 142: December 6, 2010
I absolutely love New Zealand. It was the most beautiful place I have ever been too, no joke. Here I see crystal blue water from the glaciers and mountains surrounding it with snow capped at the top. Here I see these absolutely gorgeous flowers that come in an array of purple, pink, yellow, and white. Here do I smell the pine trees and make peace signs out of the peace signs. Feels like home to me.
Some things here remind me of home quite a big, but then its about 10 times more beautiful to me.. a new kind of beautiful. I just love nature and that’s not because I’m a tree hugger.
What have I don’t since I got here??
Well I arrived December 4, 2010 at about 12:30 am.. I had no place to go so I slept in the airport in Christchurch then awoke, got a ride into town to catch a bus and finally found a bus that was heading to queenstown in just the nick of time. I get to queenstown.. do a nice stroll and end up in bed early, feeling a little sick, still and am just very tired from the drive (about 8 hours) and the bad night of sleep I had in the airport.
Next day I wanted to relax, so I did .. in way that I woke up late, about 11 am and felt good, healthy, recovered from this weird illness I have had for the past 3 weeks. I forgot what its like, to feel healthy again, it is really nice. I decided to do a hike up to Queenstown Hill. It was such a nice hike, very much so needed. The view at the top was very nice and the whole hike in general was soothing to my soul. I could have stayed on that mountain top for ages, but I soon headed down.
I decided that I should go to a place called Fergberger, because it always had lines out the door and was super crowded. I got a burger and it was a massive mother of meat. Not sure how to eat it and I have never questioned how to eat a burger. That was new for me, questioning how to eat a burger I mean. It was quite good though, its been so long since I have had a good berger. Oh mannn.
At the fergburger I ran into two girls, one from Canada and one from Alaska (USA). They were going up on the skyline to do the luge and asked if I wanted to go with, I decided, it was an okay thing to do. The view up there was soo nice, better thans Queenstown hill if you ask me. Only because I felt like you could see more. Anyways.. we did the luge, funnest luge I have ever done. I got myself up on two wheels a couple of times and that was intense. I could go as fast as I wanted too and passed one of the girls I was with cause I was going so fast. I had a need for speed and I am not kidding.
So what have I done
1. slept in the airport at Christchurch
2. taken a long bus ride to queenstown (about 8 hours)
3. stayed at YHA backpackers for 3 nights
4. gone hiking up to queenstown hill
5. slept in for the first time in a long time & felt good, healthy good for the first time in weeks.
6. Took the gondola up to the top of a mountain and done the luge up there as well.
7. Ate a massive burger at fergburger.
December 8, 2010
1. Went to bed early, or at least tried, but was up most of the night because the bar outside was soo loud. It felt like people were yelling right outside my window.. they probably were.
2. Woke up, feeling good, it was bungee jump day on December 6 and I was ready.
3. I did it, and survived. Yesss. I did the highest bungee jump in New Zealand and the highest swing in the world.. It’s kind of a big deal.
4. I ate another massive burger to celebrate with a girl I met at the bungee jump.
5. We also decided to celebrate by going to the ice bar. A bar that is made out of ice in queenstown. Sounds cool yeah? it was, I have picturessssss.
6. Had an early night to bed because the next day, I was heading to Franz Joseph.. I wanted to go to pancake rocks, but its not going to happen this trip.
7. Made it to Franz Joseph and hiked up to the glacier. It was sooo coool. I don’t think I have ever seen a glacier before so thank you mister Franz Joseph.
8. Stayed at a backpackers in the franz joseph town.. up in glacier territory.. pretty cool eh. I thought so, I felt in my element cause I was in the mountains and it was a wee bit cold.
9. Now I am on a bus again.. I swear about a third or maybe even half of my new Zealand trip is on a bus. That kind of sucks, but at least the drive is soo beautiful, so its okay. I wish I had an ATV to cruise around NZ on, that would be rad. That's saved for next time.
10. I’m heading to Christchurch yet again and hoping I can make my way up to Kaikora.. (I spelled that wrong) because I want to go whale watching ASAP.
11. I have to get to the north island.. ASAP I fly out of NZ in a week, so yeah. I sure do love the South Island, everything about it, except the expensive bus fares I keep paying.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

New Zealand.. I'm in love with you..

I absolutely love New Zealand. So much to say and so little time at the moment.. But it is so beautiful.

I absolutely love New Zealand. So much to say and so little time at the moment.. But it is so beautiful.

