Debbie Hickie

Hickies NZ

Debbie Hickie

Europe » France » Upper Normandy September 17th 2012

Here we go again! Another tour, another blog!... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Kent » Dartford December 8th 2010

Day 33 Sunday I can't believe that we are on our way home! Left the hotel in Singapore and it is 32C. Flight was on time so 13 hours later we landed at Heathrow and it's 32F!!!!! Bit of a shock to the system but we were prepared - fleeces, jeans, jumpers and 2 pairs of socks. Sam and Andy picked us up and we were home by 8.30 which sounds great but our bodies thought it was 4.30 in the morning so we thought we'd have an early night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!... read more

Asia » Singapore » Bukit Batok December 4th 2010

Day 32 Saturday Our last full day, but no time to waste as it’s off early for a City Tour. This took us to the Marina, China Town, a gemstone factory, the Orchid garden in the Botanic Gardens and Little India. But monsoon rain came early today. At the Marina there is a vast hotel complex (The Marina Bay Sands hotel) – three towers with a superstructure for swimming, eating, relaxing and a great view; apparently the tallest building in south east Asia. Look at the water and you will see lots of white balls floating – they are wish balls. People pay and make a wish and then release the ball in the Marina. Apparently it’s part of their New Year celebrations! The Chinese temple was a must to see and then to the orchids, ... read more
Chinese Temple
Pictures in gem stones
Too much for the baggage allowance

Asia » Singapore » Bukit Batok December 4th 2010

Day 30 Thursday Day 31 Friday On Thursday we flew to Singapore. The advantage of leaving from Christchurch was that, being a small airport, check-in wasn’t three hours beforehand. We arrived in Singapore about 6pm (local time) in the teeth of a torrential downpour. This is to be expected at about this time every day – we are in the monsoon season. The hotel is large, busy and impersonal – quite a contrast from the places we have become used to. OK- new city so what to do. We had some ideas and had been recommended to go to the Botanic Gardens, so we popped on the bus ($1.20 each, that’s about 60p), the gardens were free and they were brilliant. We could get used to the heat walking slowly under large trees, plenty of shade ... read more
Just a pretty bloom

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch December 1st 2010

Day 29 Wednesday Our last full day in NZ: we spent it in Christchurch, strolling around the main square (buskers, street chess, a launch of some cut price air tickets, groups singing carols to raise funds).The cathedral and the museum is worth a visit. A lot on the early settlers to the area (this area is known as Canterbury) and some interesting bits on Christchurch from about 100 years ago. There was also a good exhibition on the Antarctic and the early explorers like Scott and Shackleton. They have a good collection of various bits they had used, books and photographs. Christchurch was an important base for these explorers. Wandering slowly back to our house for the night we passed many examples of the damage done by the earthquake – walls cracked and now behind barriers, ... read more
Trams and tinsel

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch November 30th 2010

Day 28 Tuesday Today we travelled the final leg of our NZ tour, from Lake Tekapo to Christchurch. The journey was quite different from many of those we have done – no more mountain roads with gorges, hairpins and sheer drops; this one had long stretches of straight road where the only event was an occasional truck to overtake – stick the car into cruise control and chew up the miles (sorry kilometres). Once in Christchurch an afternoon in the park and botanical gardens then a meander around the city centre. It had a very English feel, especially when we saw a punt on the river. Eliza’s (where we are staying) is a grand old house near the park. The proprietress has the biggest collection of teddy bears we have ever seen. They are on every ... read more
Life of luxury
Some of the residents
more of the residents

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown November 30th 2010

Day 27 Monday Left Queenstown today and headed north. It feels strange because we are on the last leg of our journey heading to Christchurch with an overnight stop at Lake Tekapo. We took our time cos there were places we wanted to stop on the way. First stop – the bridge where they started the whole bungy jumping thing. We watched a bloke jump and I obviously didn’t know him but I felt so nervous I felt sick! Most of the journey was on very long straight roads and it turned out to be another lupin day! Mike said no more photos but it just got better and better so eventually we stopped by a small river that was totally carpeted by them in all colours ranging from pale pink to the deepest purple – ... read more
original bungy bridge1
orinignal bungy bridge2
view from our chalet

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown November 28th 2010

Day 26 Sunday In Queenstown....... Mike started the day on the Shotover Jetboat. Awesome! He said if you’re here you’ve got to do it. He looked to be enjoying it too! Then something more sedate – a boat ride across the lake on an old steamboat – The TSS Earnslaw. This was combined with a farm visit where we were introduced to farm animals and saw demonstrations of rounding up sheep with a sheepdog, sheep shearing and wool spinning. The tea was nice too! The fella that showed us round was a bit of a wit. ‘this farm was run by the McKenzies, there are still some in Queenstown – in the cemetery!’ ‘ When you shear a sheep it becomes Irish so it’s known as Saun!’ Well they were funny when he said it!!!!!!!!! Then ... read more
SS Earnslaw
Oh Deer!!

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown November 27th 2010

Day 25 Saturday On the trip yesterday we learnt about all the activities centered on Te Anau. It is the main tourist base for the area known as Fiordland, a world heritage area full of mountains, fiords, streams, waterfalls, native forest and sandflies. The road to Milford Sound is one of the very few roads into the vast area and is used by several thousand tourists each year to access Milford. Another important activity is walking (tramping) and there are several long distance (3 to 6 day) walks through the mountains with campsites or lodges spaced along the way. These open up for the summer months and about 3000 people use them each year. They are so popular they are being booked up up to two years in advance! So, who’s up for it? Anyway, today ... read more
More lupins

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Fiordland National Park » Te Anau November 26th 2010

Day 24 Friday Busy day today, up early because we are being picked up at 8. We are in a small group of 6 off to Milton Sound, a fiord on the West coast. Steve, our guide who also acts as the postman on the journey was great, stopping several times to show us great views including the mirror lake. When we got to Milford we got on a cruise boat for a magical two and a half hour journey round the fiord taking in snow covered mountains, waterfalls, tree avalanches, seals and tiny penguins – awesome! I enjoyed the description of the seals which were all young males doing what they do best - sleeping! Steve picked us up again for the return journey including a mountain walk, a river walk and afternoon tea from ... read more
Milford Sound
Teenage boys loafing about
Under the waterfall

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