A Cornishman's Tale
My adventure in New Zealand was awesome, so I'm sharing it with you.

22 December 2009

30 September '09

The home sick is starting to fade away now. Feeling loads better about being here. As part of our helpx we are helping with Olive and Graeme’s big garden and painting Graemes dad’s old house. He passed away a few months ago and left them his house. He sounds like he was a real character, but the house needs loads of work before they can sell it. It’s a really nice house or bungalow rather, other than the cosmetic stuff. We have spent the last the few days over there painting. Olive is really cool, she just lets us get on with it. She drops us of in the morning then picks us up at tea time. It’s better to put in full days and have loads of free days of in exchange, rather than working a few hours each day. I really enjoy painting and I think Ring does too although I believe he would rather be doing the garden as that’s his forte.

I started feeling a little fluey last night, which has started getting worse today. Felt like sh*t when we went up Mt Eden and I use the term “Mt” loosely. We had to catch a train from Olive’s into the city then a bus out to Mt Eden village. Like most cities there are hundreds of buses going to bloody loads of different places so I was a little worried we wouldn’t get on the right one but it was easy in the end. When you know the names of local areas it’s far easier to be able to get around but when your new to a place it’s baffling.

It was quite a nice walk to the top, but it wasn’t very big, awesome views of the city though and it started raining once we got to the top. It was like this big cloud above us thought “rather than opening now when they’re at the bottom so they have chance to turn around I’ll let those 2 stupid melons put one foot on the summit and then I’ll let the buggers have it.” I was a little disappointed because I was told it was an extinct volcano, which it is, but I was expecting this massive mountain with a crater in the top but it was probably about the size of Glastonbury Tor. That’s still quite high but more of a really big hill. Auckland it made up of loads of these extinct volcanoes so when you go up to the top of one and look around you can see these mole hills rising out of a field of buildings.

08 December 2009

26th September 09

Still feeling really home sick, really miss the family, my friends, the dogs and cats, just home in general. I miss Falmouth! The people we are staying with are really amazing but I really don't like living in someone else’s home. So the plan is to do loads of helpx all the way round to save money and take a few months seeing the island. We are going to buy a car to get around in as you get to see what you want when you want rather than relying on buses.

So we spent a couple of day in the Youth Hostel and we then headed over to stay with Olive and Graeme. They're the family from helpx (which is a scheme set up so that you stay with a family and people for free, they put you up and feed you in exchange for a few hours work a day for them. helpx). I guess I should talk about what we did for the first couple of days. I apologise if I keep jumping from time frame to time frame as I will probably keep remembering thing as I go. OK so we landed on Thursday evening and as I said before we both spent that night sleeping.

Friday we went into the city which isn't far from the YH. The main street is one long road that slowly runs up hill. To walk from one end to the other I guess it takes about half an hour and we are staying at the top of that hill. Loads of shops like you would expect, none that I recognise but mainly the same types just different names and loads of souvenir shops. There are a couple of shopping centres dotted about. The main one is at the bottom of the street with a cool food court. Unfortunately we aren't there to shop and don't have enough money to buy any in any case. Also with my big back crammed with stuff I don't have the space if I wanted to. There is a cool cinema that is several stories high that we visited on Saturday.

Friday after lunch Ring started feeling ill so he stayed back in the room and I went back in town to familiarise myself with the area better and because I was really board. After getting back at 5, Ring was feeling worse so I thought I would have a lay down before getting tea for us both. 4 hours later I wake up and he was fast asleep so I decided to get some tea by myself. I didn't want to spend loads so grabbed a Burger King and then headed to the pub for a pint. I thought I would go to the only pub on Queens Street (the main street). Had a couple of pints of Guniness then started to head home as it was pretty quiet.

On the way up I passed an Irish bar I hadn't noticed before that was playing live music and more importantly, cider on tap after some one at home told me they don't sell it in NZ. I was over the moon. The live band was really good and after a couple of pints later I was really starting to enjoy myself. It's unreal how social smoking has become since the smoking ban. The amount of people I speak to that you wouldn't normally because your in the pub in groups usually and the music is load anyway but out side smoking everyone is chatting. One girl, a hippy, asked while I was out smoking, if I had any weed. Of cause I didn't but it turns out see works for green piece. Now if anyone can get weed it's the green piece workers.

Saturday I woke with a massive hang over. I don't think I got in until 3 or 4 in the morning. Had a wicked night drinking, chatting and dancing. I showed myself I can go out in a big city on my own and meet people. I think I may be starting to get over my fear of speaking to new people and people that aren't close friends in general. Anyway Olive was picking us up at 4 so we had most of the day to kill, we wondered the city and went and watched a film to pass the time. My hang over started lifting thankfully by the time Olive came.

04 December 2009

24th of September I think.

I will state from the start that I was pretty home sick for the first week or so so bare with me. I thought if I'm going to type this up I'll do it worts and all. I had forgot how home sick I was at the beginning of my journey until I just read the first few pages again.....silly fool. Remember the bits in italics are bits I have added while I'm copying it onto the blog. 

