IMG_0522Hey Guys,

I am not in Auckland anymore. I recently left it to head towards the so famous South Island. Everybody praises it so much and finally I will be able to make up my own opinion about it. Currently I am in Wellington finishing my last Job for the next three month, if nothing unexpected happens. So here is what I did so far since the weekend before I left Auckland and the North Island.

 

Cheers J

Weekend at Goat Island - 16-17.3.2012

Goat_PanoIMG_0371I often heard of it. Friends of me went there to go snorkeling and stuff. But even though I passed it a couple of times I never have been there or even noticed it when passing by. Goat Island is a small island maybe one km off the shoreline close to Orewa. It is in the Northeast of Auckland roundabout 100km away from the CBD. But this time I went there. Brenda invited me to meet her and her friends up there on Friday for camping and spending the Saturday together snorkeling and chilling at the beach there. Sure I didn’t refused. I never went snorkeling before. A thing I can tick on my list of things I’ve never done. That day I finished work early. Frustrated because of the stupid Otahuhu HP Server problems but happy to have a early and great weekend. On the weekend we had bad weather in the last time, but this time it looked promising. So I drove 2 km home packed my stuff and some beers and left Goat Island on a beautiful sunny and warm day. I passed a place where I stayed with Amy and Smartin on our way to the Ninety Mile Beach until I arrived the Marine Reserve of Goat Island. IMG_0378I was the first one so I took my spot at the camping ground nearby and went for a walk down to the Water. I went for a long walk at the shoreline until I was completely alone (so after 5 minutes walking and enjoyed the silence only interrupted by the ocean and the numerous clicks of my camera. I took heaps of pictures. Way too much, but most of them look stunning. I walked a lot that evening and ended lying in the warm sand catching the last sunrays of the day. IMG_0396

Then I went back to the Camping Ground. There I met two of Brendas Friends: Mitch and Clair (hope I remember it right, definitely Mitch, but not sure about Clair). They already prepared their tent for the night. We drank some beer later that evening together at a nice and warm campfire until finally the other Guys arrived. Brenda with Jacob (her Flatmate) and Courney, somehow related to John and his Family and always around somewhere. Its funny I meet her very often without being aware of that. Maybe because NZ is so small. But anyway, We all helped to build up their tent and especially inflating the Mattress together. Before going to bed we walked down to the beach at night sat down in the sand watching the stars and chatted. Then we went to bed. Lucky me able to sleep in my luxury Schrotty. We wanted to get up early next morning.

IMG_0408IMG_0351Saturday

We took our Camping Chairs and Sleeping bags out this morning. Brenda ate a disgusting Can of Fruits and the Rest relaxed and waited until everybody was ready to leave. We rented some Snorkeling Gear before we left to a small town nearby for Breakfast. Afterwards we went back to the Beach and dressed up. Goat Island is a good Spot for snorkeling because a lot of fish goes hunting in this area between the shoreline and the Island. There is something like a reef in between. After squishing Jacob in his Wetsuit (by the way, the only one Smiley) everybody went in the mediocre wet water. Unfortunately the Weather wasn’t as good as the day before. It was windy and also cloudy. But we had to deal with it no matter what. I was really excited of going snorkeling. But honestly also a bit frightened because of the strong current and high waves. And especially later. Do you know that there is actually fish in the Ocean? Crazy. In the beginning I was scared of what I’ve seen down there. But because of the strong currents and harsh weather the water not clear enough to see a lot. But at least we found some Snappers and a Stingray. Until someone accidently kicked it. After a while I finally gained more confidence and enjoyed snorkeling. Also because I found a good position to wear my diving goggles and snorkel. Before I had serious problems keeping the water out. It was leaking in from all directions and I’ve breathed a lot of saltwater through my nose. Yuck. Because of the Temperatures and not good enough weather we didn’t spent too much time in the water. And also not at the beach. We tried to take a sunbath but it was more of a water bath and the Sun umbrellas had to resist the rain. I really regret that. I wished to have more time and better weather conditions. Im sure I will do snorkeling again. Its worth it.

