Slowly losing our minds…

Just want to give a special shout out to the passenger on our flight called Margarita Holiday. What a name.

A crazy couple are now not letting us board as they are not sitting together. Get a grip people. We’ve been up for 24 hours now and we’re looking forward to coming home. She’s now crying. What a wet tissue. Someone give her an Oscar.

Probably the last post before we fly so lots of love from all the team and see you soon!

Joe ‘Petra Hoskins-Hospital with the plastic bag full of panties and chocolates’ Geraerts

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Day 32 – Hamilton Pt. 2

So, our last day has finally arrived and we spent most of it either flying or driving. We left our ant-hill early to make sure we were at the airport over 4 hours before we needed to just in case something impossible happened. Therefore we were awake at 4:30 for a 7:00 flight. This was pretty uneventful and we picked up the best rental car so far (lots of cracks on the dashboard, broken shock absorbers, very bad brakes etc. although a spacious boot). We had an excellent breakfast cooked for us of eggs, bacon, hash browns, and tomatoes before making our way to Hamilton for the day. The lack of sleep for all of us began to show as we struggled to stay awake for the journey but we made it and went spent some of the afternoon repacking our bags ready for tomorrow (although somewhat surprisingly, I still need to pack mine…). After this exciting turn of events, we then went shopping for some food for the evening, before sitting down with our last helping of fush n chups to watch Anchorman (milk was a bad choice).

Our flight is at 12:10 tomorrow and for our final blog we decided to list our favourite bits, least favourite bits, memorable quotes, best comments and awards. Thanks to everyone for following us on our fantastic adventure, we hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as we’ve enjoyed writing it!

Joe ‘Juliaaa Gillaaaaaaard’ Geraerts

Best bits:
Skydiving (baby) – Franz Josef                                                                                                                                                                                        Quad Biking – Ninety Mile Beach
Bungy – (just Joe) Queenstown
Fergburger – Queenstown
Skiing – Cardrona
Franz Josef Glacier – Franz Hoe-seph
Mitai Maori Evening – Rotorua
Hobbiton – Matamata
Singing really loud to music – All over NZ

Snapping a Spoon in half on Ice Cream – Dunedin

Singing ‘Ironic’ with one of ‘The Wiggles’
Whale watching – Kaikoura
Abel Tasman
Hot water Springs – Taupo
Bohemian Rhapsody – Somewhere between Dunedin and Christchurch (Video to follow)
Kaikoura Sunrise
Shooting stars – Kaikoura
Road tripping – New Zealand!

Worst bits:
Jetboating
Skydiving take 1
Hot Water Beach
Lake Mahinapua Portacabins
Girl stripping to jump in lake

Attempted murder of a whole Penguin colony
8 bed mixed dorm. Enough Said
The worst Carbanara in history
Missing the largest hot water pool in Rotarua

Best quotes:
‘Can you put this in your hole?’ – Joe
‘Ooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhh’
‘She has a face that looks sore.’ – Emily
‘Hannah, can you see the sky tower?’ – Joe
‘Where’s Kevin?’
‘What time shall we set the alarm?’ – Emily
‘Hey, Good Morning’ – Joe
‘Lesbihonest’
‘This. Is. Huge.’ *Rapid Blinking*
‘Oup, there it is!!’ – Emily
‘So do we get photos and photos?’ – Chris
‘Alpaca that’ – Chris
‘This trip has our Seal of approval’ – Hannah
‘Hey Guyths, wait up’
‘You’d have to be a f*!king moron to get lost’ – Drunk Youth Hostel Woman
‘Forty of those’ – Brucey
‘Have I been on this tour before, EMILY?’ – Joe

‘They’re not moobs, they’re pecs!’ – Joe
‘Why would they even do that?’ – Hannah
‘…..hello??’ – Wanaka Youth Hostel Woman
‘You only get one chance to strip on a glacier’
‘Bump… Oohh’ – Joe
‘You can’t fall off this raft unless you’re not concentrating or asian’ – Rafting Lady
‘The 2nd scoop is $1.50 extra’ 0_o

