Days away: 190
Miles travelled: over 49,988
Countries visited: 11
Beds slept in: 101
Flights taken: 15
Boats taken: 28
Things we noticed about..
The most common English phrase is ‘Lovely Jubley’
They’re genuinely intrigued by white people
You have to take your shoes off to go into most buildings and some bridges
The men wear long towel skirts
Most old people have no teeth
All the food (and some drinks) taste of barbeque
They love Durian but its banned on public transport
The start of the squat toilets
The start of a side of soup with everything
Anything and everything on a moped
They offer open cans of Fanta to their gods (with straws)
They say ‘same same but different’ but who knows what they mean
Their helmets have bun holes
Pyjama two-pieces are very in fashion
The men walk around with their shirts pulled up and their bellies out
They have two currencies (Riel and Dollars)
Untrimmed mole hair
A town of no-man’s land at the Thai border
Fireworks are illegal
Lots of people don’t wear shoes
Everyone is genuinely friendly
Thousands of Privias
You often see old microwaves as letterboxes
They only sell pre-peeled onions
Public transport is horrendous
They can’t understand our accent
It’s exactly how it’s portrayed in the movies
Our final country before returning to the mother land. Unfortunately our excitement was dampened slightly by the 12 hour flight with no sleep but by the time we had got to LA, and to our kind host Chelsea’s house for a nap, we were ready to at least celebrate the last part of Emma’s double birthday with some Mexican vibes.
We were here for Halloween which we were slightly dreading because we had no idea what to expect. We spent the day soaking up our last bit of sun on the beach and wandering to the shops in the early evening to find it heaving with children, parents and dogs in all kinds of fancy dress. The shops had people outside handing out sweets, the road was closed, there was bouncy castles, games, and popcorn. It’s basically just a carnival.
On Sunday we hung out with Chelsea who helped us tick off another couple of things on our American to do’s off our list; we went for bacon and pancakes at a diner for breakfast, searched a warehouse sized thrift shop for some bargains and after church headed to in ‘n’ out burger for the full works. Yes, our to do list is mainly food.
We ventured to downtown LA for the day and did some classic tourist things like walk along the Hollywood boulevard with our heads down staring at the stars trying to find all the ones we knew and then ventured off piste to try and get a good picture of the Hollywood sign. It was still insanely far away. The rest of the day was spent aimlessly wandering the massive streets and waiting for public transport which is next level shocking. We eventually made it to Venice beach just in time to catch the sunset and hit up a few cool shops. Doughnuts (tick) and the most interesting uber driver telling us his life story on the way home and we felt we had had our fill of downtown life.
On our final full day of this insane adventure we have spent our time making a rap video on a windy Newport beach.
We both have mini freak outs at how quickly 6 months has gone. We are insanely thankful we made it, still alive and still just about friends. We’ve had the most amazing time, met some amazing people and done some crazy things and then blogged about most of it. So thanks for reading.
Everyone told us the South Island would be better and (sorry North Island) but it really is. After getting the ferry over we were instantly welcomed with what was the start of many, many mountains.
Our first stop was Kaikoura. We ended up staying a few days as we loved it so much. There’s seal colonies everywhere, dusky dolphins, sperm whales, albatross – we made friends with many animals… All with the backdrop of snow peaked mountains.
We drove down from there along the east coast passing Christchurch and Dunedin enroute. To add to the wildlife tick list we saw a little yellow eyed penguin coming back home for the evening, apparently they’re the rarest penguin in the world but we haven’t verified that fact with wikipedia yet.
We drove down to the bottom of the island and started working our way back up the west coast. The next place we stopped for a few days was Te Anau which is the part of the Fiordland. We took an evening dip in the freezing glacier lake and drove to Milford Sound for the most insane kayak trip ever. On the still clear waters with towering mountain faces all around, we fell in love with New Zealand all over again.
Continuing northbound we stumbled across a secluded little opening to a huge beach- the perfect free camping spot. The beach was blustery to say the least; a slightly haunting landscape of sand and huge tree debris that had been washed up. We made the most of it though and scavenged for fire wood and even found all the components for a home made grill.
Franz Josef was our next impressive stop, our first ever glacier, we walked up and marvelled at how big and icy it was and then later googled what a glacier is.
Lots of windy mountain drives, far too many sand flies and a single glow worm cave later and we’re back up north, heading to Auckland for the final leg of our big trip.
We flew into Auckland and had a bit of a God send in our friend Rupert who picked us up from the airport, ferried us around to find a van and let us stay over. By the next day, we had a van kitted out with a bed, a make shift kitchen section and a name – Lucy.
Lucy has taken us up to the top of New Zealand to 90 mile beach which had masses of sand dunes and literally no-one around. On our way down we stayed in Waipoua Forest, went for a swim in the freezing river and lived the real camping life with a fire and marshmallows under the incredible stars.
The next few days brought us volcanic scenes with eggy smells, a hot spring bathe, an eventful fishing trip (involving dates for bait and Emma diving in after her fishing equipment, which she threw in) and a sand mountain. We spend most of our time marvelling at the rolling hills of farmland and pushing Lucy to her limits up winding mountain roads and gravel tracks – and usually turning round to come back down as our satnav has taken us the wrong way, thanks Lee. Our first sighting of snowy peak mountains came as we drove into Taupo, we joyously exclaimed. Stumbling upon a sweet free camping set up we spent the night by a giant lake with a view of the sun setting over the mountains.
We like New Zealand we do.
P.S. The internet is rubbish though so blogs are gonna be late, like this one already is.