IMG_0432IMG_0421So we dressed normal again, dropped our Gear at the Camping ground and drove to another Marine Reserve nearby. Mitch knows a lot about this Area. He grew up there and also traveled even as a original NZ a lot around. So we drove to the end of a long Gravel Road until we ended up at beautiful Beach. We headed to the Beach but after a couple of minutes it began to rain. We almost turned to drive home. But fortunately the discussions took to much time until it cleared up end turned out to get nicer. We went down to the beach and I started to explore the surroundings while Courtney was keen enough to go swimming again. Righthand sided down the beach there have been nice caves. In the right moment when the water went back a bit it was possible to went through them to enter a beach behind them. It was stunning. It looked behind like two connected blue water Bays separated by a white sanded beach. I went back for lying in the sand a bit with the weather getting brighter and better. We meet some other friends of Brenda and Courtney. They brought a group of 20 Koreans and some really nice Danish guys with them. The Danish and Friends of Brenda and Courtney, not the Koreans went for diving in this area and caught at least 80 Scallops. So we hit on a group of 20 Koreans and a couple of Danishs fileting the Scallops alive. IMG_0440

IMG_0439We sat down and watched the show. It was disgusting but also interesting to see how they cut the still breathing scallops open with a knife loosening the muscle from the shell, scratching out the content still twitching and then ripping off the meat part and separating it from the other organs. Next to them a pile of more clapping breathing scallops. Afterwards they grilled it natural like it was. Even though I already had tried Scallops before and aware of still not understanding why everybody is praising the taste of scallops I had to try again. Because its so fresh. It cant be fresher. I still don’t get it. I had one. And it was okay but what is so special about it. I don’t get it.

Afterwards we left the group and headed home in the afternoon. I stopped a couple of times for taking some more pictures of the beautiful Landscape.IMG_0445

Last Dinner together, for now – 17.3.2012

I spent a lazy Day almost only in my Apartment watching Movies and Scrubs. Until John and Dianne invited me for Dinner. The last one for a while. We went to the nice Restaurant right down the Road in Albany where I tried the delicious Pizza. Even though Greg is not there (Friend of Jordan who is normally doing the Pizza). I also had a delicious Brownie with Icream. Hmmm Yummy. I drove again the Q7 because they drank too much and behaved really funny, bit like little children's. :-). Very amusing. I will miss that. Its such a great coincident that I originally met them. Without them and my Job I would never would have had even close such a great time, done amazing stuff like Helicopter flying … or could have afford my car or to take 3 Month off. I’m so thankful for that its hard to say it to them or even write it down. But I will try when I am really leaving back home.

The last days in Auckland – 21.3.2012

Even though Auckland is nice to me I am happy to leave. Finally finishing the last Server in Auckland freed me up to leave towards the South Island. I cleaned the Apartment, packed my stuff drove to the Office. Last time for a while to say goodbye. It was a fail. I ended up being busy until noon. Its always a lot to do. But nothing to complain about. Its such a nice work environment and here its usually fun to work. So I left 1 pm towards Lake Tarawera and picked up some Padlocks in Greenlane for Johns Property in Rotorua. But they of course wanted to have something fixed too. So it took even more time

Finally I ended up at Johns, installed the Padlocks. They haven’t been there. They drove to Tarawera but did a Trip from there to Hastings. Geoff didn’t expected me that day not anymore. But there I was. He let me stayed in our old Cottage. It felt so strange without all my friends, lonely and different. Anyhow, I had a nice evening with Geoff talking. He made, like always a delicious dinner. Pork-Steak with a really good mushroom sauce and broccoli besides. Yummy. I went early to bed, have been tired wasted from the long day and the drive.

One Day WWoofing – 22.3.2012

IMG_0464IMG_0456I started lazy and slow. I got up at 10 am and went afterwards up to Geoff to work at least a bit for the the food and Accommodation. I helped him cut away a part of the rainforest in the neighborhood. Exhausted and sweaty but happy I left to Turangi. Into a small but even better hostel with nice nice people. I met a Dutch couple, Erik and Joanne (not sure about the spelling), Anna Ick (Canadian Women from Quebec French Teacher) and Elise from France.

