A Travellerspoint blog

A honeymoon, engagement and wedding (in that order!)

10 days in Hawaii and Vegas Baby!

sunny 42 °C

It’s been a long time since I last wrote a blog and quite a lot has happened since!

The end of June saw Gerald and I celebrating our 6th anniversary since meeting and one way or another this ending up with Gerald suggesting we head to Vegas to get married by Elvis! Within the next 48 hours we had booked flights, accommodation, the wedding chapel and applied for our marriage license! By mid July we were on a plane to Honolulu for a five day stay in Waikiki.

We stayed in a lovely place called Hotel Renew – a small boutique hotel just a block back from the beach. Our room was lovely with a great view of the ocean. We managed to check in early and so headed straight for the beach, when we arrived back there was a bottle of champagne in the room to congratulate us on our forthcoming marriage!

On our second day we had a 2pm appointment at Tiffany’s to choose an engagement and wedding rings. We decided to do a geocache on the way, maybe not the best idea as it was ridiculously warm and we arrived at Tiffany’s looking a little hot and sweaty!!! We were greeted by big bouncers at the door and then seated in large velvet chairs. Akiko and Tracy welcomed us before putting on little white gloves and then presenting us with a large black box that opened up to reveal 3 very sparkly diamond rings! After trying each one on several times the decision was made. Next the wedding rings were brought out – again in a big black box, handed over by white-gloved hands! An hour or so later rings had been chosen, paperwork was filled out and we were assured the rings would be re-sized and ready before we left for Vegas.
That night there were free cocktails in our hotel lobby so we had a drink before heading out to a delicious dinner at Duke’s and followed up with a night browsing the shops.

Day three was another beach day, in the evening we hired a little MX5 and headed to the outlet stores for a few hours. The traffic heading out of Waikiki was ridiculous and we crawled along the huge multi-laned highway for miles and miles. Thank goodness that we did actually come home with lots of purchases!

The next day we were up very early to drive to the North Shore of Oahu for our microlight lesson at Paradise Air. We spent a little over half an hour flying over the coastline of the North Shore watching turtles swimming in the turquoise waters below.
Apart from the take off and landing Gerald and I both controlled our own microlights. It was a really great experience and a fantastic way to see the island. The flight was all over by about 8.30am and we spent the rest of the day exploring the North Shore beaches. The first stop was at Lanikea Beach famous for it’s resident turtles. Everywhere you looked you could see turtles popping their heads up and swimming around and every so often a few would come up on to the beach.
We made a few other stops – the longest one at Sunset Beach where we did a spot of swimming and sunbathing.
When we finally got home (after getting a little lost in the city!) we returned the car and headed off for another delicious meal at The Cheesecake Factory.

Day five found us making our way to Tiffany’s to collect our rings – Tracy was very excited to see us and we were trying to figure out if she is a very good actress or just a complete and utter hopeless romantic that just loves to help couples find that perfect ring!!! Either way she made us feel very special as we walked away with our little blue Tiffany bag. We spent the rest of the day at the beach watching the surfers and soaking up the sun.
Whilst I was getting ready for dinner Gerald snuck my ring out its box and retied the box so I wouldn’t know he had it. We went off for an early dinner and as we headed to a bar on the beach the sun was setting and Gerald suggested we go down the beach to watch. The next minute he was down on one knee and produced the ring out of his pocket! Of course I said yes!!!
We then made our way slowly up the road for our tattoo appointment. We had made an appointment earlier in the week at Skin Deep Tattoo to get matching tattoos to mark the occasion of getting married. We thought xo xo (kisses and hugs) was fitting for the situation! I think the prep took longer than the actual tattoos did. We left bandaged up looking like we had attempted a double suicide!

