All entries for April 2007
April 25, 2007
You’ll all be pleased to know that I am currently sober and so this blog may have a little more content! Im having a ‘sweet as’ time in the most beautiful country ever. I’ll start from the beginning.
Having spent a night in Christchurch we hopped on the bus the next morning bright and early and travelled to Kaikoura, which is apparently the best place in NZ to see whales and dolphins. Excellent, thought Dave and I as we eagerly signed up for both activities. However, before we even got to the hostel the bloody whale watch was cancelled due to ‘south westerly bad weather’!Whose ever heard of a bloody giant mammal being put off by a spot of rain!So we sulked in the hostel for the rest of the day and eagerly awaited our dolphin swim, which I forgot to mention was due to start at 5.45 the next morning. Having dragged our sorry arses out of bed we arrived at the centre and got all togged up in the most attractive looking full-body wet suit attire, including hood!I looked like a giant black condom, for want of a better description…not that I know what a giant black condom looks like mum and dad, I can only imagine! Anyhoo, we were half way through the safety video when some chump walks in and says that theres a ‘south westerly’ coming in and the trip would unfortunately have to be cancelled. Dave and I were not amused, and if I ever meet this south westerly chap I shall thump him on the nose for ruining our trip to Kaikoura!
The next stop was Abel Tasman national park. The weather was absolutle stunning and really heightedned the already beautiful scenery. We stayed at a random little place called Old Macdonalds Farm, which was great apart from the mouse that lived in the toaster (discovered after having eaten toast) and the scary lamas that lived in the field next to our hut. They have very scary eyes. The first day we were there Dave went off to do his sky dive and I didnt because Im not a psycho. I met two lovely girls from England and we went off to trek round the coastal track of the park. It was a great day; the scenery was beautiful, the beaches were glorious and it was great to get to know Laura and Beth. We trekked for a good 5 hours and I felt very smug and healthy when I got back. Thankfully Dave survived his jump and said it was the most awesome thing he’s ever done. I still think he’s a psycho. The second day at Abel Tasman we went on a day cruise much further up the coast. Again the weather was splendid and we met some lovely peolpe and topped up the tan (which is fading rapidly). I managed to not get sea sick and Dav decided it would be a great idea to go for a swim in the sea. Ive never seen anyone swim so bloody fast – it was a tad colder than Samoa. Apparently, his balls shrank so much they inverted themselves! What a chump!
The next day we jumped on the bus and headed to the infamous Barry-no-town!As I said in my last drunken blog, its a funny little place. I spoke to mum this morning, and she said how worried you’d all been about us crossdressing and then hitting the town in red-neck-ville!.....Dave and I found this rather amusing! Its a barrytown tradition for all bus tour backpackers to crossdress, and we didnt leave the confines of the pub, so didnt offend any locals. Infact some of the locals came in to have a laugh at us all, especially Dave. We were on top form and managed to consume lots of wine and shots. unfortunately Daves shot bounced, but it was a tactical vom, and he was back wirth a vengeance afterwards. The night culminated in the most spectacular fashion with Dave falling off his stilettos and into the fire place. I didnt actuall see the fall itself, but was there to offer my expert medical knowledge back in the dorm…..I decided that savlon was the way forward….never trust a drunk medical student. Needless to say he was in quite a lot of pain the next morning having sustained three very impressive burns – one to his thumb, one to his elbom and one to his upper arm. he also thinks he may have bruisaed a few ribs. Drunken monkey!
We all very gingerly made our way onto the bus the following morning and fought off the urge to chunder for most of the day. I even managed to do some bone carning the next morning, much to the admiration of my compadres!I regretted it slightly, as the smell of hot bone smells kinda like the time I had to cut a cadavers skull off with a circular saw….vom-tastic!
We headed off to Franz Josef next, and the next day we all booked on to do hike the Franz Josef glazier. This was one of the most amazing experiences of my life!It was absolutel stunning. We all opted to do the full day hike which means we were walking from about 10am to 5pm and clocked up about 10km all together. The first hour was absolutely excruciating. Having gone in the slow unfit group i thought Id be Ok. Oh, how wrong I was. My lungs packed up on me completely as I huffed and puffed up all the chuffin ice steps that seemed to get steeper and steeper. However, once we got a bit higher, it was lots more fun and we got to do exciting things like squeezing through crevices (or crev-asses as our guide pronounced it, bloody kiwis) and jumping over big cracks in the ice and even climbing through ice caves. It really was awesome! Got back to the hostel and got pissed again, just incase I wasnt dehydrated enough from the hike!