We had a very nice talk and discussions about not or to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing tomorrow. The I-site in town already told me the tour Busses aren't going up there. The weather forecasts have been pretty bad. Its my first try so actually I didn’t give a shit. I was pro walk in any conditions and fortunately Rob, the Hostel Manager had the same opinion. Anna annoyed him so much that he almost lost his temper. After his head popped up behind the Entry Door we raided him and annoyed him with questions until he became a bit grumpy. Understandable. We left him alone a while. until he cam back to say should be okay.He said the weather up believed Rob Smiley

The Big Day – Tongariro Alpine Crossing - 23.3.2012

My Parents would never believe that I could be so excited about doing a 8h, 19,4 km hiking Track with an elevation change of more than 900 m up and afterwards down again. But maybe their Austria trips brainwashed me a bit. Hard to admit but maybe they planted another good seed there in my head. One Day before I bought a Waterproof Macpack Backpack in Rotorua. so I packed something to drink, a towel my Camera, Rain Jacket, Apples and some Muesli Bars to endure the long trip. I had my sport shoes on, short pants and the Jack Wulfskin Sweater (still thankful for passing it on to me, Anne Smiley) and my Backpack. I did the walk with my new Dutch friends. The weather didn’t look to bad at the Hostel.

The Bus picked us up at 7:30 am. We drove to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Even though the weather looked promising on the way to the start of the Track was even more promising. But this time promising bad weather.

IMG_0471IMG_0487On the Way it became more foggy and the rain started drizzling. When we ended up at the Car park. The heavy rain hammered on the starting Hutt where we tried to protect us from the rain and stay dry. We redressed a bit. For me that meant wearing my Rain Jacket. Erik and Joanne have been better prepared. They put on their Waterproof Overpants and Rainjackets. I envied them for that Smiley. We waited a bit but it didn’t stop. We had to live with that and kept our hopes up for better weather soon. So we started to walk. After 10 minutes my Sport shoes build for being breathable were soaked. my Pants began to change from a lighter green to a very dark green. At least my upper part stayed almost dry. And the content in my Backpack. The first part of the track have been IMG_0485very steep and interrupted by a lot of steep steps and wriggled up the mountain next to a small river. Then we reached one of the many plateaus but this with sulfur waterfalls. Very beautiful and a bit smelly (reminded us of Rottenrua). We only can imagine how beautiful the view could have been with good weather. It must be stunning from up there. But the clouds rushing through and sight distances of down to 10 m have also a very special magic and mysterious effect. Even though the weather was bad it was even more impressive to feel the nature. After a short stop at the Waterfall with Anna and Elise to take some pictures we continued to not loose too much time. The surroundings were so vast and rough just awesome. Especially the following plateaus between Mt. “Doom” (Lotro) wich we could’t IMG_0509climb or even see where stunning. They looked like the North Sea looks on low tide. The ground appearing like a Sandy wet flat beach. Amazing. One hour before the Top we thought about turning. Okay I didn’t because I wanted it so badly and I don’t have much to loose (at least I felt that feeling). In the end we decided against, fortunately. The Areas afterwards and the seconds of heaving small gaps between all those clouds made the effort worth it. After one of the last, long and exhausting hike upwards we had to face the stronger getting wind bursting up to 80kmh trying to push us over the edge of the ridge on top and additionally the damn rain. It seems I have to by some decent hiking gear to do the long tracks on the South Island.

