Friday, July 22, 2011

The End

A lot has happen since I last posted. I got through finals week, with only one written final, two performances, two papers, and a completed fish hook! All and all not to bad, and even better news is that I did well in all my classes (despite some concern of my parental units who were convinced that I was having too much fun).

This fish hook took a about 65 hours to complete, and I'm really excited about how it turned out. It is fully functional, and I'm sure it could catch a nice grouper, but I would rather not try it out because let's face it that is my blood, sweat, and tears!

In the last few weeks of feverishly working on the muka (the twine), I made a very close friend Kayhan, who was also making a fish hook. I told him that my mother was coming to tour the country with me for three weeks, and that I wanted to take my mother all the way up Northland to Cape Reinga the tip of the north island where the Tasman and Pacific Oceans meet. Kayhan then told me that his mother's side of the family grew up in Northlans, so I went to talk to Sherryn (his mother) about where to take my mother. Sherryn did even better than offer a few suggestions. She took some vacation time, and took myself, Kayhan, and mother all the way around the Northland and showed us the places where she grew up!

We even got all the way up to the lighthouse on the Cape and watched the oceans weave into one another.

This part of our trip together was truly magical, and I think was mother's favorite trip we did while in New Zealand. Kayhan and Sherryn adopted us into their family, and I am so lucky to have met them all!

After our four days of mother/offspring trip, Mom and I left Auckalnd and started our week and a half long drive around New Zealand. We stopped at the Garden's in Hamilton, and spent a night in Rotorua where Mom had her first hangi (traditional way of Maori cooking). We then drove down the middle of the North Island and drove right past Mt Ruapehu, also known as Mt Doom from Lord of the Rings.

After that we continued onto Wellington, where we stayed the night, and took the 8 am three-hour ferry ride to Picton in the South Island. We then spent the next day driving down to Kaikoura where we went whale watching. We had four sightings of sperm whales, several sea lions, some albotross, and a pod of over 300 dolphins!

From there we made our way down to Dunedin and the Otago Penunsilua where we spent the night in the Gold Rush Room at the Larnach Castle. Our bed was an old working horse cart that had beeb convered into a rather comfortable Queen sized bed. I'll let the picture do the talking.

We then moved on from there to Te Anau, where we met up with Kayhan's Aunt and Uncle, Shona and Brain. They cooked us a well appreciated meal and gave us some fresh conversation. Then the next morning we woke up early for a boat tour of the Doubtful Sounds, which was also used in the filming of the Lord of the Rings.

Time had caught up with us, and it was time for us to be making our way back up to the north island. So we spent the next day driving back up to Christchurch because the roads on the Western side of the south island were looking dangerous do to ice and snow. The dirve was beautiful through, and we were able to stop back up in Kaikoura again, and see the colony of baby seals!

We then drove to Picton and took the ferry back to Wellington and stayed the night at the Booklovers B&B, run my a New Zealand author/journalist, who we made quick friends with. We left the next afternoon after looking at the Te Papa Museum, which was a wonderful museum. We then spent the next day driving up to Lake Taupo where we stayed the night. We then continued our trek back to Auckland were we spent the last of our trip hanging out in the city, and driving to some of the North Island's black sand beaches.

Leaving New Zealand was one of the hardest things I've had to do, and I'm already planning to go back next summer after I graduate! I cannot begin to tell you all how much this trip has meant to me. The people I have met, ranging from my American roommates to my adopted Kiwi family, has been such a treat that I can hardly believe my luck! If there was one thing I could tell you all about my trip, it is that I've learned to take the opportunity you are offered because good opportunities are rare, and are not lightly offered. And one last thing, if anyone ever asks you to go to New Zealand, don't hesitate GO! Because it will be incredible!