Once again, the bus was very quiet again the next morning and we continued on to Makarora (or Macarena, as we renamed it). This place was even smaller than Barrytown, but the accomodation was stunning. The pub server fab food and had a karaoke tradition for us backpackers, with a chance to win some adventure bungy – highwire-psychopath activity malarkee. Dave was therefore up there pelting out such hits as ‘eternal flame’, ‘Youre the one that I want’ duetting with the bus driver, and Tracy Chapmans ‘fast car’ with the changing of lyrics to ‘fast bus’. I swear, the boy gets funnier by the day!
Today we travelled through the most spectacular scenery yet, through lake Wanaka, and on upto Queenstown. Ive just had a ferg burger, and now have a food baby. Ive never been so full in my life!
Anyway guys, best head off an get to the bar, peolpe will be worried!
Hope youre all ok. Im SOOOOOO missing everyone. Love you all loads and loads xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
April 21, 2007
Hello my beauties!
So, New Zealand officially rocks hard, but its bloody FREEZING!!!! I am in Barrytown at the mo, a strange little place with a population of 45. I am currently dressed as a man with hiking socks for a crotch (rather impressive if I do say so myself) and an eyeliner moustach. Dave has a rather fetching dress on and blue eyeshadow. We is lookin HOT!!!Some wine may have been consumed along the way. I am afraid that this blog is not going to be very long or informative. Just thought Id let you know that am safe and well and currently pissed up. So will write as soon as am sober and able to. Having fabulous time and NZ rocks!!! Love you all lots and lots xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
P.s. you have no idea how long its taken me to write this xxxx
April 15, 2007
GUYS!!! Im back and raring to blog, having got over my nasty virus and having developed my suntan something chronic!
So we got to Lalomanu on Monday morning – Easter Monday, and were seriously unimpressed at the number of goddam people on the beach – it was like bloody Blackpool! However, I cheered up slightly when the whole of the Samoan Upolu rugby team rocked up and stripped off. Imagine if you will, about 15 tanned, muscley, beefed up rugby players all lolling about with not much on…twas eye-candy-tastic!!! Things took an unpleasant turn for the worse, however, when they produced a rugby ball and started to ‘have a little game of knock about’...I spent the next half hour or so waiting for the ball to land on my head, or for me to get trampled on etc etc. Bloody boys!
The food was absolutely fantastic. They lay out 2 huge long tables and then just keep on bringing the food – it was like the great welcome feast in the great hall at Hogwarts, food just kept appearing. There was rice, king prawns, white fish, chicken stir fry, mussels, sping rolls, salads, chops…so very yummy. I consequently have about 3 stone to lose in New Zealand.
Our fale was right on the beach – which was amazing…apart from the bastard sand…which manages to get EVERYWHERE. I know I shouldn’t moan, and afterall, what was I expecting on a beach, i hear you say but BLOODY HELL, IT GETS EVERYWHERE!
After much deliberation and fannying about Dave eventually decided to do his PADI dive course. So that meant I had 3 days of pure unadulterated sunbathing to look forward to. I usually get very bored of my own company, but actually enjoyed the time just lying/lolling/eating/drinking alone. I even went and got pissed alone on the happy hour cocktails on Thursday evening! It was great – the sad thing was, I didn’t think I was pissed untill I attempted to exit the bar and bumped into two of the people we’d met the previous night, one of which had got an ear infection. My attempts at the phrase ‘Hows your ear holding up’ were pitiful and rather embarassing! However, at about 5.30pm each day which was about the time that the dive guys got back, I reverted to a small excitable child at the prospect of some company!!! Dave really enjoyed doing the PADI and he saw a reef shark which he was highly excited about as you can imagine!
One of the most amazing spectacles since Ive been here has got to be the sky at night at Lalomanu. After dinner we went down onto the beach and just sat and marvelled at the stars. They were truly awesome. As it goes, on Thursday night, the same night i’d got shooed alone on cocktails,I left Dave in the bar and went onto the beach to gaze at said stars and promptly fell asleep. I woke up at about 11.30pm, slightly confused, with a mouth like a dead badgers arse and oh so very very sandy!