IMG_0529IMG_0554I felt relieved on top of this walk. finally I made it. And despite the weather I took my camera out as often as I could to take photos like Mr. Wong (my new Nickname from John and Dianne). We passed the sulfured lakes which are usually so blue and green on our steep way down almost sliding through the light and loose lava sand. Another Plateau and a loong long path over a crater like ridge down the last 10 km. And finally the weather cleared up a bit. the rain almost stopped and the view became tremendous. We passed a hut for a short toilet stop and continued our last 5 km accompanied by the richer getting vegetation until we hiked though thick rainforest like environments besides small rivers and waterfalls.IMG_0614 IMG_0367

What a walk. And what a feeling afterwards to accomplished it. We have been so happy. While we waited for our Bus back which picked us up at 4pm we met Elise and Anna again. They didn’t expected us there. They thought we turned. Even they as very experienced hiker have been a bit scared of the conditions. Actually I thought the track is way harder. All the way up and down I expected more problems but I felt great. I could have even made it up to Mount Doom. So I already decided to do this track again in Winter with scraper and a tour guide and e better view hopefully Smiley.

IMG_0603The evening we wanted to have something nice to reward ourselves. Erik bought good Danish beer. I offered my half a bottle of gin tonic left from my birthday. We had a nice evening altogether, and I also had the leftover delicious spaghetti Bolognese baked topped with parmesan baked in the oven. Delicious. That night I had to sleep in my Van. Unfortunately. I would have loved to sleep in a decent bed after that trip. But a Korean Group occupied the room and my bed from the day before.

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Erik's Birthday – 24.3.2012

We.had Breakfast together with Erik, Joanne and Anna at the only one good café in Turangi. I gifted Eggs Benedict to myself and a Moccachino. My new favorite Coffee drink. Afterwards everybody left into different directions. The Dutch Couple to Wanganui, Anna to New Plymouth by bus. First I went into the direction of New Plymouth too for 80 km. But then I thought again how much time I have and turned to drive to Wanganui which lies more on my way down to Palmerston North. I spent a while in this City but it is not that nice there. Northing special to see. Just a small ugly Town next to a river. And also rainy weather. After seeing the Museum and the Art Gallery I drove further to Palmy to look for a good spot to freedom camp somewhere. It took me a while and a lot of detours until I found the perfect spot. Somewhere between a Police Station under a Bridge next Army Base and a small Airport. It has been a bit spooky place in the woods next to a big river. The surrounding looks weird in the dark. Its so hidden there and looked like nobody since years have been there. The gravel road to the end where I parked was getting more and more overgrown. But anyway a good hidden spot.

Family Trouble in Palmy - 25.3.2012

I woke up expecting some changes around. Some other Campers, People with Dogs, Fisherman's or Mass murder's. But no, nothing. Cool. At night it rained a lot. I needed to drive to huge mud pools and for the first time I was really happy to have a four wheel drive. Without I wouldn’t have made it out of there without assistance. It also took me a while to find the exit out of this Labyrinth of paths. I’m wondering what they original have been there for. IMG_0637

IMG_0644Then I drove down to Palmerston North. I went to a hostel mentioned in Lonely Planet. Crazy drinking Teenagers outside with lowered racing cars. It was a strange atmosphere. there. I went into the hostel expecting to get a Bed. Who wants to go to Palmerston North anyway? Its not famous for anything special. But that day, or lets say week it looked everything but good. The Hostel was fully booked because of Volleyball Tournament the whole week. I tried some other Hostels next door without any luck. Back at my Car the Teens started through with their Asian plastic car (Reisschuessel) playing Fast and the Furious Tokio Drift. Irritated I left too. Almost as cool but way slower without taking as much attention than Mr. Fullthtrottle. before. I went to the Center of the City to the I-Site to ask them for cheap accommodations around. But everything up to 100$ was fully booked. My last way out could have been John. So I called to help me out somehow. And boom I had a place to sleep. He called Rachel and Jimi (Owners of the PN Armstrong Shop) if I could sleep there. I Waited a while until Jimi and Caylab picked me up to show me the way home. I followed them. IMG_0647

IMG_0649Then I met the rest of the family on a small Farm like property a bit outside of the City. Altogether Rachel, Jimi and their Childrens Natasha (8 Y) and Caylab (11 Y) welcomed me. It was a good thing I didn’t got a hostel bed. Instead of meeting more Backpackers I had another true NZ experience to see how a local Family lives here with young family members. They also had a crazy dog which didn’t stop licking and jumping on everything human. Most insane dog I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately I didn’t took any pictures of all this. Their Children's are so adorable and funny. We adults got a show every evening at dinner. They where awesome.