Thank you all so much for reading, and keeping up on my faboulus adventues. Now that I'm home, we'll have to chatch up in person. Kia Ora!
~Caroline Reimann

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Taupo; The Rainbow Trip

Again I find that I have been ignoring my blog and neglecting you all in the process, but so much has happened in this past month that finding some extra time has proven to be quite difficult.
After my trip to Gizzy, I found that I had been bitten by the travel bug and made plans for another road trip, but this time with all four of us. Keri, Kendal, Lynn and I all rented a car and packed up our tents and sleeping bags and headed out to Taupo home to the north island's biggest lake. We drove down from Auckland on Friday and spent the day enjoying the beautiful scenery and pulling off when ever we found a scenic lookout.
(Lynn walking back to the car)

The drive was especially pretty because it was a sunny/rainy day, and the sky was filled with rainbows. We even ended up staying the first night at the Rainbow Backpackers in Taupo where we went to bed earlly and rested up for an early start the next morning at Taupo's Rockin Rope's Course.
(I'm about to make a jump for the trapeze)
Each of us took at turn at climbing up a wooden log, and then once we got to the top jump from the log and try and catch a trapeze. Both Kendal and Keri caught the bar, but Lynn and I fell unsuccessfully.
We also decided to check out the Huka Falls, one of the most dangerous rapids in the north island.

We spent the rest of the day driving around Taupo and stopping along some of the lakeside beaches. And enjoyed a bit of New Zealand's natural beauty, and sometimes humer.
(Kendal sitting on a bench we found secured to the beach in a rather unlikely location.)
That night we braved the cold and set up our tent in a small camp group about 30 mins outside Taupo. Seeing as it is now winter in New Zealand we were a bit cold, but enjoyed looking at the clear crisp night sky and moon that hovered of the lake. The next day we woke up for some breakfast, and learned that Taupo happened to be the most affordable place to skydive in the entire country. Seeing as how none of my friends had yet to take their 12,000ft plunges, and that this would probably be the only time I get to go skydiving with four of my best friends for a reasonable price at a safe and beautiful locations in New Zealand, I decided that I simply must take advantage of this opportunity and dove from the sky once again!
(From left to right: Kendal, Keri, Lynn, Me)
Unfortunately by the time our diving experience was over it was time for us to head back to Auckland. But don't feel to badly for me having to leave Taupo on Sunday because we spent that evening watching the sunset at Piha one of New Zealand's black sand beaches.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


After all of my traveling around this great country with my sister, I had wetted my appetite for domestic travel. Just one week after being in Auckland I was itching to discover and explore some new, and perhaps a bit more remote, section of New Zealand. So, my friend Keri and I did some flight searching on Air New Zealand's,, (a website for last minute and very cheap flights), and found a reasonable fair to Gisborne for the next weekend, a small town on the North Island's East Coast. Keri and I didn't know much about Gisborne, or as the locals call it Gizzy, but luckily we had a week to plan and find out more about our soon-to-be destination.

As it turns out, there are heaps of activities to keep two girls very busy in Gisborne. Most of the attractions surround looking at and experiencing the beautiful and jagged Eastern Cape of New Zealand, and the splendors of Poverty Bay, the lovely inlet that houses the little town of Gisborne.

It is even an important historical sight. It is the first place in New Zealand to be spotted by Captain Cook and his ship the Endeavor in 1769. It is also the first place in the world to see the sunrise. Keri and I were delighted by these little facts, and were ready to enjoy the quieter and more relaxed atmosphere of a small town after the busy city life of Auckland.

As, if Keri and I weren't ecxited enough to get out of the big city for the weekend, we also decided to splurge and treat ourself to a one night stay in the Te Kura B&B. Keri had never stayed at a B&B before, so we were both looking forward to some home style comfort. When we got to Gisborne, we went straight to the B&B to drop off out bags.
We were greeted by Paul the owner, and Ron Weasley their fluffy, nine-month-old, half-puddle-half-bison frise puppy. Both Paul, Ron, his wife, and their son all live in the B&B. Well to me more acculturate, they use part of their 1920's style river-side manor to house some weary tourists. It felt almost as if we had walked into an old sea captains homes, complete with a beautiful view of the Taruheru River. Keri and I were more than excited to sleep somewhere well away from the noise of city traffic.