Our last day yesterday was fabulous. We sunbathed ALL day and went snorkelling which was AWESOME. Nearly as good as diving, but without the fear of death, or the hot South African guy! We had a final vailima-fuelled blow out last night and had a great laugh with some of the peope we’d met. It was so sad to leave such a beautiful place, and we drove off this morning with heavy hearts. Our cab driver, however, bought us back to reality with a thud….nearly literally. I could see his eyes in the rear view mirror and he was actually nodding off at the wheel!!!Seriously, Samoan driving is ropey at the best of times, but I find it always helps the situation ten fold if your driver has his eyes open! You can imagine my fear on the ‘coast road’. But we made it back to Apia safe and sound, and have spent the last few hours trapsing round town cursing the fact that the whole damn place shuts on a Saturday afternoon!The concept just doesn’t make sense to me – surely Saturday afternoon should be the prime shopping time the world over!Apparently not!
Anyway, we’re heading back to the Outrigger now to do depressing things like pack. BOO HISS! I’m having palpatations at the prospect of having to fit all my crap into one bag…shit a brick!Wish me luck!
Will blog next when in NZ!!!How exciting!!!
Love you all loads and really missing you all. Can’t wait to see you all soon. All my love xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
April 09, 2007
Happy easter guys!!!
So to start with, can I first of all thank you for all your emails regarding the Soloman island tsunami, and can I secondly reassure you that Dave and I are 100% fine and dandy, and Samoa is still standing in its entirety!!!Mum, Mike told me you had lots of kittens…and that the local cattery in tenerife is now full…!!!Thank you all for your kind concern but all is well in the land of Vailima. However, the temperature has taken a turn for the worse and has rocketed since the ‘official’ end of the rainy season. Its baking out here, and I am being very sensible and staying out of the midday sun…Dave, however, is readying himself for the ‘lobsters r us’ competition at the end of the month, and at the moment, stands a pretty good chance of winning!(Dave, if you ever read this, IM JOKING, you are tanned and buff!).
So, we finished hospital on Thursday, and dave took some photos of us listening to chests so that we can stick them in our report when we get back – photographic eviodence that we did actually do some work!!! The staff were lovely on our departure and invited Dave and I to the ward easter BBQ. I was feeling a little rough so didnt go – Dave said he’d go for ‘an hour’. This was at 5pm. At 10pm Dave rocks back up to the hotel, having had one or two vailimas – classic really!The next few days involved me feeling even more rough. Think I had a virus – achey and headachey, mixed with intense heat – nice. But nothing that a few paracetamol couldn’t handle. Am feeling much better now. We plan to head off to Lalomanu tomorrow for our last few days so I may not be able to blog till I get back. However, I will endeavour to try!
Have just read this back to myself and have realised that it’s the most boring blog so far – Dave has just reminded me that this is probably because the last few days have involved only three things: feeling rough (Dave had had a dodgy burger – schoolboy error), lying by the pool and going to hospital, in that order.
A few personals…
Mum Dad Lise Jon Rosie & Beth: Hey guys! hope you’re having a fab time. Looking forward to speaking to you asap.Miss you all loads and love you more xxx p.s. Minky is fine – Matt assures me that they have devloped quite a bond – apparently she kicks his ass at the wii golf!!!