Awards:
Most Gullible moment: Emily believing there was a 23 minute time difference between the North and South Island.
Most confused moment: Chris confused about if we get photos and photos or just photos and two videos.
Best Pun: ‘We missed the Dam turning’ – Taupo
World’s most morbid driving signs: ‘Drink Drive. Die in a ditch’
‘No Doctor, No hospital. One cemetary’
‘You’re a long time dead so what’s the hurry’

Winner of the Accommodation award: Franz Josef YHA

Most Overcome Fear: Emily – Bridges (well done Emily!!)

Most repetitions of the phrases ‘Guys’ ‘Grab a bite to eat’ ‘Kodak moment’: Toddy
Most trips in a trip/falls in water: Chris
Highest score on the Autism Test: Joe (34)
Lowest score on the Autism Test: Hannah (5)
Loudest scream: Emily (Recorded at a distance of 3 miles)
Most suggested activity: Botanical Gardens (by Joe)
Most hit on by guys: Joe (Give it to me give it to me give it to me)
Most commented: Barry and Janet Eager (Congratulations!!! We’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s comments,)
Biggest fail at driving: Emily driving with the handbrake on for 100m.
Most watched film: Pitch Perfect.
Most annoying quote: ‘Shorty get dowwwwn’

Best Nicknames:

Joe ‘Flashing Asians since 1992’ Geraerts

Chris ‘I just threw some forbidden fruit at her back’ Eager

Hannah ‘I like to thwow water over a cwiff edge egg’ Wisden

Emily ‘Is there a Q&A?’ Trudgian

Special mentions:
Joe’s dead bird.
Breakfast this morning. (Thanks Shane, Steph, and Christina!!)
Flea and Toddy (Jed, get out of our lives)
Toemailer
Drunk Lady in Kaiteriteri
Julia Guillard
Darth Maureen
David Bowie

Thank youse:
Joe for driving (everyone mad). You made the whole trip slightly less stressful with the help of your impeccable iPhone battery.

Jak, Chrissy and Lily-Ray for having us to stay, it can’t have been easy.

Our parents for responding well under very sudden monetary requests.

Our parachutes, for keeping us alive.

The lady that towed Hannah across a lake in a kayak. You probably saved her life that day.

And finally our Readers and loyal fans of which there are probably a maximum of 5 and a half. You made the blog worth it.

A Note from the Editor: Kevin the Kiwi

Dear Readers,

Let’s be honest, it’s been a long journey. I would love to say I’m proud of this blog, but I’m not. Filled with profanities, embarrassing stories and low brow comedy, it’s been a disgrace to publish. I hope you don’t think too low of me. Having been lost, locked in a car, used as bait for multiple animals and run over, I have the utmost pleasure in assuring you that I will be returning to England as soon as possible to further my career as a stuntman and novelist. Thank you for all your support and interest in my welfare, most noticeably Barry, Janet and Cathy. I hope never to be associated with these four morons again. Long live the Kiwi.

Many kind Sniffles and Snuffles

Kevin the Kiwi

*No animals were harmed in the making of this blog apart from countless possums, sand-flies, gassed ants, Kevin on multiple occasions and the bird Joe hit with the car.