Our last day gave us just enough time to visit the beach for a couple of hours before heading back to pack and make our way to the airport. With the time difference we eventually landed in Vegas just before midnight. We arrived at our hotel, the Mandarin Oriental, not long after midnight. We took our time exploring all the things our suite had to offer – great views of the strip, remote controlled lights and curtains, TV’s in every room including the bathroom! A fully stocked bar, walk in wardrobe and the biggest bath you could imagine!
The bell boys sent up a bottle of wine to say congratulations and then five minutes later the doorbell went again and reception had sent up a bottle of champagne too.

The next morning after eating breakfast in the strip we headed to the County Clark office to collect our marriage license. The rest of the day was spent at the pool to try and avoid the fact that temperatures were in the 40s.
We had a lovely dinner in Wolfgang Puck, watched the fountains at the Bellagio, had drinks in one of the bars at the Cosmopolitan hotel and ended the night with a drink in the sky bar at our hotel.

More outlet shopping the next day before heading off for our dinner theatre package. We had dinner at Planet Hollywood and then watched an incredible show ‘Absinthe’ at Caesar’s Palace. The show was a mix of comedy, burlesque and daring acrobatics. All the acts were amazingly talented and had you holding your breath as you watched.
Whilst we were in the show our friends had arrived from the UK so we went and met up with them and headed off for some food and drinks before watching the Bellagio fountains (can’t get enough of them!).
The others were tired after their travels so we called it a night sometime in the early hours.

Wednesday was wedding day! All six of us met up for breakfast at Denny’s. We then headed back to our own hotels for a little bit of pool time as it was ridiculously hot again. I went to get my hair and makeup done at the hotel spa & salon. When I got back to the room yet more champagne was sent to the room compliments of the house! Gerald and I got ready and then the others arrived for a quick drink in the sky bar before having to head off.
We got the call from the limo driver to say to meet him downstairs and we all piled into the back of the stretch limo singing to Elvis songs as we made our way to Graceland Chapel.
When we arrived Gerald and I had a little bit of paper work to do, we then had to meet with Pastor Jean Claude who officially married us before having our Elvis ceremony.
I was walked down the aisle by Elvis singing ‘I can’t help falling in love with you’
We then said our ‘Elvis vows’ amongst much laughter, singing and dancing.
Gerald and I grinned the entire time and can safely say we will never forget the experience! Lots of photos were taken afterwards and then we climbed back in the limo to return to the strip.
We had our wedding meal in ‘She’ a new restaurant nearby to our hotel. The food was divine, steak that could almost be cut with your fork. They also provided entertainment in the form of show girls wandering around whilst you eat!
After dinner we took some photos by the Bellagio fountains before heading back to our suite for the wedding cake and to watch the DVD of the ceremony.

Thursday was our last full day, we met the others for breakfast and then organized a trip to shoot guns! All the boys had shot guns before but all three of us girls had never even held a gun so we were pretty nervous. The boys went a bit more hardcore shooting much bigger more powerful guns. We stuck to the pistols and rifles. We ended up being pretty good though and we absolutely loved it!
That night we had a meal at the burger place in the Mirage before heading off to watch Cirque de Soleil’s Beatles Love.
It was a very surreal show with so many different things going on at once you didn’t quite know where to look! It was very entertaining and the music, of course, was great! After a couple of drinks it was time to head back to our hotels as we had to be up early in the morning to fly home. An amazing 10 days in the States!

Before we knew it we were back home, back to work, back to reality….The whole trip was amazing we did pretty much everything that we had wanted to do and loved every minute!

Posted by bumblebum 01:43 Archived in USA Comments (5)

Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

Scuba diving, horse riding, blue holes, beautiful beaches and luxury camping.

semi-overcast 29 °C

We left Tanna Lodge late afternoon and arrived in Port Vila early evening after a 40 minute flight. We stayed just a short drive from the town in a cute place called Vila Chaumieres. Our room was a little more western than our Tanna home, set in well maintained grounds full of tropical trees and plants in bloom. We ate in their restaurant the first night which entertained us as it was set overhanging the river which had been lit up. Down below were hundreds of fish, crabs and starfish all moving around making the most of all the flies and insects attracted by the lights.

