Wow. It’s been awhile since I’ve even considered having the time and resources (including energy) to sit down and write another section of this blog. Ever since heading out from Massey in November I’ve been on a continuous journey of fun and randomness that will be hard to recapture in words. I’ve meet hundreds of people, seen thousands of things, and grown in a million different ways as a person. I’ll try to rehash some of each of these in the next week or so as I post a few blogs to sum-up some of my Kiwi Summer experiences.
Also a shoutout to everyone from Chicago and Springstead. It’s inconceivably shaped me into who I am and everyone i know has had a part in that. so thank you guys, and only 4 months unil i get to see you all again!
A Long, Long Time ago…… (sometime in Mid-Novemeber 2012) (A)
The Lochlan festivities had come to an end, after a great 18th birthday party for Angus and about a a week and a half stay by 3 visitors (Jack, Lexi, and myself), it was time to give Bill and Sandra (lochie’s parents) *Insert bill and sandy picture** their house back to non-chaotic order. So Jack jumped on a NakedBus (not actually naked, just what its called for some weird, kiwi reason) to visit a friend in Napier (North Island east coast), Lexi left a few days later back to Palmerston North, and I booked what would be my only paid bus fair for the rest of summer up to Paihia. I didn’t know anyone up there but was recommended to head that way since i was already north and it just made sense.
Paihia was a decent joint. It was more a party city with the majority of activites revolving around drinking that night or expsenive day trips out to kayak and other things. So when i arrived it was like 9 p.m. and just headed into a hostel called Mousetrap. It was a 4 sotry building that was defiantly someones home at some point, because everything was really cozy and what not. I pretty much knocked out right when i got there, and awoke in the morning to a rainstorm. I quickly ran to go get some snacks from a store, walked upstaires to the long with a sheltered balchonly, and found a good book to read. I hadn’t actually read a book since 8th grade for pure pleasue, and I doubt I actually read many between 13 and 19. Anyways I started Bad Luck and Trouble, featuring the character Jack Reacher. I wouldn’t normally mention this, but I was amazed to see it’s been made into a movie and came out a few weeks later. Anyways i got really drawn into it and finsihed the whole thing in the matter of 3 or 4 days.
The next day I went on a hike to some waterfalls near by and saw the orginal place of the Treaty of Whitianga. This was the orginal treaty between the european settlers and the Maori people. There is a lot of contreversey around it since the english and maori versions had some serious translation issues that present issues right to this very day. It includes things like who actually owns the land (and even the wind on recent claims for green energy), how the goverment would work, and settelement rights.
I began my hitchhiking of summer from there. I had a friend Cindy who lived about 40 minutes north of Paihia and I went up to visit her. We took a sweet trip out to the native kauri forests. These trees are reallysacred to the Maoris. The largest native tree in NZ is called Tane Mahuta. It’s estimated to be over 2,500 years old and it is absolutely massive. Tane Mahuta means “lord of the forest” and according to the Maoricreation myth, Tāne is the son of Ranginui the sky father and Papatuanuku the earth mother.
Anyways i headed back down to Auckland on Crate Day. This is seriously a public holiday in NZ where everyone gets their own crate of beer and drink it over the course of the day. I ended up achieving this over the course of 4 rides and the rest of the night. Everyone I got a ride with had a beer with me on the ride down. Oh and on a side note, my Ipod fell out of my pocket during one of these rides, and as a direct testament to how nice and welcoming Kiwis are, he got ahold of me through some things we had talked about and got my address to mail it back to me! I couldn’t of been happier when i got his email about a week later.
In Auckland, I meet up with my friend Lloyd from Massey and went out with him that night and drove back the next day.
We pulled up to Lloyds house in the late afternoon and I swear my jaw dropped. His house is on the highest ground of New Plymouth and has huge glass windows, and a great view over rolling hills. His parents had owned a farm (which is the biggest industry in NZ) and had sold it off and bought this land and built the house brand new. Jack ended up showing up that night from Napier also so it was us three there for a week alone while llyods parents had gone north for his brothers holiday from school.
