Edit Blog Post
Published: August 14th 2006
Somewhere over the rainbow.
Where is a spade when you need one?
Well, Simon here again. I've been getting lazy and letting Alex update you recently. Anyway, while Alex is at work I can have my say.
Since our first venture into woofing last weekend we have been back in Auckland trying to get ourselves jobs to pay our way and save up for some adventure tours when we set off on our travels around the three islands (yes, three. Stewart Island is off the south coast of the south island). Anyway, having heard nothing from the first recruitment agency we signed up at I went along, bright and early at 7am, to a firm offering labouring work around the city. A bit bleary eyed I read through the paperwork and signed myself up as some money is better than no money. Unfortunately I was going to have to pay for some of the safety equipment that they provided which was a bit of a rip off in my opinion. After an hour and a half sitting around I was eventually sent five minutes up the road for my days work. This involved moving kitchen cabinets from the ground floor into new appartment blocks on the 9th floor of a building with
a highly dubious lift. I won't bore you with the details of the rest of the day. Alex on the other hand spent the day at her leisure getting ready for her job which started on Wednesday.
On Tuesday I turned up for work again only to sit in the office with plenty of other people for over an hour before leaving empty handed. The heavy rain over the weekend seemly put construction work on hold - What's new there then. I made my way back to the hotel to find Alex and we spent the rest of the morning checking out the Victoria Market. This was filled with the usual tourist shops and stalls and was a good walk for the morning. We also put Max into the garage (I'm presuming Alex filled you in with our dilema of the speedo cable) where we were to find out that the cable had snapped and it would cost $350 to repair. We were not happy. Alex spent the afternoon at one of the museums with a German girl called Anja who we met in our hotel while I slept off my previous hard days work.
Wednesday saw us
both back to work. Alex had two days of training for her new job as a legal secretary. Her office is in a building overlooking the harbour which all sounds very nice. I think she found the training straight forward which isn't surprising. I also got more work and ended up on the new motorway development in the middle of the city. Unfortunately my job consisted of digging two big holes for street lights to be put in. You would think that modern construction vehicles would mean that manual digging wouldn't be needed anymore. The job wasn't too bad though as I could have a laugh with another guy from the temp company, an Aussie called Mick.
Thursday was just the same as Wednesday for us both.
On Friday, Alex started her job properly as her training was completed. She was a bit aprehensive but got everything done fine. My day saw the completion of said holes only to find out that we then had to dig a trench for the electricity cables. Joy.
Friday night couldn't come quickly enough and eventually we were both back at the hotel and jumped into the new and improved Max
for yet another wwoofing weekend. We weren't going so far this time and had full faith in Max's capabilities. We stopped for a Burger King which turned out to be a good choice as our hosts were vegetarians before getting back on the road. It was about five minutes after Alex had commented on how good the lights were that the lights decided to stop working for us - not the best decision when driving in the dark. We managed to pull over safely and after I had a useless play with some of the fuses we called out the AA. They were rubbish and couldn't do anything and would only pay for half of the tow truck fee. Thankfully there was a layby that we had just passed and that we were able to reverse into for the night. Alex thinks that Max wanted us to enjoy our first night camping which is why the lights broke. Totally unprepared for any camping, we managed to get some water from a nearby house to make a cup of tea (thankfully Max came equipped with a butane stove and pots) we got an early night due to lack of anything to do.
We survived the night fine and set off for an electricians to get Max sorted. Being Saturday though it wasn't open by 9.30 so we headed off to our wwoofing hosts. The weekend was to be spent in a place called Dune Lakes Lodge (http://www.dunelakeslodge.co.nz/) with an English couple called Rosemary and Dave. They also had a helper about our age called Vicki. Rosemary and Dave run a horse sanctuary for looking after horses and training them etc. The problem was that if we didn't ask them an equestrian related question then they were very reluctant to talk to us. Anyway, we got on with our job of painting the veranda and were left to get on with it. The work was easy and flew by with a bit of a lunch break. After finishing we went for a walk on the property. We managed to stay reletively dry (the weather was a constant change between sunshine and showers) and saw probably the best rainbow that either of us had ever seen by the lake. We also managed to see a wild peacock and some parrots (although I don't think they were parrots but you can imagine the colouring). The evening was a bit dull as for some reason we were entertained with a horse DVD, not even a good one as Rosemary, Dave and Vicki seemed to point out all the things that were wrong with it. Needless to say we got an early night.
Sunday morning started around 8 and we went down for breakfast to find nobody about. We decided to make our way back upstairs to pack our bag and try again. Dave eventually turned up and we had a bit of a breakfast before saying our goodbyes and making our exit as soon as we could without seeming rude.
The weather was the same as Saturday but we decided to look at a few sights on the way back to Auckland. The first was Shelly beach, recommended by Rosemary. We were there just long enough to walk to the end of the short pier before it started raining and we hurriedly got back in the van. After a quick trip to the supermarket for some food for the week we made our way to the Muriwai regional park. Here we had a good walk along the cliffs looking over the Tasman sea. It was extreamly windy and wet at times but still nice to get out and about. The area was home to a large Gannet population which we read some information about before going for a walk along the beach. Stomachs protesting, we headed back to the van for lunch before heading back to Auckland well in time for sunset.
Hopefully next weekend we'll have a better experience with another wwoofing host but we don't think any of them will beat Paul and Jo who we visited last weekend.
Thanks for the messages again, we're enjoying reading about what is happening back in the UK. I think I'm going to annoy Alex with my quest to find out the Liverpool results but these things must be done. A big thank you goes to Rob for texting the Charity Shield result to me - despite having my phone on silent I woke up when it came through and the news sent me back to sleep smiling.
Hopefully a few of you got my birthday messages over the last week or so. Elle, I know you got yours. Ollie and Tim, I hope you both had great birthdays and received my text messages about on time.
Tot: 1.074s; Tpl: 0.063s; cc: 15; qc: 69; dbt: 0.0479s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.4mb