Day 31 – Wellington

After an ‘I’m a celebrity’ style night following me finding ants in/around my bed we decided to have a lie in, well until half 8. We arose to a rare sighting; Joe being the first one up. After a quick breakfast we decided our first stop would be the Weta Caves, a film props workshop. The company have worked on films such as; The Lord of the Rings, Avatar, Halo 3, The Hobbit, District 9 and lots more, so there was loads to see. The tour guide explained how each prop would go through several stages, take months to make, cost lots of money, just for the director to say he didn’t want it! We saw some incredibly detailed paintings, thinking these would take days, maybe weeks to complete, we were proved wrong by the fact the artist could paint 4 in one day, very impressive!
After deciding against spending $1000 on a 30cm tall Sauron’s Tower, we headed towards the city. Thankfully there wasn’t a fire today where we could ignore all advice to avoid the area due to traffic so we arrived fairly promptly, and got beaten by the car parking ticket machine which wouldn’t go up to the 10 hours we needed. Parking on the road with all the restaurants meant it was lunch time, we headed into a little bar just to walk out 10 seconds later due to the fact we didn’t have our passport and our driving license wasn’t allowed for ID for some bizarre reason. The Big Dog was the second attempt and we successfully had lunch, including dessert obviously.
We then headed to the library (my Uncle Richard would be so proud!) to check in for our flights home, sad moment. From there we went to the Te Papa museum, where we looked at a life size Moa’s, felt an earthquake (not a natural one). Thankfully we didn’t have to witness an earthquake for real as Joe and I did pretty badly on ‘The Earthquake Game’ where the aim of the game was to keep you as safe as possible. The next part of the museum took us under the sea, showing an enormous skeleton of a blue whale who had died in the most unluckiest way; attacked by killer whales and whilst recovering got hit by a boat. This also housed a colossal squid which was huge *eye blink*.
Keeping an eye on the time we thought it was best to head towards the stadium for the All Blacks vs Australia rugby match, something we had all been looking forward to. Walking towards the stadium it was obvious the wallabies had been a bit outnumbered on the support front, with a sea of black with the odd yellow shirt through the bars. Feeling like we were the only ones without a suitably dressed in NZ kit and Chris not helping wearing a yellow jumper, the boys headed back to the car to get the much needed NZ flag. Hannah and I waited by the harbour to be right next to a parade of drummers, followed by a jazz band, a singer and flag holders. Certainly wouldn’t get that on Hatter’s Way. Hannah almost went the wrong way even though we were following a huge crowd. Getting closer to the stadium the atmosphere was getting bigger, everyone buzzing and lots of music playing. After getting the appropriate souvenirs we made our way to our seats.
The seats were filling up which only emphasised the amount of All Blacks supports there was. The team list wasn’t pleasing to most of the women in the audience, Hannah especially, as Dan Carter wasn’t playing but we carried on smiling anyway. After some Maori singing and hand shaking, it was time for the national anthems. Thankfully there was a karaoke sing-a-long version on the big screens so we could try and fit in a bit. Joe showed us his best Maori pronunciation as usual.
It was game time! Things were looking a bit bleak a few minutes in when the Wallabies were in the lead, this didn’t last long so the crowd were happy. A few injuries along the way and a missed try by Chris’s loo stop, it was half time. The second half was also very intense and very enjoyable to watch. The final score being 27-16 to the All Blacks. Great night with amazing atmosphere. The walk to the car consisted of a group hug knowing that was ‘the last thing’ to do on our trip and now we’re waiting for the plane home. Great way to end an awesome holiday with amazing people.

Emily ‘Where’s Dan Carter?’ Trudgian

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Day 30 – Kaikoura to Wellington

3 am wake up this morning after only 5 hours sleep. For some unknown reason, if we wake up at 7 to get out by half 8, we are usually late, but when we woke up at 3 in the morning, we managed to get out by 3:45 and on the road. We decided to leave the hostel as quietly as possible so as to avoid waking people up. We slipped out of the room, quietly brushed our teeth, discreetly had breakfast, slyly packed the boot and then set off the car alarm because if we couldn’t sleep, why should anyone else in the street?