The next day was full of heavy, tropical showers. We headed into town to see what was there and soon felt that we had made the right choice in staying in Vila for only one day. The town is compact and mostly full of tacky souvenir shops ready to sell their overpriced items to people off the cruise liners. We didn’t witness any of the friendly happiness we saw all around us in Tanna. We did however catch up with neighbours of ours who had moved there, due to work, in the New Year. They seem to be settling well and are making the most of island life. Once we got back to the room we headed next door for dinner at Tropicana Lagoon in between ridiculously heavy rain showers. The food was absolutely divine and we were wishing we had discovered it the night before!

Our taxi driver woke us at some ridiculous hour of the morning for our flight to our third and final island, Espiritu Santo. We were met by Shane who is running Barrier Beach House which was to be our home for the next 5 nights. Barrier Beach is gorgeous. Shane and Shendel who run it are the perfect hosts. They are helpful, friendly and totally make you feel at home. The 3 fares (beachside accommodation) are beautiful, clean and spacious and the beach has some great snorkelling off it.
After dumping our bags we headed to the beach to relax and read. Later in the day we went for a walk at low tide, lots of coral reefs were right at the waters edge and you could see hundreds of tiny fish darting in and out of the coral. We saw fish, starfish and even a 2ft long banded sea snake.
After our walk we decided to be even more energetic and took the kayak out for 45 minutes or so. By the time we got back all the other guests had arrived back from their days’ diving so we had drinks, played scrabble and swapped travel stories.

The following day we hired Shane and Shen’s spare car and drove up the East Coast. Our first stop was Champagne Beach. It cost 2000V to enter (approx $25NZD) as it is such a pretty spot. Unfortunately as we got there it decided to pour down so we really didn’t see it at its’ best. We had also gone there to find one of the 3 geocaches that are hidden on Santo. Having the entire beach to ourselves meant that we could really have a good hunt around but we still came up empty handed.
We decided to continue onwards to Port Olry. By the time we got there the sun was in full force and the sea was looking very enticing. While we were eating lunch we could see a turtle swimming along and coming up for air every so often. As soon as we had eaten we headed into the water for a bit of snorkelling and ended up staying far longer than originally planned.
Once we got back on the road we decided our final stop for the day would have to be Velit Bay. The place is very beautiful and, just like everywhere else we have been, quiet and pretty deserted. We sat watching the beginning of a sunset and what looked like another rain storm heading our way as we ate banana cake and ice cream.
As we had the car we headed into Luganville Town for dinner. On the way home we were surprised to have a barn owl fly straight across the road just feet in front of us. Shame I didn’t have a camera as it looked amazing in the car headlights.

Day 3 at Barrier Beach was a lazy one, mostly consisting of laying in the sun on the beach reading and snorkelling the reef. In the afternoon Shane gave us a life into town to book some diving. We had to pass 2 geocache sites on the way there so we told Shane all about it and he said he would like to help us find them. The first one was another fail but after a long search I found the second one. It had nicely adapted to it’s surrounding area making it very hard to spot!

Another early start the next day for our diving trip. The first dive was on SS Coolidge, a 200m cruise liner converted into a war ship that unfortunately sank just off shore when it hit a mine. We only covered about a third of the ship on our dive. We got to see guns, ammo, helmets, boots and even some of the bathrooms still intact with their wash basins and tiles! Obviously there is plenty of life down there too and we got to meet Nessie the long term resident Moray eel. This was my deepest dive to date at 33m.
In between dives we had a good chat with our dive guide and enjoyed the sunshine. Before long we were back in the water. This time for a reef dive at a site called Cindy’s. Here we saw loads of brightly coloured fish, huge starfish, sea slugs, nudibranches and I spotted a lion fish hiding in some coral. Cindy’s is supposed to be home to turtles and leopard sharks but unfortunately we didn’t see either.