Bloody long journey, about 50 hours from home to here, Auckland. Well it's a city and a big one to. Cities aren't my favourate places at the best of times but it seem OK. Got here last night about 7 in the evening. (we left Cornwall early on the morning of the 22rd, a Tuesday, and landed in NZ on the 24th. Here being the youth hostel. We booked a twin room rather than a 8 person share for the first couple of night just to be able to get some sleep from the jet lag and to slowly ease ourselves into youth hostel life. I layed on my bed for a few minutes and woke up at midnight. I read my book for a while to try to get myself back to sleep. Yes I said book, an actual book. The fellowship of the Ring and as of this point they haven't even left the shire yet. I read the Hobbit last year and as ussual it's taken me this long to get around to Tolkin's holy trilogy.

Anyone who knows me will know that I don't read alot apart from loads of comics and it is a bit of a running joke with a friend of mine that we don't even know what a book it. When we go into a book shop we joke that its completely empty apart from the graphic novel section and question why all the space is wasted with empty shelves. That kind of makes me sound like I'm some kind of book hater but I'm total not. I would love to be one of those people that can finish a book in a day but I just have to meny distractions which is no excuse really. I often start a book and love it but if I have a few days where I haven't read any of it I'll not pick it up again for weeks.

So anyway got up at 6am and pottered about a bit. Still really tierd and major home sick. Really starting to have second thoughts, was thinking maybe I should have used the money to go back and really see Scotland properly, man it was nice there. (I went to Scotland last year and spent a couple of week travelling around, the Highlands are amazing by the way. I will add the following sentance from my diary allthough it doesn't really have anything to do with the yourny but just to keep it accurate and incase I lose it I will have a complete digital copy. The diary I was using was a small but thick, about an inch or more, leatherbound book with a leather cord to tigh it shut. If you can imagine Indiana Jones's dad's diary in The Last Crausade, that's what it is like. Thanks you to my mate Ben for giving it to me as a going away present for exactelly that reason) Bloody hard to write on the bottom of these pages, gu'na be even harder on the back of them.

Right!!!!!bloody impossible to write on the other side of these pages, it's the thick spin and sort cover. Oh where was I ....ummm.....oh yeah. Youth hostel is nice and clean, didn't see much of it yet. I'm in the kitchen bit right now thinking about going out for a fag. I haven't smoked (before today) since we got on the plane in London, which seems such a long time ago already.

02 December 2009

What's to come

I have just returned from travelling New Zealand during which I kept, or tried to keep, a diary. I though I would now start to put it up on to a blog firstly because my friends keep asking me what it was like (which I couldn't really do justice just talking about with my sieve like memory). Secondly because I hope that during the rewriting from my paper copy to digital that it will jog memories and events that I hadn't written down or only briefly touch on. To that end I plan to display the added parts in italics. How long I will keep that up I don't know, I may even give up the italics thing when I write the first post up tomorrow, but that the plan at the minute anyway. As I didn't write my diary day to day (so it’s really more of a journal) I will post it several pages in one post or when a natural stopping point happens. Again that’s the plan at any case.

Ok so a little bit about how this all came about. I grew up and still live in Cornwall which is a county in the very south west of main land Britain. I'm 29 (the wrong end of the twenties), or was when I wrote this depending on when your reading it, and was recently made unemployed thanks to the print company I worked going bust. I got some redundancy money and rather than just feverishly wasting it I thought I would put it to good use.... a trip to New Zealand.

I wished for years that I had gone travelling when I finished uni but I started work, acquired bills and debt so never really had the money until now or then rather as I have none of my redundancy left. It's all merged into the New Zealand economy. Being a Cornishman we're not renowned for our willingness to adventure much like the Hobbits in the Lord of the Rings. So I wanted to go somewhere that A) spoke English, B) was relatively safe to travel around and C) somewhere that’s enough like Briton but different and the same time if that makes any sense.

After seeing the amazing country on the features for the Lord of the Ring especially Wellington during the world premier of The Return of the King I was spell bound. I mean a country that can basically red carpet the capital and have such an amazing turn out was a place I wanted to go. If you haven't seen the feature on the extended cut of The Return of the King I really recommend it. Check this photo out and see how amazing it must have been to have been there on that day( Pic ). That pic doesn't really do it at all justice. There and then I feel in love with New Zealand.

So with a couple of months preparation I was nearly ready to go. I mentioned it to a Friend of mine, Dan who's nickname is Ring (I wont bore you with the reasons behind it) wanted to join me which I was much grateful for the company. I only tell you this because that’s how he is named in the diary entries, Ring.
Right I have rambled on for long enough. I'm sure I will add things in to the up coming post as and when I think of them. They will also probably be in italics.

Oh yeah I apologise in advance or my painfully bad spelling and grammar. Remember this is not a masterful piece of literature but my thoughts and experiences so I've tried to put them down on paper as close to how they form in my brain. P.S. some of the spelling is actually the correct spelling in the Queens English and may be different in other English speaking countries. For example Traveller is correct but I think in the States it's spelt Traveler and colour spelt with a 'u' is also right. I say this so help cover up my poor attempt at spelling but it is no less true. Oh and one last thing, I may continue the blog on after my diary is all posted as just a blog about my general thinkings and as Kevin Smith would say Borring Ass Life.

I hope you enjoy my little tale of a Cornishman's trip to the other side of the planet and thank you for reading. Please leave comments, emails and stuff to let me know what you think, I 'm very interested to know your opinions.