After we acquainted ourselves with life at the manor, and some well deserved belly scratches for Ron, Keri and I headed out to the Titirangi Lookout on Katiti Hill, the highest point that looks out over Poverty Bay and Gisbore. It is home to the famous statue of Captain Cook. The reason why this particular likeness of the famed British sea captain is because it is not a likeness at all. The facial features look nothing like the man at all. In fact, the man who is depicted is not even wearing a British navel uniform. Who is the man on top of the hill? We shall never know.

After our walk in the Titirangi Domain we headed out to a nice dinner at the USSCO Bar & Bistroe, an restored building that used to house the Union Steam Ship Company, where we enjoyed some live piano music, some delicious entres, and even shared a bottle of Gisborne's own Pinot Gris. We then wrapped up our evening with a New Zealnd movie night. In the guest entertainment room, Paul and Bronwyn supplyed us with a number of movies including Whale Rider which was filmed just a few kilometers outside of Gisborne. So, Keri and I watched the film and decided to try and find some of the film sights while we where there.

The next day Keri, and I enjoyed breakfast at the B&B, but had to leave shortly after that and move into our next and perhaps less glamorous accommodation. Keri and I decided to stay at the Flying Nuns Backpackers, a convent that has been converted to a backpackers, for the rest of our stay. But before we explored the ex-nunnery, we decided to rent a car and drive out to the Eastwoodhill Arboretum, the Rere rock slide, and the Rere waterfall. Keri had left her license in Auckland, so it looked like the driving was up to me! I fared pretty well, but struggled with being able to turn on my turn indicator. For in NZ cars the drivers side is on the right, and center counsel is revered. So, when I reached to turn on my blinkers, instead of the familiar ticking sound that Keri and I expected, the windshield wipers came on and dutifully cleared my window of nothing more than some dust and pollen.

Keri and I spent that day driving through rolling mountains dotted with sheep and cattle, then enjoyed walking and picnicking in the Arboretum.

We then continued on to the rockslide and waterfall. Even though winter is fast approaching Keri and I were determined to do the rocksilde. So we picked up a cheep inflatable tube from The Warehouse (the NZ version of Wal-Mart), and donned our warmest ware. At first we had some trouble inflating the tube, and my inpatient nature of the better of me. I told Keri, that I would go down first uses the deflated tube as a very slight protection. I stepped inth the rushing water and immediately regretted it. It was freezing, but I wasn't about to chicken out. So I edged my way over the wet slippery rocks and started my decent.

What a blast! The rapids took you shooting down the smooth and slightly submerged rock face. I was fully enjoying myself until the bottom when I saw a dip in the rocks, and knew that my bum was about to suffer. My right cheek was a bit source after the fist rocky dip, but it really didn't feel it until the bottom. You cannot tell what the bottom of the slide is like because the recycled water served as a foaming mass of circulating water, but it turns out that it meats on a angle then several feet after there is a drop off into deep water. My bum found the rocks before the drop off. Slightly bruised and shivering I survived the rockslide, and was quite please with myself. Keri much more patient, and went down twice on the inflated tube.

After the slide we went 2 kilometers down the road to the waterfall, where we explored for a bit, and even was able to walk behind the rushing water.

The next day Keri, and I hug out around town and explored some of the local shops, and made friends with the cat's of the Flying Nun's, who enjoyed spending the nights with us curled up at our feet. To complete our lazy day, we decided to walk to midway beach around sunset and enjoy the array of colors.

That evening we went to bed early, for we decided to drive up to Tolaga Bay, and watch the sunrise on the longest wharf in the southern hemisphere at 660 meters long. As the sun rose we did some yoga, and greeted the day.

We spent the rest of the day driving back towards Gisborne on the beautiful coastal Rt 35. We stopped along the way to explore several small towns and beaches. We even found the small and unmarked village of Whangara where the film Whale Rider was filmed.