We hired the car again the next day to go and find some of the blue holes that are so famous in Vanuatu. The first hole we went to was Matevulu. When you see it for the first time it really does make you go ‘Wow!’ The water is the richest, deepest blue you can imagine. Apparently the limestone in the ground is what causes the colour. Gerald was brave enough to get in, I got in to my shins and felt how cold it was so thought I would stop there!
We then went to Nanda’s blue hole. Again you couldn’t help but be impressed by the water. Nanda’s hole has a lot more fish living in it and despite the water being very deep you can see all the way to the bottom as the water is crystal clear. This time I got my courage up and decided I really should try the water. After a good few minutes on the edge I finally jumped in. It was ‘refreshing’ and I didn’t manage long in there!
The afternoon was spent exploring the rock pools near Barrier Beach. We spent ages watching an octopus hunt for food, he was changing colour every time he moved to a new spot. It was fascinating watching him move around!

The next day was our final destination change, we moved just a couple of km’s down the road to Hidden Cove Eco Resort. The place is a resort for two! It is a HUGE luxury tent on the water front with French style furnishings inside such as a four poster bed. It has everything you could want – a bathroom with double shower and a bath for two, a BBQ and a kitchen with everything you need if you wish to self cater, bikes if you want to go exploring, a plunge pool, TV with enormous DVD collection, books galore and more.
We took the bikes out and visited Lope Lope for lunch and in the evening Sue, the owner, drove us to Turtle Bay for dinner, both of which were very nice.
The next day Sue arranged for me to go horseriding at Lope Lope. I spent an hour or so on Velvet riding through green pastures, past blue holes, through jungle and finally heading back to the ranch through the turquoise waters of the sea.
The rest of the day was spent relaxing by the pool and paddling in the sea. That night Sue cooked us a delicious three course meal and served it to us at our candlelit table by the pool. A very nice way to spend the evening.

Yesterday Sue drove us into town to get some meat so we could have a BBQ for dinner. Apart from that we did very little, just relaxed by the pool, read our books and enjoyed the views.

Today is our last full day as we fly out early in the morning. We are planning on another totally relaxing day today….Vanuatu it has been a pleasure!

Posted by bumblebum 22:16 Archived in Vanuatu Comments (0)

The magnificent Mt Yasur

Tanna, Vanuatu

sunny 28 °C

We arrived at Port Vila International airport and had to make the short walk to the domestic terminal. We followed signs for the luggage drop off. This led us to a deserted and dimly lit area with nobody in sight. After a minute or so a man appeared and said he would take our cases so we left them, somewhat dubiously, with him assuring us that they would make it onto our flight. Amazingly when we arrived at the very cute airport in Tanna our bags had indeed come with us and were presented to us through a big hole in the wall! With only 16 passengers on the plane (that sat about 40) who needs a conveyor belt!? We were relieved that the flight was only 40 minutes long as the plane smelt pretty badly of stale urine, a smell that hit you as soon as you got on board and didn’t really go away the whole flight!

I think the word ‘rustic’ sums up Tanna pretty well. The roads are almost all dirt tracks and most journeys are a bumpy ride to say the least. We arrived at our accommodation ‘Tanna Lodge’ to find out we had been given an upgrade to their best room as they were so quiet. This was a real bonus as we had paid for a room costing 17,250V (approx $230NZ a night) and ended up with a room worth 26,250V (approx $350NZ a night). Now you might be thinking that we are staying in some high end, luxurious hotel – we are not! The place is lovely by Tanna standards but as I said Tanna is rustic. Tanna Lodge is very cute and we are happy here but the same money in most other parts of the world would get you way more. Vanuatu is known to be a very expensive country and Tanna being one of the ‘outer islands’ is even more so. The one thing I will say is the staff are fantastic. They are happy and friendly and cannot do enough for you. We would recommend a stay here but you must leave your western ideals behind! Saying that though, we do have everything we need, hot water, en suite bathroom with his and hers sinks, outdoor private shower, a fridge, kettle, fan and electricity 24/7. This is most certainly NOT the case in the majority of Tanna establishments.

