with Schrotty at Lake Tarawera

It is terrifying another Month is gone. And I am running out of time. I didn’t expected to work that long. Which is good to earn money but bad because it is the nicest time of the year to go to the South Island. Anyway I did some stuff except working. I had a breakdown, visited Piha, bought a camera, went to Wellington for Work and visiting the City, learned some about retired people in NZ at the RSA, went to Lake Tarawera with Friends … and a bit more.

 

The Maori Nazi and Chinese New Year – 5.2.2012

DSCN3753I didn’t went away for a while and it was sunny and warm. So I left to Piha to see the lovely waterfalls and do a bushwalk there. On half way there I noticed already a speed related noise. klack … klack …klack, klack klack. And the Car became even more plodder than its used to be. But I didn’t rated it as important. The Terrain was steep and I thought maybe that’s why it is clumsy. And the noise I thought may came from a loose wheel bolt again. I stopped at a Carpark in the middle of ´nowhere to visit the nearby Dam. Then I found the reason for the strange behavior. Somehow my rear DSCN3746left tire was penetrated by an fucking Allen wrench. It doesn’t belong there. The longer end in the Tire. I have absolutely no idea how it poked through. It must have been in a weird angle lying on the Street and somehow found the way in the Tire. Jippeeh on a Sunday (next day a Holiday) without Phone Reception. While I was fiddling with the tool more and more air escaped until the Tire was completely deflated. What now. I have a spare Tire - Check. I have the Tools – Check. I know how to replace it – Check. All good I though. Until I tried to loosen the screw which is holding the 5th Wheel in Place. It didn’t move. Not even a tiny bit. After half and hour a guy passed by. A Dutchmen. After the typical conversation about our origin and our intention in NZ he noticed that I had a Problem. but he couldn’t help. Another half an hour later another guy passed by. I asked him if he has mobile reception but he also didn’t. But at least he told me about the ranger down at the damn. Its just 10 minutes he said. He has a Phone. Good I thought, not too bad. I went down. After 25 minutes of steeeeeeeeeep walking down a small asphalt Street. The Sun sizzling my skin. Sweating I arrived at the damn dam.

DSCN3747There he was, the Ranger, a friendly looking Maori. He invited me into his house, offered a coffee, a typical NZ Pie (savory pastry I don’t like) which I declined with thanks and his Telephone. But before I was able to call the AA (NZ ADAC) it went strange. He asked me where I’m from and was pleasantly surprised to meet one of the best race on earth how he sad. He really has the impression Hitler was a good guy. That we Germans are the best race. He told me he has been in Germany to get to know the positive side of our heritage a bit more 40 Years ago. And he had the opinion that it is foreordination I had the problem with the Tire and this gathering. DSCN3750After a lot of more weird story's about a German punk girl he met once and a book tip for pro racism literature I finally made my call. After communicating my credit card details to the AA they where willing to come in 90 minutes. Awesome. enough time to have a bit more of a nice chat with the Maori Nazi and visiting the Damn. It was huge. That’s it. Nothing more to say. Then I already needed to head back. The Time flew by because of my interesting interlocutor. Proud to have German blood in my veins I  started my hike up the shitty asphalt street. Even though the Ranger didn’t had anything to do he didn’t offer to drive me up the hill. But I also didn’t asked to be honest because I had enough of him.

How exhausting can the hike up be when you are 199$ lighter than before. With the more expenses coming to replace the damaged Tire. At least now I have another membership card in my bursting wallet. After 45 minutes of crawling up the hills in the bright sun I arrived. At least I had water in my car. Not long later (Denglish Smiley) The AA Guy arrived to help me out of my situation. He was a really nice and friendly normal one. Puhh. Unfortunately he didn’t made it to loosen the screw either so we finally decide to saw it of. And finally the Wheel dropped down. Wicked. After replacing the damaged wheel I was frustrated enough for the day that I went home without making it to Piha. I had enough.

DSCN3758At least the evening went much better that day. I went with crazy Julia (Johns daughter), crazy Phil (Julias Boyfriend) and crazy Francis (Julias Friend) to the Chines New Year Festival in Albert Park in Auckland. They had plenty of Food Stands beautiful glowing Lantern Puppets and Buildings. Only negative aspect of it was how crowded it was. You couldn’t move your arms while walking. You had to stick your arms to your body. Walking there felt more like flowing as a Water particle through a narrowing pipe. Anyway, Inside Albert DSCN3762Park it have been a bit better. But anyway we had fun trying stick together by doing our special sign to identify ourselves in the crowd. The suricat! After being astonished by the Lanterns and a impressive and marveling Firework we went home.

