Hello all! As you can see from the title, this may not be the most exciting blog post. My time in New Zealand is drawing to a close and I’ve seen nearly everything this spectacular country has to offer. I’m into my final month here and don’t have too many more exciting things planned. Since the South Island, I’ve just been enjoying my life at home on the farm and will continue to do so for the next few weeks. That being said, I have done some interesting things and thought a blog post may be in order.
They say when it rains it pours, and the last few days have proved that true. In 24 hours: things ended with a guy I’d been seeing while here, I proceeded to back into a post with my car while leaving said guy’s house, and then the next morning fell face first down the stone steps to our house and banged myself up pretty badly. Oh, and last week while driving home from a frustrating passport renewal appointment at the US Embassy, my car headlights went out thus stranding me and Line until we had to drive the two hours home with the high beams on. And just before that I woke up to a bug bite outbreak all over my body. Plus I’m coming down hard with a head cold. You win some and you lose some they say, and I’m ready to start winning again! I could get all philosophical and tell you about how I’m growing and learning from these experiences and I have. But right now a lot of it just sucks- and that’s life. Onto happier tales!
So the “Biggest Agricultural Show in the Southern Hemisphere” takes place just outside of where I live and it’s the main event for farmers each year. I’ve been told it’s better than Christmas for them. I went with my host family in the morning and they took me around all the booths and tractor demos and explained everything to me. It was overwhelmingly massive. So many machines and stalls and food and clothes wherever you turned. Later I met up will all my friends who work on our farm and watched the tractor pull competition (exactly what it sounds like: different tractors seeing how far they can pull different weights) from the bar which was much more up my alley. I find tractors infinitely more interesting with a beer in hand. Field Day was really enjoyable to see and experience but I probably don’t need to go again. I think I’m all tractored out.
Waitomo Glow Worm Caves
One of the top things to do in New Zealand is to visit the glow worm caves about twenty minutes from where I live. I had been saving this experience for a rainy day and put it off for far too long. Finally my friend Jenna suggested we do it, and it was quite the experience. We booked in to do the black water cave rafting trip in which you also see the glow worms. Adrenalin mixed with beauty was exactly what we were going for. It has been pretty rainy here the past week and the cave that the company we went with usually uses to raft was flooded. So they offered to upgrade us to the “cave adventure package” and we said yes. We didn’t really know what we were getting into and it turns out we were about to abseil and rock climb up and down cave waterfalls. That part of the trip was amazing. What was maybe not so amazing is that it turns out I am really clusterphobic. We had to squeeze and army crawl our way through very tight rock passages and my heart rate stayed elevated the whole time so I was fairly miserable during those parts. Seeing the glow worms and doing the climbing was so awesome though and now I know I probably should go in a cave with tight passages again.
It was my wonderful friend Line’s 20th birthday so while we went out for dinner on the date, the following Saturday we went to see the Hamilton Operatic Society present Les Miserables. I won’t lie, I had low expectations going into this. I mean it was a local production in rural New Zealand. I was pleasantly surprised though as the cast was stunning with beautiful voices and the small theatre venue made it all the more enjoyable. It was a nice night out with my au pair friends and good music to boot!
C and D are just as cute (and noisy) as ever. It’s getting to be winter here, which in the Waikato means rain and wind. It’s tricky to find things for little boys to do in this weather. We have popped on our rain gear a few times and had some epic muddle farm-walks that resulted in very necessary baths when we got home. Yesterday was a rare nice sunny day and we spent all afternoon at the playground and later the library. It’s going to be so difficult to leave these two at the end of July and I’m avoiding thinking about it.
As I said, there’s not too much planned in terms of big epic trips coming up. Winter is here so most of my days are spent trying to keep our house fire going and staying warm inside. I try to see my au pair friends as much as possible because I’m going to miss them a lot. This has resulted in lots of shopping trips and lunches out, and money spent. Oops. I finish work on July 28 and I’m going to fly to Australia after that. My best friend Heidi is meeting me in Sydney and we’re doing a two week road trip up the east coast. Then on August 19th, after 30 hours of traveling, I finally arrive home in Rochester! But before that all happens I’ve got a couple things planned in the country that I’ve come to call home. Another trip to my favourite city Wellington, an au pair ski weekend, and of course the dreaded two weeks of school holidays happen before I leave . Until next time xoxo Travel Girl (I started binge watching Gossip Girl again if you couldn’t tell).