After a delicious tropical breakfast the next morning we decided to explore the area a little and headed off for a walk around the neighbourhood. After 2 hours of walking we were only passed by 3 trucks and saw one family heading off with rods to catch that night’s dinner. The only other things we saw were cute birds and colourful lizards.
Two hours walking was about enough as the humidity here is just ridiculous! As soon as you step outside you start to sweat and I have given up on trying to keep my hair in check. I very much resemble Monica from the episode in Friends where she goes to Barbados. It has gone FRIZZY beyond belief!!!

When we got back we had a bite to eat and started to get ready for the main reason we came to Vanuatu – Mt Yasur Volcano. We jumped into a jeep and drove for almost 2 hours to get to Mt Yasur over the, previously mentioned, bumpy roads! Stella, at Tanna Lodge, had kindly given us cushions for the journey and I was quite glad to have mine! As we neared the volcano the roads, and all the surrounding foliage (mostly ferns), became completely covered in dark ash. Before long there was no plant life at all just an alien looking landscape made of ash that went on and on. We got our first proper look at Mt Yasur spurting out huge clouds of black smoke into the air.
We continued around the base of the volcano until we reached the car park and the path leading up to the crater. The path up was short but very steep and we arrived at the top a little out of breath and slightly wet as it had begun to rain. Within minutes we were pretty much soaked to the skin as the heavens opened.
We could wring our clothes out and our feet were squelching in our trainers but we didn’t care one bit as we stood there and watched the best firework display you could ever possibly imagine. As the vents expel their gases the boom vibrates under your feet and through your body. Huge chunks of red molten magma fly hundreds of feet into the air and you can feel the heat as they cascade down and land with a huge thud. The experience really is so hard to put into words. We stood and watched the volcano spurt out the bright orange chunks anywhere from 20 seconds to 3 minutes apart never failing to be impressed. As the day turned into night the show just got more and more impressive against the black sky.
Apparently we were getting a ‘stage 3’ display, our guide kept trying to get us to leave as by ‘stage 4’ they do not allow anyone up the volcano, or so he said. Of course we persuaded him to stay until a huge chunk of lava (about the size of a suitcase) landed about 40m or so away from us. After that we took a few more photos before embarking upon the bumpy ride home. The journey home was another show by Mother Nature, 2 hours of fork lightning. As we ate dinner heavy rain arrived at the lodge. Somehow it had made its way through the mosquito netting of the room and soaked our bed. Stella quickly had us settled in another room for the night – thank goodness they weren’t fully booked!

The next day we decided to walk to the local market. Stella told us she thought it would be a 10 minute walk, 20 at the most. Forty minutes later we finally arrived looking rather hot and sweaty! We wandered around the stalls of fruit and veg mostly minded by women with their young children in tow.
It reminded us of our South East Asia trip when we saw children probably no older than 2 grasping hold of 6 inch knives with rusty blades. Health and Safety – what’s that?!? I couldn’t resist taking a sneaky shot of one little baby waving their knife around happily.
After a wander round we headed back home. All aong the way the locals were waving and saying hello to us. At one point we caught up with a group of very young children heading home from school. They were very excited to say hello to us and even more excited when I showed them photos I had taken of them!

When we got back to the lodge we were chatting about how amazing the volcano had been and began to wonder if we should do it all over again. At that moment Stella headed over and, upon mentioning our thoughts to her, proceeded to tell us that if we went again the trip would be half price! That was it, our minds were made up. So a second night was spent on top of Mt Yasur and fortunately this time we did not get soaking wet. Once again it put on a magnificent show and we left slightly reluctantly knowing this time really would be the last time.