The first night we spent talking until 1 am. It was really good, and the following days weren’t very different. We had nice evenings of cooking and talking. Playing with the Children’s. Btw they loved my car. Must be very adventurous to have a Car with a bed in it. Every time they cold and had the chance they jumped into it and played cards.
Rachel and Jimi helped me with repairing my car again ( Oil change and a Problem with a Temperature Sensor, fuck, another 320$). I cooked delicious Spaghetti Carbonara at our last night. They always took good care of me. I lived with them as a part of their family. Rachel even made Sandwiches for all of us. And added an apple to the Lunch Meal. It reminded me a lot of my childhood. I loved that. They also gave me the contact details of Jimis father who lives in the Marlborough Sounds. I may stay there and maybe also go fishing there with him. Wicked.IMG_0652

leaving Palmy - 28.3.2012

I finished my work, my Stuff already packed to Wellington roundabout noon. I was a bit sad because it was so much fun to stay at Jimis and Rachels place. I will miss their funny children's but also be happy to continue to do my last job so far in Johnsonville. The drive isn’t long. I took the Server with me to deliver it for the day after to Johnsonville and already do a bit of work. The drive was nice. The Landscape begins to change and vary between Palmy and Wellington. It looks more rural and rough. The Day was Sunny and very bright. I wished I would have taken some Pics. I ended up on a run down Camping ground. But hey only 10$. Its hard and expensive to get Accomodation in Wellington. And even though its overpriced its usually pretty bad. This was cheap and at least okay for the price. Next morning I had to leave early anyway to meet Martin.

at Martins - 29.3.2012 - 1.4.2012

Martin (from Australia) is a friend of Geoff. Kindly he gave me days before his contact details. I wasn’t able to stay there last night but from now on it was possible so I went to him in the morning. It was late because of all the traffic jams and because I was niggling under the shower. But anyhow I made it. He is a nice guy roundabout 48 something running a successful company which builds Fire truck engines for NZ and Australia. He lives in a big English Manor from the 20th. Pretty damn cool House. And also well furnished with a special interior. Especially the Bathroom. He advised me to leave on next Monday instead of this Saturday. He probably will drive with me out fishing with his 800 HP Motor Boat. Ai, maybe we take the Jetski with us too …IMG_0670

I finished the last Server so far on this Friday.Actually the day before. but I showed up to solve some minor issues and other Armstrong things. Then I wanted to leave early and like always when I nearly try to take the first step out of the door I got held back. Fortunately it didn’t took very long. Then I went to Martin into his Factory and I got a nice Tour. He is Producing hundreds of Fire trucks for New Zealand and Australia. They import the basic Truck, loosen every screw and cable to add all the parts a Fire truck needs. His Company designs, produce and constructs almost everything themselves. Really interesting Profession. And it was huge. A lot of Offices, and 3 big construction Halls with milling machines, laser cutter … and a dozen of finished and unfinished Trucks.

Fishing Trip Day one

Then we went of to the Marina where his Boat is. Its still early. Roundabout 2:30 pm. So a good Time for fishing. We drove to the marina I already visited on my last Wellington trip cause its in between SteveMs and the Armstrong Branch Shop. But this time I went into the Marina. And there was his Boat. More a Ship. A huge Catamaran with 2 Bedrooms, 2 Toilets, a Kitchen, Upper Deck a living room with a big Flat screen, and powered by two engines with all in all roundabout 800 HP. Fuckin massive.IMG_0703

