Jocelyn Bunch

Jocelyn K B

Jocelyn Bunch

Based in NZ, love hiking, eating and drinking

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island September 25th 2009

Obviously many people are coming a long way to our wedding. We'd like to see you for more than a day or two, but of course you want to see New Zealand, so I am proposing we travel together for a few days after the wedding. And anyone from New Zealand who just wants a holiday is welcome to come too! We will understand if you've already made other plans or you have other destinations you'd rather visit, just thought we'd put the idea out there. Please email me to let me know what you're keen to do and how many days you can spend with us. The idea is to go to Rotorua, Taupo and Napier. Here are some possible activities: Rotorua Driving from Auckland to Rotorua takes about 3 and a half hours Soak ... read more
Driving range at the Prawn Park

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Kent July 26th 2009

We got up early on Friday morning to catch the Eurostar back to Ashford, England. At least that was the plan! Unfortunately the train didn't stop, and the trip between Ashford and London that took 20 minutes by Eurostar took 2 hours and three different trains back to Ashford. Tomos, one of Hywel's brothers, took us to the wedding venue, a cute little church in the country, so we could "help set up". True to tradition, this consisted of many people standing around confused about what to do, while a couple of people actually got things done. Hywel's misty-eyed mum played the church organ while we set out chairs. Hywel is the eldest of five boys, and was the first to marry. Jenny's father Bernard hosted the rehearsal dinner at a great little pub nearby. The ... read more
The life of the party
Jenny and Hywel

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris July 23rd 2009

We spent our last couple of days in Paris visiting various tourist attractions. On Wednesday morning we had a breakfast of pain au chocolat and coffee in Montmartre, which has long been associated with artists and night-life. (BTW, I don't understand why you can't get a decent cup of coffee in Paris? I would think Parisians the people least likely in the world to accept mediocre coffee!) There were many artists in the Place du Tertre selling pretty sketches and paintings of Paris, but we managed to resist. The only souvenirs I tend to bring home from holidays are photos. The Basilique du Sacre-Coeur is a beautiful white-domed church at the peak of Montmartre hill. If you've seen 'Amelie' (one of my favourite films), you'll recognise the steps leading up the hill. We climbed to the ... read more
View from the dome of Basilique du Sacre Couer
Portal of the Last Judgement, Notre Dame de Paris
Kings of Judah, Notre Dame

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Versailles July 21st 2009

There's one word to describe Chateau de Versailles: WOW Versailles was built when Louis XIV, the "Sun King", decided that the Louvre was too small to fit his ginormous ego. I can understand why the peasants were a trifle miffed at the Royal family! Its gaudy rooms and huge formal gardens are a must-see on any trip to Paris. Words can't describe what it's like, you really have to see it to believe it. My favourite part was the Queen's Hamlet, a Disneyland-ish oasis of rustic rural beauty that was given to Marie Antoinette. As we were walking in the park, a young guy who looked like your average tourist, came up to us and said "excuse me, do you speak English?" "Yes", we politely replied. "Can you help me? I need one euro". "Oh. Why ... read more
The chapel
Chapel ceiling
The palace and gardens were filled with beautiful sculptures

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris July 20th 2009

Tired but not too hungover, we took the train back to King's Cross, where I had a classic English lunch of salmon and cucumber sandwiches and Devonshire tea (scones with jam and clotted cream). Yum! The Eurostar took us to central Paris in a surprisingly short amount of time. We trundled our bags on and off Metro trains and found our hotel without much trouble. It was in the 15th arrondissement, a nice area near the Eiffel tower, conveniently close to the Metro and plenty of nice restaurants. The room was small, but hey, this was Paris! It was clean and the staff were helpful, so I was pleasantly surprised after some of the cockroach-ridden horror stories I'd read about other hotels online. Just before sunset, we went to Montparnasse Tower. Paris has strict building regulations ... read more
Hotel de Sens
Supposedly the oldest house in Paris
Space Invader

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Cambridgeshire » Cambridge July 18th 2009

George, Jamie, Hywel and Tim attended Downing College and then shared a house whilst completing their medical degrees. Tim and Rebecca were getting married in Cambridge, and conveniently, Hywel and Jenny were getting married the following Saturday near Ashford in Kent. We took the train from King's Cross to Cambridge, checked into the hotel and put on our glad-rags. Hywel and Jenny, true to form, were running very late. As we met Jamie and his partner Jo at the Fountain Inn for lunch they were still in the wrong country! In the end they made it just in time for the ceremony at Downing Chapel. After the service we gathered in front of the chapel while pictures were taken. I took great satisfaction in the fact that my heels were aerating the for-looking-at-only lawn. I coveted ... read more
Jamie, Jo and Angela
John, the Best Man with Amy and Sarah
George and Jocelyn

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London July 17th 2009

My memories of London are grey-tinged: gray buildings, grey skies and black snot. But none of that matters when there are plenty of things to do, friends to see and pubs to frequent. Tim and Abi were nice enough to put us up for a couple of nights at their place in Balham. They introduced us to an English TV series called "The Inbetweeners", which follows the misadventures of four foul-mouthed sixth-form boys. George was impressed with how "realistic" it was, which I found a little shocking. Maybe British teenagers are especially vile - I'm sure Kiwi boys were much nicer. George reckons they were just pretending while girls were around. Anyway, George loved it so much we brought the DVDs back to New Zealand, and now all our expat-Brit guy friends are walking around using ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Essex » Walton-on-the-Naze July 15th 2009

After staying up late doing karaoke the night before, I was very tired by the time I got to London on the evening of the 14th. The bed at George's mums' was extremely comfortable following the futon in Tokyo and the cramped seats on the Lufthansa flights. Tokyo had been action-packed and I was ready for a rest day. Walton-on-the-Naze is the perfect place for spending a day doing nothing, as there isn't really much to do. It shares a lot of similarities with Waikanae, where I grew up - it's a smallish town filled with rich old white people, has some nice walks and a safe beach, and it gets boring after a couple of days. In the afternoon we went for a very windy walk along the beach. George spent much of his childhood ... read more

Asia » Japan » Tokyo July 13th 2009

Whenever I visit a big city, I like to find a skyscraper with an observation deck. I find it helpful to get my bearings, and it's nice to get above the claustrophobic street level. In Tokyo, many people go to Tokyo Tower, a steel lattice structure similar to the Eiffel tower. Instead we went to "Tokyo City View", an observation deck in Mori Tower at Roppongi Hills, which is actually at the same height as the observatory at Tokyo Tower (250m). Unfortunately the sky deck and aquarium weren't open, but we did get fantastic 360 degree views of the city. Next we headed to Ueno Park. At Kiyomizu Kannon-do, a Buddhist temple, I had my fortune told. I handed over 200 yen to the attendant, who passed me a tube with a small hole on one ... read more
Tokyo from Mori Tower
Shinobazu lotus pond
Bentendo temple

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Harajuku July 12th 2009

After dancing all night we slept until lunchtime. I decided I couldn't leave Japan without ticking "Eat sushi in Tokyo" off my bucket list, so we had lunch at a sushi train restaurant. I decided to be brave and tried a few kinds that were new to me. I was lucky I hadn't drunk much at the club because the big fish eggs that burst fishy oil into your mouth when you bit them were a challenge. I only embarrassed myself once in a minor chopstick-related incident that left my favourite tempura prawn sushi skidding across the floor. It was about 3pm by the time we took the metro to Harajuku. I hoped to see lots of teenagers in their crazy get-ups, and we saw a few lolita's and cosplayers on Jingu Bridge. There was a ... read more
Rockabilly dancers
Air guitar

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