We woke to another sunny day with blue skies and after breakfast headed to relax and read around the pool. After lunch we had a wander along the black sand beach throwing stones for the lodge’s dog to chase after and checking out the coral that the tide washes up each day. By mid afternoon it started to cloud over so we decided to ask if we could hire a quad bike for an hour or two. Before we arrived we had downloaded all the geocaches hidden on Vanuatu. There are only 2 traditional ones on Tanna and so we decided to go and find the closest one. We made the 15km trip to the hiding place and all along the locals were shouting hello and waving. Groups of small children heading home from school wanted to high 5 us as we sped past! We arrived at the hiding place covered in mud splatters from the huge puddles in the pot hole laden roads to be greeted by Tom, the land owner. He knew all about the cache so he watched us as we waited for the GPS to settle down and when we figured out where it was he kindly took rocks off the wall to make it easier for me to climb over! The cache was soon in hand and the log signed. We headed back home with a quick stop at the airport to say goodbye to Fred and Barbara. They had been staying at Tanna Lodge and came on the volcano trip with us both nights so after 8 hours of car rides we had swapped a fair few travel stories!

Our last day on Tanna started off with a few showers but turned into a beautiful day. We had been telling the owners about our geocaching adventure and how it all works. By the end of the conversation they said they would love to be a cache guardian for us and so our final day was spent exploring the nearby beaches and caves for a suitable location with their son Jed. Some time later we returned, cache hidden away in a cave waiting for it’s first finder. I wonder how long that will be?

Posted by bumblebum 03:15 Archived in Vanuatu Comments (1)

Another busy month

The Stone Roses, Ed Sheeran, Basement Theatre, Elvis and Geocaching....

sunny 26 °C

Another month of busy times has passed....

We have had a couple of trips to the theatre - our favourite Auckland venue, The Basement. As part of the Auckland Fringe Festival there have been more shows than ever on at the Basement. We opted for The Celery Stories. It was an amazing night set in Myers Park. We were given a meeting place and a time and then we were led, mostly by the pied piper, through the park where at each and every turn there was a story book character waiting to tell their story. As we entered the park there were HUGE animated trolls projected onto the trees roaring and grunting. As we continued we met a drunken rapunzel up a tree, a naked emperor in his 'new clothes' (yes we got to see EVERYTHING!), a very scary witch who told me "You have lovely hair my pretty, I am going to cut it off while you sleep and keep it!" all the while she was stroking it! We also got to meet red riding hood, the little mermaid and the princess and the pea. The show ended with Sleeping Beauty getting awoken by the prince and us all getting to dance at the ball under a snow machine before having to run 'home' because the clock was striking midnight. 'Home' was back at The Basement where, to enter, we had to go through The Castle (a bouncy one!) to get to the bar! A thoroughly entertaining night and very reminiscent of our Secret Cinema adventures in London.

We managed to nab ourselves two free tickets to another show the following weekend - this time 'A Night to Dismember'- a hilarious one man show which is just to weird to explain but had all the audience laughing throughout. It won't be long before we head back to The Basement, great entertainment at a great price.

We spent another sunny Sunday with the Hills at Elvis in the Gardens. Another chance to sit in a pretty park and listen to a variety of Elvises whilst we catch up on all the gossip!

We caught up Cheryl and Darren again a couple of days later when we headed to Vector Arena to see The Stone Roses.
We had a brilliant night singing and dancing to some old tunes.

The end of Feb marked our first year in our house and 18 months in the country - wow that time has gone quickly!

This week we caught up with our kittens foster mum Nicola for a nice meal in Mission Bay. We had another trip to Vector (Gerald's fourth as he went to see Linkin Park and Offspring without me) to see Ed Sheeran. He was brilliant! We put on a great show and clearly enjoyed playing to such a big crowd. He was telling us that when he started the tour it was to a crowd of 60 in Birmingham - 15 months later he has his finale in Auckland to a crowd of 12,000!