Lets find the hippies... Brooke you are a hippie.. no I want to find real hippies.

Lighthouse at Byron Bay!
Nimbin Museum

Friday, December 3, 2010

Oh Australia, How I love you.

Day 139: December 3, 2010.
Wow, it’s so weird it has only been one day since I last blogged. I am currently on the plane From Sydney, Australia to Christchurch, New Zealand. It’s quite nice actually, I can see the sunset finally and it’s an array of pink, yellow, orange and blue colors. It’s very lovely and good news, I was feeling sick before I got on the plane, but then I bought a powerade and now I feel so much better. This might sound weird, but I think I needed electrolytes, yep.
I have done so much in just this past 24 hours, it’s a bit insane actually. At least I think it will sound a bit insane to you reading this. I had to dig into my New Zealand fund and use $250 US dollars that was ment for New Zealand here in Australia. I realized this when I was in Cairns and well, I was pretty upset about that. It lead me to the decision that I was going to go from Brisbane to Sydney by hitchhiking basically. I could have bought a greyhound ticket for around $100 straight from Brisbane to Sydney, but I really wanted to stop at Byron Bay, so I did (you probably read that earlier in my blog).
I have had very good luck with a side of bad luck. I have had good luck because I had some friends here in Australia that I met when they were on holiday in Fiji. Two of which drove me from Brisbane to Byron (Thank you Marty & Roscoe, Bill, I know you were there in spirit). These guys were such a good bunch, I met them out on qamea which is by Taveuni and they were there to surf. They had been surfing their whole lives it sounded like and they just loved to surf. They even let me go on a surfing trip with them one day, it was not a good idea (the wave kidnapped me and Roscoes surfboard and took us far far away), but overall, it was so fun. It was so nice of them to help me out in transportation, I am very very thankful to them for driving me and well, just being soo cool.
Next stop, Byron Bay, I met this kid, Daniel who was from Sydney and was just traveling around this lovely country he is from. Luckily, he was one of few social people at the backpackers I stayed at. We chitchatted awhile and then the next day I ran into him up at the lighthouse. I was saying how I did not have a plan as to where I need to stay cause I budgeted badly and he offered his car for me to sleep in. It was a joke at the time, I think, but well, I ended up taking up that offer. I searched around town that day as well to hopefully find someone, anyone who was heading either to Sydney or close to Sydney. After about 40-50 people I asked, I finally found one. He was working an event for the schoolies (high school students big party thing at byron bay for end of year). Luckily he was heading back the next day, which lead me to finding Daniel again and asking if I could really sleep in his car.
After walking the long trek to the Arts Factory Backpackers, I found him. Lucky I did too, or else, it mighta been a cold night, I did not have money for a backpackers and getting back to Sydney. I had about $50 dollars left and I was not going to dig into my New Zealand fund again unless it was a life or death situation, I’m stubborn like that I guess, but I really could not dig into it again.. I am pretty sure I will be going through something similar towards the end of New Zealands time as well. Pretty sure I will run out of money. Luckily I do have a place to stay free of charge in Auckland and couch surfers so I think I will make it safe and sound J.
Where was I, I started going off subject again, that happens a lot lately when I am telling stories. Oh yes, So I ran into my new amigo Daniel and then he said I could stay in his car. We went and got my luggage, he checked into the backpackers resort, because he was staying there because it’s a super super cool backpackers, no joke, its soo awesome and then well, we thought we should go to nimdin, so we did.
Probably the best idea ever, It was such a nice town, hippies, ganja, and the most interesting and unique shops you will ever find. I just love that town it was so nice and probably the most I have ever laughed. If you go to the museum and sit and watch the enchanted movie, you will probably get some kind of level of high, no joke. Pretty crazy how that happened, I have never smoked or anything, but I know enough about to know that I was not feeling any sort of normal. I was in a funk, I was hungry, I was happy, I was sleepy, and for a couple moments, my belly was not aching. Now that is what I call, one crazy funkkkkk, dude.
Anywaysssss… I’m still trying to get to what has happened in the past 24 hours, I guess I just feel like writing things in paragraph form instead of numbering like I usually do. Anyways…. So I slept in Daniel’s car and it rained. Lucky I had shelter ehh. Next day, I pick up all my stuff, since for the night the car was my home and headed to meet my next new friend.. Stacey was his name-o.
Lucky for me, he was headed towards Sydney. Lucky for me again, I did not have to pay for fuel and neither did he, because his work was. That is two luckies in less that a second. Also lucky, that he was not a creep.. but the luckiest thing was that he had a ukulele and during the car drive I played my tambourine with my foot and the ukulele with my hands. I want to be musical.. high school musical.. haha psyche.