Mike&Jan: Another classic Mikey email – comedy legend!!!How did the interview go? Send Sarah huge congrats from me. Loads of love xxx
Els&Cos: Thanks for your email lovelies. Can’t wait to see you all soon. Love yas xxx
Rosa&Phil: Hey lovelies. Els and Cos tell me youre reading this!Hows things going? Be great to hear from you!Loads of love xxx
Nombo: Hey babes, thanks for your emails. Its been lovely to hear from you!Any news on the move yet?Im getting frustrated for you!At least I’ll probably be back in time for the house warming – small mercies!!!Love you loads xxx
Vena: Any news…????big forrest love xxxx
Soes: Love ya xxxx
Anyway guys, big love to you all and will blog when am back. Loads of love as always xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
April 04, 2007
Hope all is well in palangi land! Sorry I had to rush off last blog…I’d just finished about diving and was about to tell you about our trip to Savaii (the ‘other island’)...it was shit, for want of a better word! So we exited paradise on leaving Lalumanu, travelled in the pissing down rain for 5 hours, got sea sick on the ferry again, had a hair raising journey on a traditional Samoan bus and finally arrived at ‘Reginas beach fales’ which had one toilet and a crappy beach. Not that Im a beach snob or anything! By tea time I was absolutely ravenous, having not eaten much all day. We sat down to a feast of chicken bone soup, deep fried fish, deep fried undercooked chicken, taro and breadfruit (sorry excuses for carb-potato-esque-root veggies), deep fried sausages that had a distinctly liver-y taste to them, and rice, which was actually quite nice. I appreciate that we had turned up just before tea, and they’d probably had to resurrect food from somewhere to feed us all, but it minged HARD!!! We did however, manage to arrange a round the island trip for the following day. We were picked up at 9 am and the first stop was a visit to the ‘canopy walkway’. It included a rather ‘ropey’ (in every sense of the word) rope bridge, suspended about 9 metres off the forrest floor. The view out to sea was immense!
Our next stop was the ‘blow holes’. Between 1905 and 1911, Savaii was battered by a big old volcanoe eruption which spewed tonnes of lava, engulfing huge swathes of the island on its way to the sea. The lava on which the waves break onto, contain various holes that send huge jets of sea spray rocketing 60 metres into the air, as the waves crash into them. Spectacular – especially when a little local man very courageouly made his way out to the holes with a basket of coconuts to chuck in, in order to show us just how high the water went. Very entertaining until he demamded 20tala for the show – cheeky git!
The penultimate stop was at a rather glorious water fall, deep in the middle of Savaii no-whereness. We trekked for about 20 minutes and then reached a rather steep/vertical precipice. The steps that I’d been promised were very clearly an exaggeration of the greatest degree. I looked at the guide, who laughed, and then I looked down at my feet and my highly inappropriate footwear – one – strap birkenstocks. Fabulous, I thought. Wth a bit of sliding on bum and a lot of swearing, I eventually made it down to the water fall and had much fun acting out the herbal essences ad mark II behind the waterfall itself. However, it then started to rain – so not only did I have to climb back up the steepest, most treacherous mountain side ever, I had to do it in one-strap birkenstocks which were now wet and horrendously slippy. Soes, you’d have been so proud of me, I swear I rock-climbed, minus any fancy hi-tech carabena-rope fandangleness, up the damn precipice, and made it to the top alive. I was then very smug at Dave, who had his north face trainers on, and told him that I was clearly a far superior climber, as had managed in said Birkenstocks! Lise, I always knew Birks rocked!!!
Our last stop was some more lava fields, which I tried hard to be enthusiatic about, but at the end of the day, it was just a bit of black rock!
We got back to Reginas and had another ropey dinner. I got eaten alive by mozzies again,and had to wait 20 minutes for a goddam pee before I could go to bed, which was the last straw – Gwen and I decided that we wanted out and we wanted out asap the next morning. So that’s what we did! It was so good to get back to the Outrigger and we celebrated with some well deserved sunbathing. It was also good to see Kate and Mimi again, who we’d left at Lalomanu.
The next few days were taken up by Gwen and I shopping and haggling for some right good bargains!I am now a seasoned haggler!
Alas, the day came for Gwen, mimi and Kate to leave on Friday. It was so very sad! Dave and I spent the following day moping and mourning the loss of our homies – we were so very alone! The only comfort was crisps and biscuits and Vailima, of course. However, we woke up the next day and felt much better, having reminded ourselves that we were actually in paradise and had 2 extra weeks of tanning time left!Hurrah!!!
We started back at hospital on Monday and have seen some really interesting patients. I got major brownie points today by suggesting an investigation that hadn’t yet been thought of and diagnosing a funny heart murmur!I shocked myself – it’s more work than Ive done all elective! Also, the house officers have all rotated and the general medical ward have gained 2 fitty doctors!So life is GOOD! A nice bit of eye candy never did anyone any harm!!!
Anyway lovelies, best go and get off tinternet!
Love you all loads and hope you all well and happy
Loads of love xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx