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March 06, 2005
Jody writes:

When we waved goodbye to Australia we thought that we'd also be waving goodbye to warm weather, but it's been really warm for us on New Zealand's North island as we stalk around in the jeans we just bought. I would revert back to summer clothes, but my pack is so full that I can't fit all my cold weather stuff in at once. I was so happy to find a hoodie in the sale in Sydney that I bought it without thinking how much bloody space it would take in my backpack. Balancing pack-load and finding inventive places in the bedroom to dry laundry are two of the less glamorous tasks when travelling.

We arrived in Auckland on Wednesday, staying with Amy's relatives, Lily, Cliff and Eugene, for a couple of days. They were extremely kind and kept us well fed and entertained. Lily is an 80-year-old (or there abouts) soap star and occasionally appears in Shortland Street (it used to be on daytime ITV in the UK, but was axed) and a few other things. She cares for her step father, Eugene, who celebrates his 100th birthday this year. He was a top bloke and brilliant painter until he quit a couple of years back. He still manages to get around and although he doesn't say much, giggles through his beard watching slapstick comedy on TV.

We're currently on a bus tour of NZ's North island with a company called Stray. The tour ground to a halt today when the bus broke down and the whole group of 25 people were stranded at a farm. Luckily, the bus company knew the owners, who plied us with beer, took us strawberry picking and fed us apples until the bus was fixed, some three hours later. They kept dropping jokes about how quickly our group could clear their orchard if we helped them do an afternoon's apple picking, though I felt it was more of hint than a joke. We didn't oblige.

Anyway, I'm feeding coins into a hungry slot to keep this computer running so I'll leave it at that. Internet cafes are few and far between which explains why it's been so long since we posted anything. We'll get some more pictures up one day too. Hope you're all well.

posted at 6:48 PM | link

5 Comments:

  • Howdy,

    Bit bored at work so I thought I'd catch up with your news. Cool to hear that you have yet to fall victim to too many 'clueless traveller' stunts such as leaving your passport on top of the one armed bandit at Dover and getting mugged whilst entertaining 'cute begger kids'.

    All is fine here. Went to New York for 10 days a couple of weeks ago and am going to Australia to do a piece for CNN in March. Doesn't look like you'll be around at that point but you never know just how much that Brisbane bug may bite you and you want to come and join me.

    I'm still really keen to come out and see you in Argy in Sep. Let me know what you'll up to and I'll speak to my friend Diego who runs a laundromat in Stockwell. He probably has family over there that I can take advantage of, er, I mean stay with.

    So long for now,

    Rob

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:23 PM  

  • Hey,

    Glad to hear from you - hadn't heard in a while so mind is now at rest. I heard a little tale that all the money from computer cafe's go to help sick roo's. Very unlikely but that will keep your mind at rest when you have a big hole in your wallet and you can sleep at night knowing kangaroo's are healthy thanks to you.

    I will stop with the lies now and wish you both a happy NZ time!

    Matteh (Amy's pal :P)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:15 PM  

  • Amy's father emailed the link to your travel blog, so I thought I'd send a quick hello. Enjoyed checking up on your trip and seeing the photos. Don't know when or if you'll get this, but hope all is well with you and Jody.

    Things are OK here, or will be once we evict the animals from our attic, which has evidently become a wildlife sanctuary for squirrels, mice, bats, wasps and who know what else. Don't worry; we've sought professional help.

    On the good side, being grandparents is terrific (much grander than being parents). David will turn 2 in a couple months (5/20) and his sister is due next month (4/21). As you may know, Adam and Monica moved from New Jersey to Connecticut in January. We visited them last month (and saw Auntie Ruth)
    and will be back in April to help watch David when granddaughter makes her debut.

    You should expand your itinerary to include Asheville. Not nearly as many biting insects and no kangaroos vs. Australia, just bears. Any more pounds (money, not calories) in your polenta?

    Amy's cousins Vic + Sharon & Jesse

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:29 PM  

  • Well, what a lovely surprise! Lots of comments for me..
    Rob - Yep, we're still up for meeting you in Arg in Sep. Could be earlier. Depends if we get sick of the dysentry/weather or have had enough of living out of a backpack. We'll let you know once we suss it all out in April. x
    Matteh - Hey! Will reply to your email soon. Just remembering how to type after so long! Don't think it's true about the roos. Prob just a sick ploy by net cafes to make more cash from trusting tourists. The roos do alright on their own - 'cept when they wander in front of cars and end up as roadkill. We've seen a lot of those :( Hope you're good..
    Vic, Sharon & Jesse - Wow, thanks for all the family news. Congratulate Adam and Monica on their impending arrival. I'm sure you're dead excited about having a girl to spoil also. I don't think we'll have enough pounds to even buy polenta - after this trip! However, if we have an unexpected windfall, I'll let you know and your place will be first on our visiting list.
    Love to all, Amy x

    By Blogger Amy, at 8:06 AM  

  • Howdy,

    Just wanted to say I love the puzzling world toilet picture. Ames you sat on the same seat as Ian did. We will have to compare strained faces when you get home! Miss you so much x

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:23 PM  

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Jody and Amy have finished their 10 month adventure around the world, that began Nov 2, 2004, and ended Sep 2, 2005. They're back home in London now, doing normal things, like going to work and drinking tap water. You can see a map of what was their planned route, but we didn't quite follow it.
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