So maybe it was a bit dodgy to get in a car with a total stranger for about a ten hour drive to mainland, which was just before New Castle, but for me, it was a good idea because I could not dig into my NZ fund because it is already too low as is. Fact is, I am safe now right. I’m on the plane going to my Dream land New Zealand. It may not be snowing here, but hey, they have glaciers and you know that glaciers were snow at one point, just snow that turned hard, you know, into ice and stuff aka a glacier.
Anyways, there I go off subject again. So after I got dropped off in Mainland at the train station. I got on a train to Hamilton (about an hour ride), then I got on another train to Sydney (about a three hour ride). I did not get to the station until about 9 at night and I ended up getting to Sydney just before 1 AM today. That’s when the next lucky comes around.
My beachhouse surfer bum friend, Chris (it’s a good thing to be called that Chris) was nice enough to stay up and pick me up late at the Central train station in Sydney. Then we drove over to Manly (which is also part of Sydney, the part that is connected to the harbour bridge) to his home. Lucky again, so I asked him about 2 months ago if I could stay on his floor, he made me a bed, with a mattress, nicest bed I have had in sooo long. I’m sooooooo glad that I have met all these people whether I met them while I was in Fiji or just here in Australia. They are all sooooo nice and .. they think I’m funny.. sometimes. Okay so I made that up, kind of, but I think deep down, it’s true.
I took the ferry ride to the train station to get a train to the airport. The ferry ride was soo nice. It gave such a good view of the Opera house and the Harbour Bridge. It was really nice. I also went and chilled out at a beach this morning in Manly. It was soo nice.. reminded me of Kauai, just a stronger current. It was absolutely beautiful and well, it felt really good to relax for a change because I have been sick and on the go go go mode for a while now. It gets a bit exhausting. It’s fun, but so exhausting.
Basically to sum this all up, I have gone all the way from Cairns to Sydney in 9 days. That is covering a lot of ground there just to let you know.. If you drove it, it would take about 45-50 hours of driving. So yeah, you get the jist of it right, it’s a long distance. I went scuba diving on the great barrier reef, I went to the Daintree, I went to Byron Bay, and I went to Nimdin. Those were the main things I wanted to accomplish while here in Australia and I did it, I did everything I came here to do and I will come back here in the future to do more. It has been absolutely amazing and a bit of a roller coaster. I have been sick basically the whole time, but as I sit here now, I see that I did not give up even though I felt sick, I kept on moving, basically cause I had too and I did not curl up in a ball feeling sick and go home early, I kept on going and now, here I am, feeling good thanks to my $4 powerade and maybe other things, and on a plane to New Zealand. The place I really wanted to end up in. My ultimate destination, a country with mountains and ocean within a close range, a place where they call people kewis (who are from there), a place that I have dreamt about for the past 3 years, a place where I will feel cold again. I need that bitter frost on my nose right about now.
If numbering makes it easier to read here is what I did in number form.
1. Hitchhiked from Byron bay to Mainland with this guy named Stacey.
2. Took two trains to get to Sydney and finally arrived at one in the morning.
3. My friend Chris picked me up and I went to his house and slept on his floor in the living room. Which was actually a nice bed that he made for me, but I had every intention of sleeping on the floor cause that is what I asked him when I met him in Fiji.
4. Got a little sleep on the train, then more once I got to Chris’s house.
5. Then went surfing, well, I wanted to, but I did not feel well enough, so chris went surfing and I went and chilled on the beach and played a little in the water. Just a bit of a relaxing day at the beach for me, I need a chill pill, because I have been on the move for the past two weeks.
6. I attempted to pack my stuff for the flight tonight, it worked out eventually.
7. Then we tried to hurry to the ferry, I even ran to it with my backpack and stuff, but I missed it. Yes Chris I missed it! my fault though, I was on fiji time when I was packing. The ferry was still there, but they would not let me get on.
8. I got on the next ferry, enjoyed the ride then rushed to the train so I could get one to the airport.
9. Made it to the airport on time, got checked in, no baggage issues! The only thing was that they threw away my scissors, sad day.
10. Here I am on the plane, it’s dark now and I’m tired.
11. Pretty sure I will be sleeping the Christchurch airport once I get to NZ at 12 am.. I have no place to go at that time of night and no way am I paying for a taxi, I hate taxis.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I love water.. and nature

Diving the Great Barrier Reef

In the Daintree

Cairns to Byron Bay - Hitchhiking?