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The Trip wasn’t planned at all cause we directly went from his workplace to it. And even though I had all my stuff in my car with me I didn’t think about it what I need and just grabbed my Backpack and my eftpos card. At least I had my Camera an Sweater and a rain jacket. But I didn’t knew we are gone for two days. Martin was even worse prepared and only had his shirt on he was wearing. Fortunately we had good weather the whole two days so it wasn’t too bad. We drove from the Seaview Harbour out through the Wellington Harbour to into the open sea. It began to get more and more shaky caused by the bigger waves out there. I’m glad that I don’t get seasick. Cause there I would have had a problem for sure. Luna, Martins New Foundland Dog was also with us. Not seasick as well but always in the walkway. We searched with the Sound for a good spot to catch something. We took out a couple of rods and over the whole time I learnt more and more about fishing. I still couldn't ever kill one, and I always had a tremble when Martin did, but yeah when we wanna eat stuff like this it needs to be killed. On the first day we only caught useless fish, forgot the name of it but its reddish and his name sounded like Shitfish. So I call him Shitfish. We got heaps of them. Some we reused as bait when we ran out of it. The others we put back in. We were fishing in depth between 40 and 120m with 1-5 Hooks and sometimes heavy weights. The whole day in the sun drinking beer. Very manly Smiley. Finally we got some Barracudas. Martin once had 4 on one rod but managed them to get them out. I only caught stupid Shitfish. and one Barracuda. The Mows where happy to finish them off when we put some of them back in. Especially one badass Mow with bad manors. Trying to rip them of the rod when we tried to get the fish of the hook. I never realized that Fish can be so aggressive. They have pretty sharp teethes and they are strong. We even got sharks on the hook when they didn’t managed to bite the whole hooks off. Which I had twice the day after loosing all the hooks and the weights. Martin had to take the bigger fish off for me. I only had the guts to take the Shitfish of my rod. therefore I had to grab them in their mouth with one hand and pull, mostly rip the hook out of there mouth while they where wiggle around. Not that easy sometimes. And it wastes the fingers because you have to press with your thumb on their bottom teeth row which fucks up the thumb very much after a while doing it.IMG_0732

IMG_0742Then when the sun went down we drove back to Wellington. It was so cliché. Heaps of Dolphins where besides us or playing while following us in front of the boat doing stunts and jumping. It was amazing. Never seen Dolphins before. I should have made a short movie. But at least I got some good pictures of them. Martin didn’t wanna go home so we drove to the Wellington Marina in the City and stopped there for the night. We didn’t went out that night (what he would have done normally) because we didn’t had any decent cloth. But we in the evening with Luna (Lunatic) through the city a bit to grab some food from Noodle Cantine. Pretty hot food. There I realized how attractive a dog is for girls. Every passing Girl was like Ohhh, look at that sweet dog how huge and cute. Petting her and stuff. Never noticed that before. I need to get a dog Smiley.IMG_0756

IMG_0762We went back to the Marina, ate our dinner and went after a couple of beers and after Martins Girlfriend came by to bed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fishing Trip Day two

IMG_0799Next morning we went for a short Breakfast to a nearby café, left his girlfriend behind and went out fishing again. We tried some different spots until we found a really good one where at least Martin caught next to a lot of Shitfish some Barracudas, Blue Cods and some other nice delicious Fish. At least I’ve got a Blue Cod as well. I was very proud. Only a small one, but at least a small success that day. We again have been out the whole day. Fishing is fun but in the end I had enough. Maybe for a while. Jimi gave me his Fathers Contact in Marlborough Sounds. I’m sure I will visit him. But not sure if I already wanna go on a fishing trip again. Maybe I will, but then more because of the Trip then the Fishing. The sun went down again and we went home to the Seaview Harbour. We tied the Boat on, cleaned up a bit and Martin began to filet the flesh out of the Fish. I watched interested and held the flashlight for him. Couldn’t have done more. It looked disgusting with all those blood and guts. We went home, I took a loooong hot shower to get the fish smell of me and had a good good long sleep that night.IMG_0798

Last Days in Wellington and on the North Island

Today (01.04.2012) we are cleaning the Boat from the mess we did there the weekend and then tomorrow Except that I don’t do anything except writing the Blog, and planning what I wanna next. I finally have my Ferry trip to Picton on the South Island. I’m looking so much forward to it. So the next Article will come from there. Im beeing ready to see what’s waiting there for me.IMG_0804