24 July 2015

Travelling Gypsy Life Entry 42

As usual, a hell of a lot has happened since my last Travelling Gypsy Life. I’m actually back in the place where I last left off, on the dairy farm near Matamata. I have a job working here, at the place where I did Helpx, and after three days I’m already dead! But more about that in a minute.

Since my last post I’ve toured the north island of New Zealand, and ticked a lot of stuff off the list. Rotorua was the first point of call, and one of my favourite places on the north island. There’s a lot of geothermal activity there, so it smells like sulphur all over the town, and there’s steam just coming out of the ground in a lot of places. There was a lot to see including some Maori villages, where I saw the Hakka. Then we saw a lot of volcano stuff and we got to go to Kerosene Creek which is heated creek. So I stripped down to my bikini and bathed in the middle of a dirty creek.

After Rotorua, we headed to do a Helpx in Whakatane which was a bit average. Middle of nowhere, with no internet or phone signal and I got sick and had a terrible cough and sounded like a smoker for a good week. Over $50 on medicine, and I’m now germ free.

After Whakatane we headed to Gisborne where apparently you can see the first sunrise in the world. I find this hard to believe as I’m sure places like Fiji will see it first, but I’ll believe what my guide book tells me.

Gisborne was a bit meh so we headed to Napier which I loved because it’s the wine region of the north island. I need to go back with a designated driver so I can try more wine around all of the vineyards. Napier was also a good place to try lots of food as we went to a chocolate, cheese and honey factory (not at the same time). Such a fatty. But then we walked a really big windy mountain.

Then Taupo was the place. The biggest lake in New Zealand, and don’t think you can walk around it because you’ll be there for days. It was freezing here and we did Helpx in a home where they only have a fire to heat the whole house. New Zealand houses are really not made well for their climate as their winters get as cold as the UK, but they have single glazing windows, rubbish insulation and usually just a fireplace rather than central heating brrrrrr. But apart from the cold, Taupo was nice and the Helpx was nice for a few days. It would have been better in summer as it’s near the Tongoriro crossing which is a few great mountains for climbing, but they’re too snowy at the moment. But you can see the mountain which was used in Lord of the Rings for Mount Doom!

Thennnnn Taranaki was the next destination after a stint on the ‘Forgotten World Highway’ which essentially is what New Zealand class as a motorway but with gravel roads and tiny tunnels… Eventually we got to Taranaki and climbed the mountain. Again, not all the way because it was way too snowy.

Then to Whanganui where we had the best couchsurfer out of the bunch (as we couchsurfed everywhere). We got our own cottage, fast Wi-Fi, TV with about 200 DVDs and the guy even bought us dinner! But we only stayed with him one night and then to the windy capital, Wellington. I really liked Wellington as I love a good city and it was nice to be surrounded by bars and cafes for once. And they have Weta Workshop there which is the studio where they make all of the stuff for films like Lord of the Rings, Avatar and the sorts. 

And that’s about it! As I said, I’m now back on the dairy farm doing between 40-50 hours and after three days I’m dead. Mainly because I haven’t done a day of work since October, and the fact its manual, physical labour. I’ve shifted so many calves and they’re not skinny! I’m enjoying it as I get to do a bit of everything from milking cows, feeding calves, herding cattle blah blah. I’m going to be hench by the time I’m done!

Peace out for now milkers x

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