Day 134: November 28, 2010
1. Well, my birthday was pretty good. I went and did 3 scuba dives on the great barrier reef. I told the guy who worked there and took pictures that it was my birthday and if there was a discount when it was someone’s birthday on board. He said maybe, when I left, he gave me two pictures of me that he took which was.. soo nice……….. I was only have serious when I asked.
2. When I got back from diving, I tried to go to the woolshed to eat because I knew it was a good idea to try to eat even though I have not really had an appetite. I got the spaghetti, then took two bites, and left, I just cant eat lately, I feel so sick all the time.
3. Since I could not force myself to eat spaghetti, I thought It could be nice to get some ice cream, so I went to a gelatti place and got two scoops of ice cream and it was soo good. A good substitute for birthday cake.. very good and I had no issues with eating it either.
4. I went to bed, about 8 pm the night of my birthday on the actual date (nov. 27)
5. Diving the great barrier reef was really good, but not as good as beqa lagoon in fiji. Beqa lagoon was amazing, kinda surreal.
6. Now on my birthday back home, but nov. 28 here, I decided to relax. My original plan was to leave that day on a train or greyhound, but they were too expensive. So I ended up buying a plane ticket because it was cheaper.
7. Australia is sooooo freaking expensive, it’s killing me. No joke.
8. I hung out by the pool all day today over at gilligans backpackers (it’s the flashy place in cairns). There was a mini zip line set up, so I played on that for a bit, went swimming, drank water –its free here, and healthy-er than fiji.
9. Met some locals at the pool and they invited me to go to the bar that night called bellavista.
10. I went to bella vista that night with the two german girls who were in my dorm and hung out there for a bit.
11. Stayed up til like 11:30 pm.. that is super late for me in Australia.. I been going to sleep by about 10 pm.. its crazy. Time change, blah no bueno. I go to bed early and wake up early.
Day 136: November 30, 2010
1. 1.Yesterday I went hiking in the daintree, the tour guide was very annoying and the tour was a bit rushed, but the daintree was absolutely amazing.
2. I had a bit of an obsession of taking pictures with mushrooms when we were hiking around, they were so cool looking.
3. Also we went to the daintree zoo, but I did not like it to much, the staff was a bit rude to me and they threw away my sandwhich (that was absolutely disgusting) while I was at the toilet and my stuff was still by it too. It was a bit retarded.
4. The cairns tropical zoo was so much better than the daintree on my opinion.
5. I just love the daintree, I wish I could have hung out there longer!!
6. I got to see crocodiles in the daintree river! That was pretty awesome as well. Kinda creepy that you cant swim in water around here because of crocodiles.
7. In fact you cant swim in any water around here because there is either crocodiles or stingers (box jelly fish) and they will kill you. Tis the season for box jelly fish (summer in cairns).
8. I had an early flight today, got up at 4 am and got the bus to the airport at 4:30. Checked in and all that jazz, got on the plane and left by six.
9. I felt sooo sick, probably the worst I have felt in the two weeks of bacterial belly disease! But, I had to get on the plane, it sucks, cause all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and die or roll home to Utah. Its no fun being sick while traveling.
10. Worst plane ride of my life, I got sooo sick. Spent a good amount of time in the toilet and the back of the plane trying to sip water and then I spent the other time curled up in a ball in my seat. It was absolutely miserable. I decided I should probably go to the doctor.
11. Once I got to the airport, I met some guys from Canada and they were renting a car. They were nice enough to save me $20 for transportation from the airport to Brisbane city and let me hitch a ride with them. I appreciate that, because I am extremely low on funds and im not kidding!!
12. Go into Brisbane city and call my mamma with skype, she encouraged me to go to the doctor.. So I go to one, two, three offices and none of the accept my insurance.. FML. More reason for me to hate ISEP who made me buy the stupid insurance when I left. I had not used it until that moment when I really needed it.
13. It cost $70 just for a consultation. After crying for a while, and re-calling my mom, I ended up going to the doctor. I go and I tell him my symptoms and what I think I have and he says he wants to run tests. I figured that was included in the 70 I paid to him, but boy was I wrong. I go to the lab and the technician tells me it will be about another $300 dollars to run tests for parasites, blah bleah and blahhhh. I started cryingggggg yet again.. Helllll No, I will not pay that much money for tests, that is so stupid especially when I was not informed of the cost.
14. Luckily I met a nice doctor who saw that I was crying and re asked me my symptoms and she seemed to think I had the disease that I thought I had (geardia) –I spelled it wrong im sure-. She gave me medicine and well, I really hope it works.
15. After the mortifying doctors appointment, I met up with my friend Marty and later Roscoe and they drove me to Byron Bay.
16. Which is where I am now thanks to my friends driving me here, thanksssss marty and roscoe for helping me out!!!
17. Unfortionately the hostel I’m at, YHA byron bay is a bit lame, mostly because the staff was super rude when I got there and rude staff = bad hostel. It was the most expensive hostel I have been too as well, but most of the hostels here are booked full because the schoolies are here. (schoolies = high school students who have recently graduated and come to byron bay.
18. I will for sure not be able to afford staying here another night. I don’t have that much money left.. Less than $100 and I still need to get to Sydney (another 10 hour drive, 800 k)
Day 138: December 2, 2010
1. Woke up yesterday and decided to go to the lighthouse, just left my luggage in the bin at YHA and took a bike to the lighthouse. I got a little lost, or a lot, but it was a lovely walk, just about 5 times longer than it should have been. I parked my bike once I got to a trail and then just started walking.
2. The lighthouse was very cool, and you could see dolphins jumping by the side. It was just sooo nice up there.
3. On my way down I ran into the one person at the hostel who actually talked to me and did not just sit there when I tried to talk to them. (people at the hostel were not that social, luckily one person actually talked, like a normal human being you know).
4. Anyways so I ran into him and he helped me find my bike and then he said if I could not find anywhere to stay I could stay in his car. He was going to be staying at the Arts Village if I wanted to find him.
5. Meanwhile I was also asking random people if they were going to Sydney because I found out that the greyhound bus cost 90 dollars and well, I only had about 90 dollars left and I need to eat, so that is a problem.
6. After asking about 40-50 people and getting the strangest looks, I found some people who were putting on activities for the schoolies and I basically begged with my begger face. I really cant afford greyhound, and luckily one of them is heading close to Sydney and then I can take a train to Sydney from there. He said I could catch a ride. Thank goodness!!!!! Only he was not leaving till the next day.
7. This led me to walking to Arts Village and trying to find this guy Daniel and see if his car was still open for me to sleep in it for the night. Luckily I found him and luckily he let me sleep in it.
8. Neither of us had plans and I mentioned about going to Nimdin (a very hippy town, literally.. So we decided to drive there. (its about an hour away).
9. After getting a little lost and following a very windy road, we found it.
10. We walked through all the shops and observed the stuff that was there. It was the most unique stores I have ever been too, definitely my style!!
11. We got offered weed a lot, people were smoking it together on the streets and people were smoking it in their shops, kinda crazy, you just don’t see that anywhere really, but you see it here.
12. The kids were crazy, dancing in the streets. Pretty sure they were trying to sell us weed as well.
13. I had one of my favorite conversations there with a lady at a store called happy herbs. I asked if I could take anything home on the plane and she asked me domestic or international … I said international and she said, I cant guarantee, but you should be able too. Everything is legal, but it may look like its not. I think it was funnier to hear it, reading it just does not give the vibe that was there during this conversation, but it was soo good, so funny to me.
14. We went to the museum there and sat in a room where a movie was playing. After about 3-5 minutes we looked at eachother and asked if one another felt weird.. We both did, not sure what it was, but something in there made us feel, very high, which was very weird because no we were not smoking anything, it just kinda happened.
15. As we drove away, we came to the conclusion that we had gotten some kind of high in the museum.. pretty strange.
16. On the way home we stopped at Minyon falls, it was such a nice waterfall. We had to run there and run back though because we were on a creepy road and it was already a bit dark, getting darker.. and scarier.
17. Eventually we made it back to byron bay and came to the arts village. I fell asleep in the car just like planned and it’s a good thing I had that plan because if I was homeless, I would have been in the rain all night.
18. I am still feeling a little bit sick, supposedly the medicine takes time, so hopefully it is working. I don’t want to feel sick, I want to feel healthy.
19. I still don’t have that much of an appetite, but no worries, I’m making myself eat sometimes.
20. Now I am just sitting here at the arts village typing this blog that needed to be updated so desperately and awaiting my friend to wake up and bring me to town to meet my other new friend who will drive me to Sydney, ish.