DSCN3799There we played a weird but funny drinking game. Every time its your turn you have to pick a card. One means you select one to take a sip. Up to 4 you select who has to take up to 4 Sips. 5 Means you say a sentence. The next one has to say a rhyming sentence and so on until one don’t find one. The winner select who has to take a sip. 6 means you have to select a topic like House MD Characters. Everybody has to come up with a Character. The last one who is in selects one to take a sip. On top of that 7 means to make up a habit. We had something like: every time you say something even if its not your turn you have to add up in da bum. Another one was taking of the little man of your drink, take a sip if you have to, and put the little man back on. If you forgot to do it you had to sip twice. And nine is give somebody a name. If you from there on use their real name you have to, you already guess it, take a sip. I forgot the other rules. You may already noticed it is a lot about drinking. But also funny and chaotic. A bit drunken we decided 3:30 am to jump into the (this time not heated) pool. What a night.

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Muriwai with Friends – 6.2.2012

DSCN3809Finally Volkan Mathias and I made it to meet each other. We are kind of the last left over of the so proud Verandahs long term Backpackers Union. We met at Muriwai. This time with great weather. Mathias picked up Volkan with his terrific new Cherokee Jeep. A huge monster with a top exhaust. Almost too good causing the sea to be slightly to calm. I brought two Boogie Boards so at least two of us at a time had fun. The waves weren’t as soft as I expected them to be. More than enough to ride them with the boards. Hungry after this activity we invaded the Beach Café and had Chips, Burgers and Chocolate Milkshakes. We visited the bird colony up the cliff and decided to satisfy our need to drink something. I passed a couple of times on the way to Muriwai the historic Tavern sign in Riverhead. Everything older then 20 Years here is historical. So in the end we decided to give it a try. Not really historical or tavern like looking but nice renovated and with upper class people around looking like fancy golf players or retired industrials, we ordered our Jar of Beer. Because of Waitangi Day (Waitangi Treaty), a public Holiday, we also had life music to end the day suitably. There also was a Old-timer convention nearby so we’ve seen heaps of nice cars, really historic cars.

Schrotty needs another fix 1 – 7.2.2012

DSCN3829I brought my car again to the Pitstop mechanics to get my spark plug fixed. They didn’t make it to replace it last time so they had to do it today. Because they already estimated 690$ I didn’t paid the 80 $ more for the spark plugs. Finally I had the courage to subsist on something. They easily accepted it. So at least it this was for free. In the end I still paid 690$ for nothing. My fuel consumption is still as high as before. Maybe slightly better. But never worth 700$. The only consolation I have I might saved my engine from dying because of the condition some engine and exhaust parts have been in before.

DSCN3831Then I went onto the other side of the Street to get a new Tire. I decided to buy 3 new ones because the other ones had to be replaced anyway and one of them was already new. But not today. They didn’t had my tires. So I had to come back another morning. I drove home. Again weird noise from the left rear tire. Bugger whats wrong again. And why always me. I noticed it already a day before. But the sound seemed to get louder and louder. Maybe the cracks in the rubber of my Tire or another Allen Wrench. I drove home slow. Arrived without DSCN3839another breakdown I checked what's going on again. I took of the Hubcap to have a look and look there none of the five Wheel screws where tightened. I would say even all of them have been not far away from falling of completely. The sound came from my tire wobbling around while driving. The AA Guy haven’t been very accurately that Sunday. Glad of not being dead I tightened all screws properly. But I noticed all the cracks in the replacement wheel which didn’t look promising.

The R.S.A – Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association – 8.2.2012

DSCN3810To afraid of driving far to a branch office in Avondale with Schrotty I asked John and Dianne to borrow one of theirs. Dianne gave me hers and also gave me money for Petrol. That was so nice that I topped up twice her money to at least compensate that I used their car. Bugger I didn’t got the Q7, again Smiley. But hers is a nice old Subaru. It felt good to drive a “sporty” normal car instead of a heavy crappy van. Even it also it is as old as my car I had fun driving it. In particular the Sound System was nice. I tweaked it to make the bass heavier like I always did in Moms and Dads car. So I went to do another Server Job in Avondale and afterwards I met John Dianne and Johns Mom at the RSA.

