LOL. And he thinks Immigration are going to let him in.......
Can I say, some days it feels a little like we are living in a Magicians Top Hat. One wave of the wand and, puff, there’s Australia, puff, we’re in New Zealand. Tada!
So let’s go back to the UK for a moment. After our exhausting Canada leg we had a wonderful 3 weeks recuperating in Evesham. We ate way too much, slept too much and had a wonderful time catching up with everyone. Some hilarious nights with friends were thoroughly enjoyed and for the energetic card player, Sarah has a game for you! The English sun came out to say hello and we made the most strolling in the Malvern’s
and basking in the garden. Rod and June even cooked us a Sunday BBQ to enjoy in the garden as a farewell meal. Yes, we were properly spoilt and felt wonderfully missed and loved. ‘'twas good for the soul.
So off to Oz. It has all gone so quickly. Catching up with family was amazing. My Mum was waiting to greet us and swept me up in a huge hug when we arrived. Made me feel loved and missed all over again!
Everyone was very welcoming. Aunt
Sarah, Rich, Jack and I in the Kemble Brewery pub in Cheltenham watching a band on a roof....
Lyn (Mum’s sister) and Ian very generously offered us a room for the week which we were very gratefully for and we got to meet my Cousin Freya’s charming young son Oscar for the very first time! He is very cute, and very inquisitive! His grandfather takes great delight in showing him things like ‘Ladders’ ;-) Don’t worry Brahn, he is in good hands!
My Nana (Dad’s mum) picked us up one night and we had a lovely afternoon tea before heading to my Uncle Brian’s (Dad’s brother), Mandy’s and Ellie’s for a brilliant dinner. Ellie is 10 now and has doubled in height in the 3 years since I last saw her! Aunty Sue (Dad’s sister) and Lionel were also there which was amazing. I haven’t seen them in 13 years! Unfortunately it was such short notice so my cousins Lauren and Lee couldn’t be there so guys, if you see this, send me your email addresses and we’ll try and meet up when we get back over.
We even jetted off into the country for a night. Dad kindly organised a flight for us up to the farm, Coorong, in Armidale. It was brief but it
was fantastic to catch up with Dad, El, Chris, Matt, Granny Jean (El’s Mum), Sam and little Sophie.
All these wonderful people I love very much spoilt us during our stay. We were fed marvellously. Rich had his first real Fish and Chips and we enjoyed several BBQ’s. All of which consisted of delicious food and lovely wine and of course fantastic company. Rich was very pleased to at last be able to ‘throw another shrimp on the barbie’!
Amongst all these reunions and first meetings we did squeeze in a spot of sight seeing. We enjoyed our first morning Ferry ride with Mum all the way from Kissing point to the Circular Quay
, taking in the shoreline views, Harbour Bridge
and the Opera House
. We strolled through the Rocks
for an hour or so and discovered an amazing Puppet shop. We even dozed in the Botanical gardens under trees filled with Fruit Bats
(Rich was so tired he actual managed to sleep through the racket!). Mum also joined us on a monorail ride through Sydney and Rich’s first Yum Cha
in China town
We spent a morning wandering through the Chinese gardens
and enjoying the food court delights at Darling Harbour
See, the sun does shine up there! Rod cooking a delicious farewell BBQ
ferry ride to Manly
was a highlight with the fantastic views on the way over. And we were greeted by a busking Bubble blower on our way to Manly beach
. The ferry ride back at night was also amazing, watching the city lights from across the water. We even spent a lazy hour or two in the sun on Bondi beach
Getting out of Sydney and into the country it was brilliant to see more rugged countryside. An obvious highlight was the Golden Guitar
in Tamworth, and this has actually spurred Rich on a ‘Giant’ collection. Chris and Matt gave Rich a brief tour of the farm that included axe throwing and his sightings of Kangaroos and Wallabies. Not at the same time thank goodness. That night we even spotted a possum.
We were also treated to a walk through to Dangar Falls
. The gorges are still staggering but it was startling for me to see that no water was falling. Last time I was here they were cascading down. I guess with the drought this is a normal sight these days but it shocked me.
So after a final (very) delicious Thai meal with Mum we were off. Abracadabra,
New Zealand! Like literally, we were so exhausted that we fell asleep within the first 15mins, and woke up 3 hours later in Christchurch! Magic!
And basically it hasn’t stopped being a whirlwind. We spent two days in Christchurch and $2000.00 (£800) on a 4wd Toyota Previa. We travelled 500km to Wanaka and then spent our first night handing our CV’s to every bar and restaurant we could find. By our second night in town Rich was doing a trial shift, and by the third so was I. A week later and we have both been offered jobs at a local bar called Red Rock. The current manager is stepping down and the owners are keen for Rich and I to do our Duty Manager Licensee courses so we can help run it for them through winter! Sorted!
Wanaka is beautiful. I am sitting right now on our bed at the Purple Cow hostel
, occasionally glancing out the window to the most magnificent view. Across a stretch of grass is Lake Wanaka which is framed by glorious snow covered mountains. The sky is clear and the air is fresh and crisp. We feel very, very lucky.
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