Dave and The Lovely Hannah

davewatson5

Dave and The Lovely Hannah




Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok October 31st 2010

(Dave's writing this one as Han isn't as funny) Sunday 31st October The day started on a dodgy note when a mix up in the Cathedral cafe in Cristchurch meant that the Manager refused to change a poppy seed muffin for a raisin muffin! Han forced it down and Dave steamed over the lack of customer service ("that would have only cost him 10p to make us happy!"). We made our way to the airport at Christchurch a little early, which confirms the lack of things to do...Christchurch is pretty but quite provincial. Dave's ulcer got a little more inflamed when the jobsworth at security decided to take a lighter from us because it was "dangerous". Now forget the fact that he knew we had 2 other lighters and they were perfectly "legal"...this lighter was dangerous ... read more
Chinatown!!!
One of the hundreds of temples
Absolute poverty

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch October 28th 2010

Friday 28th October Friday morning involved a short drive down the East Coast from Kaikoura to Christchurch. Unfortunately, it was a rather painful experience as Han had the most almighty hangover. Thursday night was spent at "The Whaler" pub in Kaikoura where we thought we'd try our luck in yet another quiz. After round 1, we had 100 percent correct, but the topic for round 2 was horses, so we thought we wouldn't stay ahead "furlong". However, somehow we scored full marks again. With no modern music round to expose our inadequacies, we won!! Ergo, we had to utilise a $50 bar tab before the place closed. As a result, Friday night in Christchurch was a relatively quiet affair, with Han retiring early and Dave frequenting a bar (after first vetting the occupants for sufficient displays ... read more
Christchurch Cathedral
Han tapping the Fire Service up for business
Han "running" for a tram

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Kaikoura October 28th 2010

(Guys, Dave has managed to add some glow worm pics to the Waitomo caves entry if you want to go back and have a look). Wednesday 27th October: Beautiful drive from Omarama to Kaikoura (about 500 km but in the sunshine it didn't seem to take so long). We had a quick stop at Lake Pukaki with its backdrop of snow-capped mountains and arrived in Kaikouri at about 4pm. Guess what....we're staying at a backpacking lodge for 2 nights!!! It's actually really nice and has a hot tub and sauna (just concerned that one fellow dreadlocked resident might not have had a shower before jumping in the communal hot tub!! Grabbed take away fish and chips and an early night. Thursday 28th October: Up early to go swimming with dolphins. We are soooo lucky - it's ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Wanaka October 26th 2010

Tuesday 26th October: Up and out for brekkie overlooking the beautiful lake Wanaka. The sun is shining and this is the first day in New Zealand that feels like Summer. We decided that we're running a bit short on time, so instead of driving for a few days to see Milford Sound, we booked a flight from Wanaka over the Southern Alps and into Milford. We had to share our private jet with another couple, which was just not what backpackers of our standards expect!! This is the way to see New Zealand scenery - it was such a clear day and the lakes look really blue, even from 10000 feet. Dave allowed his co-pilot,Dean, to sit in the front with him, and I nestled in the tail with the machine gun. Dave reckons this is ... read more
Flying over the Southern Alps
Lake Wanaka
Wanaka

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Fox Glacier October 25th 2010

Sunday 24th October. Sunday was a big driving day as we wanted to cover a large chunk of the West Coast to get down to Franz Josef and Fox Glacier.It is labour weekend this weekend so the Police are out in force to prevent driving offences. There is a population of just 1 million on the South Island and about 600 thousand of them must be police. Despite the Top Gear-esque coastal ralleigh roads, Dave had to drive like a 90 year old Sunday driver because there were police on every corner. The plan was to cling to the western coastal road and stop off for lunch at Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and blow holes. Unfortunately, the navigator wasn't on form and we ended up on an inland road which re-joined the coast about 60km south of ... read more
Ice Fall cravasses
A Water Moulin (mill)
Dave bloody loving it

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Nelson Region » Nelson October 23rd 2010

Saturday 23rd October: Up this morning for our free brekkie (as negotiated by Dave at the Ibis). We then went to the internet cafe to book our crossing to Picton in the South Island. While there, Han decided to pursue the money-saving option by booking tonight's accommodation in Nelson in advance. Han spotted a "mystery hotel" option where you don't know what you're getting until you have booked, but it then only costs 45 pounds a night for both of us. Why not, eh? Upon confirmation of the hotel, we were awarded the Grand Mercure Nelson - voted the best hotel in Nelson and usually costing $300 a night. Yippee. We boarded the ferry at about 2pm and the water was like a mill pond. We got a good view of Wellington and the Westpac stadium ... read more
Titanic
Dolphin School
Sailing into Picton

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Taupo October 22nd 2010

Friday 22nd October: Well folks, we're developing a passion for wetsuits. Headed to Turangi to white water raft the Tongariro river. Oh my god, it was ace - we are so hard core. It took about 3 and a half hours and we travelled about 14 km. We went over rapids named "the Bitch" and "Pink Floyd" because it has a wall at the end! The scenery was stunning. At the start of the day I was really worried about the cold and even asked hem to heat the water before I ventured out. However, our 2 rafting partners were a gay wimpy bloke who worked on a gardening magazine (Dave nicknamed him the Queen of Essex) and a 4ft petite girl from Taiwan. As a result, Dave and I were putting in some serious efforts ... read more
Carrying the boat to the water
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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Taupo October 21st 2010

Thursday 21st October: After failing miserably to experience any thermal immersion first-hand in Rotorua, we got up early to explore the Lake Taupo region. Chauffeur Dave was given strict instructions to head for the first bit of steam you see. Luckily, the Severn Valley Steam Railway doesn't stretch this far, so the target burst of steam led us nicely to Waikiti Thermal Pools. It was a really cold, windy day so Dave was a little unsure about getting stripped off to bathe outdoors. However, a quick 360 degree spin in the closest phone booth morphed him into Dario (minus the ponytail, David!!) and he braved the elements like a trooper. Waikiti consists of 6 outdoor thermal pools, heated to between 39 and 42 degrees celsius, and set against the beautiful vista of the NZ mountains. After ... read more
Han in a hot bath
Hot Mud Pool
Dave in a hot bath

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo Caves October 19th 2010

Tuesday 19th October (pm): After leaving Tim and Sheena, we drove 3 and a half hours to Waitomo. We stayed at Waitomo Caves Guest House, which was essentially a group of garden sheds in the back garden. The owners were really nice and had gone to great lengths to think of everything. We got the last cabin available - single beds again (good job we're old and past it).The American guests here love this place as it is so twee - it had underbed heated blankets, magazines on how to do needlework, lace curtains and a pot of Colin's home made biscuits. Felt like I was staying in my Granny's potting shed, but I have to admit that the beds were soooo comfy so I had a good night's sleep. Wednesday 20th October: We got up ... read more
Waitomo Caves
Light Show!!
Moa Bones

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Mount Eden October 17th 2010

Sunday 17th October: After a good flight, we arrived in Auckland at 04:30am where the hire car was ready and waiting. "Satnav Dave" with his in-built compass found the hotel with ease and we were granted early check-in at no extra cost and with a smile. So far, New Zealand is ticking all the boxes. We slept until 1pm but there are places to see and adventures to be had, so we dragged ourselves out of the very comfy beds and went to explore Auckland city. We headed for the Skytower as the most obvious landmark - Dave is scared of heights but very bravely stood on the reinforced glass floor 270m up(proud of you babe). However, we then watched a couple of people take a tower jump and Dave decided this was a step too ... read more
Silver Fern Coffee
Gannets@Mouri Bay
Han taking the piss out of Dave's fear of heights!




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