DSCN3811The RSA is for the well aged generation and like a retirement adventure land. John invited me and his Childrens to meet them altogether and have a heavy meal which is well priced for starter smorgasbord, main and desert. So I said yes to learn about NZs culture and treatment of the older generation. Unfortunately I ended up as the only one next to John, Dianne, Johns Mom (who greets and farewells me always with a lovely hug and Johns Sister and her Husband. They just left me alone there. Puhh so I felt pretty weird in their. Afterwards more funny than anything else. We had a nice chat and a good native dinner with typical English food. Roasted Beef, Turkey … Gravy, mashed potato, Salads and afterwards a piece of apple-pie. Afterwards Dianne, Granny, Johns Sister and I had fun at the 5c Slot machines playing stupid games. Granny even multiplied her inset times 15. She went out with 30$. Fantastic Smiley. In the end it was a very interesting experience. Very British with a Bar, Pool, dining room, TV Corner. And I wouldn’t miss it. And in the end I got a huge hug Smiley.

Schrotty needs another fix 2 – 9.2.2012

My beloved car got today its hopefully final fix. New tires. Three of them. Okay, still have to fix my spare tire to get back into its proper position under the car. And tightened enough to not fall off but loose enough in case I need it next time. But then I’m done. My fuckin fuel consumption is not really lower. It wasn’t worth it. But more and more I think about it more and more angry I get. So I stop.

Lake Tarawera with George and Julia 15-19.2.2012

DSCN3843One of many advantages I have working for John … is that I can decide not to work whenever I want to. Julia and George told me a while ago that they are going to meet Geoff at Lake Tarawera. John has also a Property there and offered us to stay there. So I went down from Wednesdays until Sunday. I already booked another Rafting trip for Sunday which I could fit in last time. I met George and Julia at Geoffs Place. It was nice to meet him again after a while. I hope I can go down there soon again.

George, Julia and I spent the first night at Johns place alone in the nice mobile house (huge holiday house still on Wheels but you couldn’t tell without looking under it). We had a funny first night and a couple of more the following nights. Jordan, Johns Son also arrived one day later with three friends to spent Thursday until Tuesday there. We drove almost everyday down to Rotorua to replace our Beer and Wine stock and a bit of food. We baked ((caramelized) a Brownie. BBQd a lot.

Rock Pools

P1080089One evening we got Jordan and his friends to drive with us out with Johns huge Boat. But the procedure to get it out of the “Garage” was terrible. There is one tree in the way and also the House. You have to have amazing skills to drive it out with a car. So we ended up doing it manually. Everybody was fully involved. And lets say it was complicated. At least except the Grass we didn’t damaged anything. From there on we decided to leave it outside. But after we had it out it was so cool. The Boys drove it down to the Port and picked us up at the House from the shoreline. The Sunset DSCN3851was already over and only some light rays made it to lighten the environment. We took some Beer on the Boat and headed towards the Hot Rock Pools. It was an amazing feeling speeding with 50km/h (only half of what it can race) over the calm splendid lake Tarawera with Vulcano Mountains in front of us, the water under us with loud Dub Step and Raggae kind of Music heading towards nice and hot water. Nobody around except us. Unforgettable. As we arrived it was almost completely dark. We brought some Torches to find our way. Everybody took his place in the hot (in the beginning too hot) water. But Robby destroyed the ring of rocks temporally and made it to lower the temperature a bit to make it delightful. We cooled us down with chilled beer and enjoyed the night. Jordan had a pretty good DSCN3852orientation and made it with the first try back to the property. We used the Jetty to get out right next to Johns House. Unfortunately Jordan somehow forget the keys for the car somewhere so we started to search for it afraid that it still is at the Rock pools. While our search a strange Maori came by. Asked us where we are from, where we live. That his tribe lives here since 1000 Years at this lake. That we have a nice boat. That he is fishing there at night and we couldt catch anything because we are not Maoris. He was kind of unfriendly. We have been happy when he finally went away and Jordan found the keys in the House. So all good. We brought the Boat back, had BBQ and Beers and went to sleep. P1080101

Tarawera Falls

P1080119So the Boat was out there and usable on the next day. Last time Geoff and Sebastian and the other Wwoofers went to the Tarawera Falls. I missed it so I had to do it this time. We asked Jordan to bring us there. This time at daytime. He and his Friends weren’t interested in it so only we went there. It was a sunny nice warm day so we drove reasonably early there. We deflated the sea biscuit for later usage and drove towards Tarawera Falls. Well prepared with walking shoes, swimwear,something to drink, Towels and Camera. The guys dropped us of and drove to the rock pools again. We arranged to meet 3h later at the jetty. So we started our hiking trip. It started with even terrain and became more and more steep. But not seriously steep. Just a bit exhausting. And we walked fast. Because we only had round about three hours. But after 5 minutes walking we found the sign saying 2h one way. So we were kind of in a hurry. We passed stunning River which became a partly a Pond like Stream with the opportunity to go swim in it (planned to do it on the way back. Then the River started to become faster and more unevenly until in started to flow down smaller Steps until bigger gaps finally down huger and huger downfalls. Those Tarawera Falls are well underrated. They are absolutely stunning.P1080124 P1080135 DSCN3904