Joe then drove us up to Picton where we would catch the ferry to New Zealand’s capital. This drive was recommended to us as a great scenic drive and so of course we made sure we drove it at 3 in the morning when we couldn’t see anything. It made for some great pictures. We soon made it to Seddon, pretty much the epicentre of the recent earthquakes. It was amazing to see the huge cracks and troughs and peaks in the road. They were all repaired, but you could still see the extent of them from the newly laid tarmac. It often made for a bumpy ride but Joe did well and we only nearly went into a crevice once. We made it to the ferry for about quarter to 6 in the morning (Sun still down) which is incredibly early for us. We then drove into the lanes to get ready to board the ferry. The lanes were divided up into what we could only assume was as follows: Lane 1: Trucks, Lane 2: Campervans towing Jeeps with boats on the top, Lane 3: Campervans, Lane 4&5: Cars. After consulting Ben, the ferry man, on a number of different options available to us, we decided to choose Lane 4. After being asked if we went fishing, or something to that effect, by another ferry employee, we boarded the ferry where we soon had our second breakfast before settling down to watch The Smurfs like adults.

Upon arriving in Wellington, we naturally gravitated toward the most expensive Car Park ($6 for half an hour) and then proceeded to the Cable Car that took us up to a hill overlooking the whole of Wellington providing us with absolutely spectacular views of the city. After absorbing the unique Kodak moment, we walked down the hill where Emily trained as a sundial and we experienced the wonders of the botanical gardens (it would probably have been better in Summer). After lunch, we picked up our car from its overpriced crèche and tried to find a cheaper one whilst also deciding on whether or not to do a movie tour around Wellington. That decision is still pending. Wellington is surprisingly small in my opinion but then that is coming from someone more used to London for a capital city. Despite that, it has a great ambience to it with the sea right on its doorstep. Can’t wait to explore it more tomorrow.

Hopefully having a lie-in for once tomorrow before going to see a bit more of Wellington, museums and, most importantly, the Haka. Very excited!

Chris ‘Chilling in the Trucker’s Corner’ Eager

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Day 29 – Dunedin to Kaikoura

After a slightly uneasy sleep knowing that Joe was in the bunk bed above me, we woke in our creepiest hostel yet (wooden panels, dodgy paintings, no locks on the doors and a smarmy Spanish hostelier ‘Domingo’). Having used our impeccable organisational skills yesterday by arriving at Dunedin’s two top attractions after closing time, we decided to try and squeeze them both in this morning before leaving. First up was Cadbury’s World, the second largest chocolate factory in the world after ours in Birmingham, where we had a tour led by cheerful Carol. Highlights of the tour included lots of free samples to add to our already large supply of chocolate, a shower of liquid chocolate with a photo opportunity blocking out half of the group, some seductive chocolate eating and some minor confusion over the difference between adding caramel to chocolate and helter-skelters. We then hurried to our next destination – New Zealand’s only, and arguably world’s least impressive, castle. Due to a shortage on time we only had time to look around the gardens, and after a slight issue with the grumpy man in the ticket office regarding the lack of 5 cent coins in NZ, we debated whether the underwhelming gardens were actually worth the hassle. We stayed there all of 15 minutes before deciding that we should depart on our 7 hour journey to Kaikoura (where we previously went whale watching).
The journey went surprisingly quickly, helped along by a stop at Moeraki Boulders (unexplained natural boulders which we of course timed perfectly to hit high tide, though we still got some Kodak moments as did a woman who kicked me off a boulder I was sitting on in order to get a better photo). The journey also involved a perfectly choreographed interpretive dance to Bohemian Rhapsody, a contemporary piece to the Lion King by Joe, an awkward phone call to the ferry company for Emily, and some serious back seat driving from the front seat for Joe during Chris’ ‘dangerous driving’.
A reasonably short blog for today as we have to get up at 4am for a ferry and want to get some sleep before hitting it hard in Wellington. (Note that photos are for yesterday and today!)