We spent the next week just doing a ton of adventures and wandering around New Plymouth. Llyod worked everyday from 6 am to 4 pm so Jack and me would workout, rip around the hills on a motorbike and ATV or go meet up with my good friend Anthony from uni. We would walk about 20 minutes into town and just wander around checking everything out. I picked up two more books from a secondhand book store and even talked with a buddist monk about life for 2 hours since it was raining and we had no plans to be anywhere. He had a lot of really cool insights, including how yoga started! We went to the local pool that had a huge diving board and I finally mastered my ganor (back flip while moving forward) off both a small and high dive! I had always been to afraid to just go for it for years and I had just been in such a mode of pushing limits so it was really, really satisfing to finally get over that fear.
So after a week of shananigans, Jack headed up to Mt. Manganui and than to Lochies again to fly back home. He’s back in Arizona now and I’m sure ill be doing a road trip out there at some point next year to visit. Before leaving, I did get to meet Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd and even cooked them Angie Gloria’s famous Vodka Pasta as a thank you for letting me stay there. Ive put a few photos and one really funny one. Jack has been collecting photos for a year that he calls “Ass Pics”. He basically takes photos from behind with hilarious or awesome backrounds and is going to make a calender of them and send them to his friends.
Palmerston North (E)
I headed back down to Palmy to collect my Ipod and i figured that i would go there for a day or two to sort out where I was heading next. When I got there, I ended up staying at my friend Lauren’s house. She wasn’t actually there yet but all of her flatmates and around 10 other people were there for a friends 21st birthday party. I got there around midnight and meet everyone when they stumbled back from town and had some pretty hilarious conversations. We all ended up just having a cool weekend where we invented the game of Crolleyball. The best I can describe it as is a mixture of cricket, dodgeball, and volleyball. The rules were pretty much made up as we went along. You operated within a small rectangular field in teams of two when batting, in which you than hit the ‘bowled’ soccer ball. You than had to run while everyone in the outfield volleyed the ball until finally trying to hit them and get them out.
we also headed to the Manawatu Gorge to swim in the river. We drifted quickly with the stream and buried Lauren’s flatmate Suveen in rocks with a hilarious breakout video (ask me to see it or its on my facebook).
I had really gotten along Phil, a mate of Suveens, that weekend and he invited me to come down and check out Wellington. It was a gorgeous two days out and we went down to the main wharf and check out the city. Wellington is the capital of New Zealand and has a lot of amazing little suburbs in all the coves at the bottom of the North Island. The main wharf has a lot of awesome stuff around like public beanbag chairs, crokay, and ziplines! Seriously the playgrounds here don’t even care about making these playgrounds over safe. They have ziplines, higher climbs, and even bmx trails.
We even went swimming just a block from the main bit of town. There were hundreds of Jellyfish in the water but they didnt sting you. It was really creepy to swim in though since you’d unexpectingly hit a squishy blob. :p
Palmerston again and out to Clevedon (G)
After 2 days around Wellington, i headed back up to meet up with my friend Dan. I’m not sure if i’ve mentioned him before but he lived in the middle of Palmerston North in one of the coolest flats i had been in. It was absolutely massive and went over 4 stores in the square with only him and two other mates, Rich & Shroom (nicknamed that since he never left his room). They all play in a band together and are just really intresting people who know alot about movies, music, art, and just everything you can imagine. Anyways this was Nostradamus’ prediction for the end of the world and he had a buddy throwing a party since if the world is going to end, I better enjoy the last few hours!
The people lived in a little town about an hour outside of town. The main peoples house was really random and had a lot going on. They had huge paper mache animals for floats/parades. One of the really cool things they had was this van with a big map of the world on on side. They then had all the lines of where they had driven which started in Scotland and ended in New Zealand. Random little tidbit but it was just really cool to me.
After some relaxing we than had the biggest fire i have ever seen. There had to be nearly 30 full sized trees in there and even more random bits from all around. If the world wasn’t already going to end that night, we had defiantly made it a possibility.
Well I’ll be posting the next bit very soon so defiantly check back whenever you have to kill a few hours at work or get snowed in!