We finished the day with a trip to the Morere Hot Springs, but was unable to try a little dip because bad weather had diminished the flow of the hot springs to little more than a trickle. But we were still able to walk into the Morere Scenic Reserve and Rainforest, which was in itself a treat.

We were sad to spend our last night in the Flying Nun's, and leave our new furry companions, but getting an extra day in Gisborne by getting up early in order to catching the 6:40 flight back to Auckland on Tuesday morning was well worth it.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mid-Semester Break: Queenstown/Milford Sounds back to Auckland!

This will be the last of the "Mid-Semester Break" posts. I think this one will finally bring to life all of the adventures Katie and I had! I left off with a description of our short time in Dunedin. I believe I wrote about flying to Queenstown, which is odd because Katie and I actually took a bus, I'm sorry I must have been tired after writing about all of our Dunedin adventures.
Katie and I took the lastest bus out of Dunedin to Queenstown and the YHA Hostel there. After about two hours into our trip the sun had completely set, and this should have left the beautiful landscapes in darkness if it hadn't had been for the huge, bright, and beautiful full moon. Seeing the landscape lit by moonlight was truly a wonderful sight that I will not soon forget.
Katie and I arrived at the YHA, and immediately booked a skydive for 7:30 the next morning. So with that exciting morning planed ahead we settled in and went straight to bed. The alarm rang very early that morning and before we knew it we were in a gray and red jumpsuit in a plane, attached to some strange, and rather handsome, Kiwi man about to jump ship!
Katie and I were lucky because they had just had there first snow the day before, which meant that Katie and I got to jumped out of a plane 12,000 ft above Queenstown's snowy mountains, green-blue lake, and green sheep laden fields. It was truly magical, and the moment I touched ground, I asked if I could do it again. They laughed.
By the time we got back to town it was only 9 am, so we had a leisurely and delicious breakfast in a small cafe then planned for a small hike up the sky-gonadal trail. Unfortunately, we got some bad directions and ended up on a rather strenuous trail. I had gotten a cold after all of the water activities in Rotorua and the wet Dunedin tours, so I quickly realized that thes hike was getting the better of me. I ended up leaving Katie to summit the rest of the mountain while I took a much needed nap.
We after Katie hiked, and I napped we decided to try some of New Zealand's wines at the a small Queenstown Wine Cafe. This small winery has over 80 NZ wines available for tastings. So Katie and I split a tasting card, and spent an hour or so tasting wines and enjoying a NZ cheese plate. Feeling good, we then went out for an amazing Thi meal, and then to a long awaited bed.
But once again, our alarm went off around 6:30 in the morning in order to awaken us for our bus and cruse to and through the Milford Sounds. It is so hard to convey to you the amount of beauty we experienced that day. With each turn of the bus or around each bend in the bay of the Sounds, a new a fantastic sight was there. We saw dolphins feeding in the Tasman sea, young male seals sunning themselves one huge amassing mountains, and a barracuda even jumped out of the water for us. Katie and I were just amazed by the awesome mountains covered in wild and untouched vegetation. This must be one of the most beautiful places in the world.
After our bus and cruse, we were surprisingly tired and even more hungry, so we went to Fergburger. Ferbgurger is famous in Queenstown for have strange and immensely large burgers. I tried a venison burger with plumb sauce (titled Little Bambi), and Katie had a beef burger with pineapple, both of which were more than memorable. Exhausted and full Katie and I managed to book a three hour horse trek to Paradise View in Queenstown for the next morning.
Katie and I really wanted to ride while we were here together, so both of us were so excited to do this in Glenarchy, only 50 away from Queenstown. Katie and I enjoyed the small farm which was a live with horses, pigs and their piglets, and several friendly dogs and cats. We trekked on horseback through rivers, forests and glades, and we even stopped on a high look out. There we got to see the gorgeous Paradise Vally where tons of famous movies were filmed including Lord of the Rings, Lovely Bone, and Wolverine. It was a great way to end our time in Queenstown.
On an afternoon flight to Auckland, Katie and I both enjoyed some well needed rest in time to have dinner with one of my friends.
Keri, Katie, and I all went to a late dinner and chatted about living abroad, we even convinced Keri to come and hike Rangitoto with us the next day. Again Katie and I rose early, and before our ferry to Rangitoto, we wanted to walk the Domain and look through the winter garden. The plan was then to eat a nice breakfast and hike the volcano, but we forgot it was Good Friday, and that most of the cafe's were closed. So a little hungry we met up with Keri, and hiked the beautiful volcano and enjoyed some home made PB and J's at the summit.
This last adventure brought my sister's stay, and my break, to a close. Katie and I had such a blast, and being able to tell it to you all allows me to relive it. Katie thank you so much for coming I couldn't ask for a better sister!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mid-Semester Break: Dunedin to Queenstown!