The weather has continued to be amazing.
So today we decided to combine a nice walk with some geocaching. We knew there was a series of 14 caches hidden on the North Shore so we headed there after lunch and spent about 3 hours tramping through three separate reserves to find them. The trails took us along cliff side tops with views of the city
and through beautiful, shady forests and sunlit dappled roads.
It was pretty hard going in places as there were some super steep paths but it was a very enjoyable walk with some great views to keep us occupied and we found all fourteen caches so went home happily.

Posted by bumblebum 21:12 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

A busy few weeks

Cliff walks, cinema visits, craft fairs, city buskers, caching and more!

sunny 27 °C

So what have we been up to in the last month.....? Lots!

We spent a sunny Saturday exploring Long Bay Reserve on Auckland's North Shore. We had been to the beach at Long Bay before but had since discovered that there was a cliff top walk and decided to check it out. The views were amazing along the walk and the fact there were about 16 geocaches along the path gave us an addded incentive. We found all the caches hidden along the track and a few unexpected things too - like a nudist beach with several men showing off their wares!!!!

We have had a couple of trips to the cinema - Life of Pi in 3D which was just magical and Sevon Psychopaths - a dark comedy, which had us laughing throughout - although I am sure it is not everybody's cup of tea.

Auckland's anniversary day meant there was lots going on in and around the city. We started off the day at Mission Bay for an Arts and Craft event. There were about 200 stalls by the beach with some lovely stuff for sale. Whilst we were there, there was an air show over Auckland so we got to see lots of formation flying and stunts.
Next we headed into the city centre as we had heard that there was a Buskers Festival. We had an enjoyable afternoon watching a very funny girl do a hula hooping routine with lots of audience participation. She was hilarious and her hat was stuffed with money at the end of her session.
Afterwards we watched a talented juggler - his finale was to throw a bowling ball up into the air and catch it on the bridge of his nose!
We finished the day with a wander around the viaduct, watching the dragon boat racing.

I have now been back at school for 3 weeks - this is my first ever 12 week term. The saving grace is that we get a long Easter Weekend break in the middle of it and that Gerald and I have booked a holiday to Vanuatu when I finally break up for the school hols!

After just a week back at school we did have a Wednesday off for Waitangi Day - we made the most of what Auckland was offering by heading West for a free Sola Rosa & Tahuna Breaks gigs in the park. The weather was just perfect and we caught up with Gerald's cousin Tim whilst we were there as he lives close by. Gerald and I also ended up getting filmed for a bit of research on backpacking. The bloke who was involved in the film Sione's Wedding is now making a new film based on a backpacking theme and they are looking for stories to inspire them. If they like your story and use it in the film you get credited at the end and get a free copy of the film. Gerald and I spent a good while sharing some of our more memorable events from our big trip around South East Asia!

This weekend we had a trip to the theatre on saturday night. We went to see one of the Auckland Fringe Festival acts that are on over the next month or so. We saw Vivacious Vaudeville - a night of comedy in the form of singing, magic and burlesque. It was a very amusing night!

On Sunday we got the ferry over to Motuihe Island. The day started fantastically as not one but two pods of Orcas popped up by the boat. Unfortunately by the time I got my camera out and turned on they were too far away to get a decent photo. We arrived at the island soon after 10am and headed straight off to find the four geocaches hidden on the island. We had all four of them within 2 hours and by that time the sun was starting to come out in full force. We headed to the beach for lunch and spent the rest of the day admiring the views and soaking up the sun rays. The island is a little more developed than nearby Rangitoto and you can camp there over night. It has proper toilets and showers and it even has a little shop selling ice creams! Ocean Beach seems very popular - many people anchored their boats just offshore and swam, kayaked or jet boated to shore.

That pretty much gets up up to date.....

Posted by bumblebum 20:18 Archived in New Zealand Comments (2)

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