Hannah ‘I’m the best driver’ Wisden

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Day 28 – Dunedin

Less than a week to go and the strain is starting to show. Hannah has officially fallen apart as all her mysterious growths caused by skiing have burst, Emily ‘has just been generally annoying’ quoted from Hannah Wisden, Chris tried to kill an entire penguin colony (more on this later) and I’ve had to put up with this all for the last four weeks (edit: Joe sings the wrong lyrics very loudly to any song that we play, it is often a different song altogether). And I was having such a good time before they arrived…

For the first time this morning we slept through our alarm. Luckily we only had to pick up the rental car so Chris and I caught a slightly later bus and made our way to the airport. Our car is identical to the one we rented in the North Island and I even let Chris have a go at driving. After finding the handbrake, off Chris drove only turning the windscreen wipers on instead of the indicators once. We then picked up the girls and left Queenstown. This is causing us much upset as we all really enjoyed our time there.

Our next stop was Dunedin, around four hours drive away. We drove through many towns including Ettrick, Lawrence, Alexandra and Cromwell and an uncountable amount of fruit stalls by the side of the road. No real problems on this journey apart from the old lady that actually attempted to kill us and the roadside sign outside Waihola simply stating it has ‘No doctor, no hospital, one cemetery’. Encouraging stuff. Shortly after, we safely arrived in Dunedin.

Dunedin is an interesting place. I was once told this was the most romantic place in New Zealand – if this is true then I’m Casanova. The architecture of a few of the buildings is remarkable(s), including the Railway Station, the first church in New Zealand and the biggest attraction on the city, Cadbury World. Unfortunately we arrived slightly too late for the tour so we’ll be attempting that in the morning! I’m not sure Cadbury World can handle Chris and I’s appetites. We have already bought eight 250g bars of chocolate.

After buying dinner which we consciously made healthy due to the chocolate we had just bought (so gluten free chocolate squirty cream and ice cream), we climbed back in the car and drove off to Sandfly Point to see some penguins. I was very relived when I found out the point got it’s name from the fact that the sand flies because it is so windy on the beach rather than because it is infested with that hateful insect, the Sandfly. I still bear scars from Kaiteriteri where these nasty insects bit me and cause the itchiest bites known to man. We all stumbled down the sand dunes to look for penguins with Chris and Hannah using their camel like toes to scamper across the beach far quicker than Emily and I could manage. As they disappeared off into the distance, Emily and I decided to stop and take a break around 20 metres away from some sleeping sea lions (they…were..HUGE…). Chris and Hannah had some success in spotting some of the penguins but got within touching distance. They were supposed to be a minimum of 200 metres away so I the whole colony is now highly distressed and potentially will never eat again. His next nickname will be ‘Chris ‘penguin killer’ Eager’. Shame on them for not reading the clear signs which stated to not go near the penguins. They received a good telling off from a very forward thinking Spanish Man who knew all the rules.

As it started to get dark, we drove to Larnach castle – the only one in New Zealand. It was shut. We went home. Another fail, but we will try again in the morning. Wish us luck!

The highlight of the day was our trip to Baldwin street, labelled the steepest street in the world. As we were travelling to this street we were joking that it couldn’t be that steep and may actually dead flat with people walking at funny angles to make it look really steep (similar to Michael Jackson at Puzzling World – Wanaka). But we rounded the corner and all it’s definitely a steep road. We walked up it – all 271 steps (yes we counted) and took a few photos at different points around the hill, none of which do it justice.

**live update**

Whilst compiling our healthy dessert (half a litre of ice cream each, topped with dairy milk and chocolate squirty cream), Chris has snapped a spoon trying to ‘cut’ the ice cream. Much hilarity has ensued…

**live update**

We walked back down the hill, then drove up it in our rental car for s&g’s which went pretty well until the car decided to change up a gear on the steepest part. We managed to make it though and got many LAD POINTS for this. After an uneventful dinner during which we threw away our baconless – carbonara (disgusting) and ordered dominos, we are now working our way through the ice cream. Busy day driving to Kaikoura tomorrow – a seven hour drive – so a short blog tomorrow! Hopefully today’s has made up for it…

Joe ‘Can you put this in your hole?’ Geraerts

p.s Saw a sign today saying that Edinburgh was 18,869km away which is where our parents are at the moment!

p.p.s No photos today because internet connection is awful. We shall put more up tomorrow.