Well as you can tell Katie and I did not waste anytime being board in Rotorua, and we continued that trend all the way back through to the return trip to Auckland! But I'm getting ahead of myself.
So after a quite evening in Rotorua riding our bikes, Katie and I got up nice and early to catch our 8:30 flight to Dunedin. After flying one hour to Chistchurch, were our ten minute layover let us rest for about a minute, we hopped onto another small one hour flight to Dunedin, where our friendly shuttle driver was waiting to pick us up and bring us to Larnach Castle!
Some of you might remember that I visited Larnach once before with Keri after the earthquake, but this trip to the castle was going to be very different because unlike Keri and I, Katie and I did not have to leave at 5 o'clock.
Katie and I could only squeeze one night in Dunedin, so we talked it over and decided to splurge and stay at the Larnach Castle. Now don't get to excited, we couldn't stay in the grand bedrooms in the actual castle, but Katie and I did settle for the stable stay. So Katie and I spent the night in the stables of New Zealand's only castle! Before we settled down for a rather wonderful night of sleep, Katie and I spent the afternoon exploring the castle and grounds. Unfortunately, it was a little rainy, but the consistently changing sky made the views from the top of the castle unforgettable!
After waking around the castle, and making a few plans for the next couple of days, Katie and I hitched a cab to Plato, one of Dunedin's best restaurants, in my option, and had an unforgettable diner.
For those of you who are familiar with my sister and I, you cannot help but to notice some slight differences between us, and some might be wondering if those slight, and albeit minimal differences, might have become a problem, but let me tell you they did not! At this dinner, Katie and I spent around two hours slowly eating, and enjoying some of most New Zealand's wonderful wines, talking and laughing about family and differences. Katie and I despite our uniqueness proved to me quite compatible traveling companions, and will remember this trip forever!
So after our wonderful dinner of a cheese plate, squid, fish, salads, and two fabulous deserts, Katie and I headed back to the castle for some well deserved rest.
But again with no time wasted, Katie and I woke up early to a complementary breakfast in the stables, and left the castle ready to explore Dunedin, and start on the next leg of our trip.
Originally we had planned to go horse trekking in Dunedin, but the rainy weather deterred us, so instead we took a walking tour of Dunedin, and then a tour of the Cadbury Chocolate Factory. We spent two hours walking in the on-and-off rain seeing all of the famous sights of Dunedin, including the train station, which is one of the worlds most photographed buildings.
After the more informative tour, Katie and I were excited to see the inner workings of the famous and delicious chocolate factory. Katie and I enjoyed the tour learning all about the chocolate corporation and where they get their ingredients. One of our favorite facts about Cadbury Chocolates is that each factory produces different candy products. So for example, the factory in England is where all of the Cadbury Easter eggs are made. And because the factories are placed around the world, each factory has chocolate that taste different from the others. This is because they try and use products that are closer to the factory. So NZ chocolate uses sugar from Australia, and milk from NZ cows, but the factories in the UK use UK cows, which are fed off of different feeds, so the chocolate taste different! I will be bring back samples of NZ Cadbury Chocolate, so that we can compare US Cadbury Chocolate and see which one is better!
After our chocolaty tour complete with free samples, Katie and I met up with Kathleen from Christchurch for a delicious lunch of good old fashion Dunedin fish and chips! It was great to chatch up with Kathleen and see how she was surviving the transfer. After our lunch Katie and I were off to the airport again for a quick flight to Queenstown were our biggest adventure awaits us, but I have already wrote enough for one post, so you'll just have to wait to hear about our cruse through Milford Sounds, and our 12,000 ft skydive.