 

 

 

Anyway we arrived exhausted at the last Fall where the water falls down at least 60 meter through a small gap in the Mountain and rushed with loud noise down to the ground. We didn’t had much time. So we took pictures and headed back. Ran back up the track again until we took a brake at this Pond to take a swim. George and I went into the chilly water. It had a pretty strong current in there but not strong enough to take us down to the waterfall. We used the a swinging rope to jump in, let rocks jumping over the water, swam against the current and went over to the other shore Smiley.

NP1080147ein, André, das ist gift, Mein neuer Freund Christian Ulmen). We had a lot of fun until we continued our race back to the Jetty. We arrived who knows how many hours later at the meeting spot. We didn’t had a clock. But nobody there. So either they haven’t been their or they are gone already. Anyway we settled down and relaxed on the Planks. Until a younger tattooed Maori with damaged Teeth and a nice slang went by with his kayak. He passed by but showed up a bit later again without his kayak behind us. He asked George and Julia for a Cigarette. In the end he took a lot of their tobacco. And if the guys didn’t picked us up soon who knows what he would have taken next. He also was between friendly and completely unfriendly. Asked sneaky where we live at the lake, said suspicious nice boat. We jumped into the boat and went away as fast as possible. We watched a movie, got digusted by the huge 10cm diameter Avondale Spider (a pitty I didn’t took a picture) in the Kitchen sink, drank wine and went late to bed like every evening. DSCN3911

Wairoa White Water Rafting

DSCN3919Faster than I thought it was Sunday and we had to leave. We packed our stuff. Cleaned the House a bit and headed to Geoff to drop of the keys and say goodbye. Hopefully next time its gonna be more relaxed there Smiley. George and Julia headed to Coromandel and I had to drive as fast as possible to the Wairoa River to make it on time. I picked up a Hitchhiker. A NZ local who is working on some Orchards. He asked after 2 minutes if I smoke weed and if I have some. Typical NZ. Fortunately he jumped of after 20 minutes. I arrived exactly on time to meet my boatmates. Two nice NZ Boys round about 12 Years. And 2 Japanese Guys with only basic English knowledge. They didn’t understand DSCN3917questions like what are you here for in NZ. Where do you live in NZ … The only answer they gave was they are from Japan. Except that they only nodded friendly. Yaaas Yaaas – smile. This gonna be a hillarious 5th Grade Rafting trip with them. At least the boys haven’t been struck dumb. We took the rafting boat onto the trailer. Putted on the special Jacket, Waterboots and the Swimvest. Then we Jumped into the Bus to drive to the start of the trip. We started behind a big downgrades where it was relative calm. But first the Safety Instructions and Commands. The River guide explaned with his hands and feet, sign language everything as easy as possible. But it was hopeless. they still nodded and smiled friendly. The Guide placed me next to him in the front the the two NZ Childs and Team Japan in the Backseats. The Tour Guide screamed and shouted his commands. But Team Japan didn’t do their best this days. Most of the times we ended up. In places where normally nobody ended up or sinned around or even almost flipped around the boat which is the worst case scenario. But I had my fun. It was a bit more extreme then it could have been without them. So I nodded friendly to myself Smiley.

DSCN3920But still the Trip could have been longer and even more exciting. At home I will have a look where to find the most extreme and best one. I think there is one in Afrika. Namibia or so somebody said last rafting trip. We ended up at our meeting spot glad that nothing bad happened that day. We carried the boat out of the water up the hills back to the Trailer. We had Lunch and I went back to the river to have a swim in the ice cold clear water. lovely. And then I already had to drive all the way back to Auckland.

 

 

DSCN3921There I found the house like abandoned. Johns. The Q7 with open Doors. the Main door open. A bit unusual when nobody is there. I took a shower and went to look for them where they are. After a while of rescue search I found John behind the house at the huge buckets planting different Vegetables into the earth. We chatted, had some beers and finished the Veggie Garden together. We had nice Indian takeaway dinner. It is so nice to get Dinner every evening here.

Two Days later I already had my flight to Wellington and I had to leave again. Fortunately only for a week. And I had a bit time to rest in-between. But more about Wellington next time

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