One last thing, I just wanted to say a quick hello and congratulations to the Castlemans, who I miss dearly, and I am told just celebrated their 60th anniversary! I am so happy to hear that you all are doing well and are following my blog! I miss you all and Tustie of course, hope spring is coming soon!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mid-Semester Break: Auckland and Rotorua

As the first half of my semester comes to a close here in Auckland, I get to celebrate my survival of an earthquake, two UNI transfers, and a tsunami warning with a visit from my fabulous sister. Katie was due to arrive in Auckland at 4:30 in the afternoon on Tuesday, but unfortunately when she arrived in Sydney her flight was delayed and did not arrive in Auckland until 3:00 am! Poor Katie, but regardless of the late hour I welcomed her at the airport and shuttled her home to a nice and comfortable bed.

For the next two days, Katie was pretty much on her own because I had two 9-5 workshops for my fish hook class. Katie took this time to explore the city, and take the same dolphin and whale cruise that I took before. We went out to some wonderful dinners, and tasted the sweeter side of Auckland at my personal favorite gillato place called Giapo. After my last workshop ended on Wednesday, Katie and I spared no time and were on a bus at 8 am the next day to Rotorua.

Some of you might remember that I spent my first week in New Zealand in Rotorua, and had a blast, so I bursting at the seams to share that same experience with Katie. We even decided to stay at Kiwi Paka the same backpackers I stayed at during the AustraLearn orientation. The moment we walked in the door Bev, one of Kiwi Paka's finest employees, welcomed us with smiles and hello's, and she even recognised me from my previous stay! Over the next several days, Bev became our NZ Mom introducing us to another fellow traver, Brian, and she took time out of her day to take us Zorbing (I will explain what that is in a minute), and she dropped us off and picked us up at the redwood forest.

Bev introduced Katie and I to our first NZ adventure together. Zorbing, a New Zealand invention, basically involves a human sized hamster ball, some hot water, and a big hill. Katie was reluctant to try this NZ thrill, but once Bev offered to take us and Brian, another Kiwi Paka resident, we couldn't say no! So, we opted to do the wet ride all together. This means that Katie, Brian, and I all rolled down the hill in the same ball together. Oh right, and inside of the ball was about ten inches of warm water. Bev said she could hear Katie screaming down the entire hill. I can't say that I'm surprised cause we were having such a blast!

After zorbing, Bev took the three of us to the redwood forest where we spent about an hour walking around and enjoying the lush forest, but our day did not end there. We then went to the Thursday night market where we picked up some Rotorua made, wine, cheeses, and sliced venison. Then we were whisked off the the Tamaki Village for a hangi meal and introduction to Maori culture. After feasting on lamb, chicken, fresh veggies, and pavlova (the traditional NZ desert) Katie and I were more than happy to crash into our nice and warm beds.

Friday morning, we were up by 7, and by 7:45 were on a bus out to Waitomo for some blackwater caving! I was particularly excited for this adventure because I really enjoyed my last caving experiences, but I knew that this trip just might top it. It's called blackwater caving because running through the cave is a small river, and in order to get through the caves a person needs to tube for some parts of it. So, Katie and I donned some rather cold and wet wetsuits found a tube that fit our backside rather tightly and descended into the wet caves.

In Ruakuri Cave there are two drop offs where a delighted caver (such as Katie or myself) gets to jump off the edge of a small ledge backwards into the water, and if you happen to be a little hesitant don't worry cause one of your caving guides would be more than happy to give you a slight push off the edge. Another highlight of this particular tour is the blackout section. When you jump off the little ledge you jump with your bum in the tube, so that you land comfortably seated in your tube. After the jump the guides instructed us to turn off all of our head lamps and look up. Above our heads are hundreds of little greenish-white lights that look remarkably like stars. The constellations of glowworms light up the cave ceiling and its our job to follow the tinny living illuminating creatures out of the cave paddling with our arms through the cave's until we reach the mouth of the cave.

After caving we decided to have a picnic dinner of cheese and wine that we bought at the Thursday night market. Brian joined us and so our evening of debauchery began. After finishing of two bottles of wine, Brain, Katie, and I are ready to go! We walk the five minutes to Rotorua's Lava Bar, where some free shots and a little too much beer makes it a night to remember! Feeling a little worse for the wear the next morning Katie and I are up by 6:45 and on our way to a big and greasy breakfast before our white water rafting trip. We dine at Milly's a local restaurant, and our hung over tummy's were more than thankful. After breakfast we met our rafting guides, and were anxious to get onto the Kaituna River which in one of New Zealands most highly rafted rivers, and host to fourteen drops the most famous one being a seven meter drop which is about twenty-three foot fall! Katie and I had a blast. Our entire raft was submerged after the largest drop, and three of us (including myself, and our rafting guide) we launched from the raft!

After rafting, Katie and I attempted to rent bikes and bike out to the Blue Lake, but bad directions and the encroaching darkness made us alter our plans just a bit. So instead of biking out to one of Rotorua's hidden lakes, Katie and I contented ourselves to bike around Lake Rotorua at sunset, and treat ourselves to some ice-cream. After such a wet and wild experience Katie and I were excited to set off for our next destination, Dunedin!

I can't wait to tell you all about our time in Dunedin, but the clock is ticking and Katie and I are not going to waste a second of it! Once I'm back in Auckland I will recount the rest of our adventures, (which hopefully encludes some skydiving!) and show you heaps of picture!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Long Time, No Post.

I'm a little ashamed. I've been neglecting you all. I was reminded by my mother that it's been far to long since my last post, and that I should try and update as soon as possible. I'm sorry for not keeping you all better informed, but what can I say, I got a bit distracted.
I think I left you all off with the recount of my whale and dolphin cruse. Well, I've been up to a lot since them climbing volcanoes, learning Cook Island and Samoan Dances, and making a fish hook out of root and bone. I know, I know. I have a tough life.
Last weekend Lynn, Alex, and I decided to go on a short day hike at Rangitoto, an island volcano about a 20 min ferry ride from Auckland. It was pretty cool seeing piles and plies of pumas stones randomly placed all around the island enclosed by forests of large ferns and green bushes.

The hike was not too steep, but we did stop more than once to enjoy the view and catch our breath. Just before the we got to the top, there was a small outlook that looked into the crater of the volcano. Clearly it's been quite sometime since the last eruption, but whose complaining?

Because the entire island is the result of years and years of volcanic activity there were several small caves situated around the island. After walking several feet into one of the cave tunnels, a small part of the cave opened up to the serface shedding some light on the once dark tunnel.

Unfortunately, Keri and Kendal couldn't come with us to the island because their presence was required at a rather inconvenient Biology field trip, but Keri and I did manage to get in some fun on the weekend before she left. Keri is an avid Bollywood fan, and after the first time I saw Bride and Prejudice I have to say I was hooked. Keri and I bonded over our mutual love of sappy and colorful films and went to a screening of It's a Wonderful Afterlife at the Auckland Bollywood film festival. We enjoyed Fro Flows (Mix berry frozen yogart and frozen fruit blended together into something like a soft serve ice-cream cone) as we watched the new film, which was directed by the same directer as Bend it Like Beckham and Bride and Prejudice.

The movie was hysterical! Keri and I spent the whole time laughing, especially when they did spoof of Stephen King's crazed Carrie. Overall, I've been pretty busy with class, and trying to get things ready for mid-semester break that starts up this Friday. I'm going to need to clear some time from my schedule to make sure I clean up my apartment before Katie comes to visit me for break! I can't wait to tell you all about our time together, and all the fun things we're going to do!