Koh Tao

Charlie an I arrived in koh Tao after a rather stressful start trying to get our key deposit back and the woman that had it not being there in the morning, NOT HELPFUL! But we arrived safe and sound and headed straight over to saire beach and bumped straight into Rosanna strolling around very hung over! We planned to meet for brunch after charlie an I ha found a place to stay. After a quick stroll around we decided to treat ourselves for a couple of days and stay at this lovely place called simple life which even had a pool! We dropped our bags off and went to meet Rosanna. After a lovely catch up we sadly had to say goodbye as she was heading over to phi phi that evening so we let her go and get her stuff packed. That night we had a stroll round before grabbing some dinner an having a chilled night in.

The next day was spent just chilling out by the pool doing nothing. We went for dinner at a placed called the gallery which had been recommended to us by Rosanna and the food was good.

The next day we had booked a snorkelling trip around the island. We left at about 9am and headed down to the pier. We met a lovely English couple who had emigrated to Australia years ago and were here celebrating their wedding annerversery. We jumped on the boat and headed to the first stop, shark bay. This was actually rather disappointing as there were no sharks and very little coral to see, so we just swam about for a bit before we were called back to the boat. The next stop however was much more impressive. There was tones of coral and some really beautiful fish too, I even saw a giant sting ray! We jumped back on the boat and went to one more stop which wasn’t quite as good as the last one but was still pretty nice. We had half an hour here swimming around before getting back on the boat for a surprisingly unimpressive lunch, most of which ended up going to the fish! After lunch we had one last stop snorkelling before going to a lovely secluded island. We got to spend a couple of hours here just chilling out on the beach before heading back. All in all it was a lovely day until we realised how sun burnt charlie was!! We was so red it was unbelievable! We went back to the room and I passed out!! By the time I woke up it was 10pm so we just had some paad thi in the room for dinner and went back to sleep!

The next day was again spent doing nothing, chilling by the pool and sunbathing. We decided that as we had so much time to kill and we didn’t really want to spend loads of time on koh samui, that we would stay on koh Tao for a few more days, but on a different part of the island as we were told there was better snorkelling elsewhere. So the next morning we got up, checked out and jumped in a tuck tuck over to chalok ban koa where charlie found the most beautiful beach ever!! It was stunning and the best part was there were barely any people on it!! It was like our own private beach!! We got checked in and grabbed some lunch before chilling out on the beach.

The next 5days were pretty much spend doing just that, chilling out on the beach we didn’t really do any activities, charlie tried to snorkel once but the mask he hired was pretty shit so he didn’t get very far!

On our last night on this side of the island our lovely friends Ella and rosy arrived so we met up with them over in saire beach and had a lovely dinner before heading out. As we had to check out the next morning we said we weren’t going to get that drunk, but that never happens!! We ended up going to 4 different bars and having a great night!

The next morning however, charlie was suffering very badly! We had to get up fairly early to check out and he was not doing well!! We headed back over to saire beach and checked into a new place with the girls. Charlie immediately passed out to try and cure his hangover so I went and got breakfast with the girls. Once we had all eaten we decided to all go for a nap to help us recover! We woke up early afternoon and decided to all go and play mini golf! We had so much fun and the course was actually really hard!! Yet I still came a respectable second!! Once we were done we headed back to get ready for dinner. We had a lovely meal at a very posh Italian restaurant and we all got free pudding as they messed up my order! Later on we headed down to a bar for drinks, Ella left us for a while to deal with her awkward ex and charlie roast and I ended up being mesmerised by the fire dancers!! As we had eaten so much and were too busy watching the fire dancers we weren’t really drinking much so we decided to head back to the room to play drinking games! After a while Ella re-joined us so we headed back out. We ended up going to loads of different bars and some sort of half hearted pool party where no one was actually in the pool! We didn’t end up leaving until 4:30am all very drunk!!

The next day charlie and I were due to leave to head to koh samui but as we were having so much fun we decided to stay one more day! We were all feeling very worse for ware so we grabbed some breakfast and then the girls headed down to the beach. Charlie and I had to book our boat ticket otherwise we would never leave, so we went and did that and then met them down at the beach. We spent the afternoon there before heading back to get ready for dinner. This time we decided to go for something cheap and cheerful as the night before had been a rather expensive one! As soon as we finished eating we set off to what can only be described as as the funniest night ever! We went to the most amazing placed called queens cabaret! It was a cabaret show made up of only lady boys. It was so funny, and amazing to see some of these women, you’d be surprised at just how beautiful they were! They did loads of different numbers all of which seemed to be teamed around some sort of celeb that the lady boy was dressed as and miming along to the song. It was great fun! Once it was over we headed down to the beach and had some lovely cocktails before calling it a night as charlie and I had to be up early for our boat.

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Koh phangan, full moon and my birthday

After a relaxing few days on koh lanta we made the long journey to koh phangan. It took us about 6 hours by bus and boat. When we arrived we checked into our questionable accommodation and dropped our stuff. After being in the room for about 5mins the power cut out. We should have known then it wasn’t going to be great!

As we had 6 full days here we decided to rent a moped as where we were staying was a good 20min drive from haad rin where all the action is, so we figured we would save money in cab fairs this way. As Charlie’s two friends jack and Harry, as well as Sean who we had met in Bangkok were already staying over in haad rin we headed straight there to meet them for dinner. The drive up there was insane! The roads were so hilly that if I had been driving and charlie was on the back we wouldn’t have gotten up them, plus the Thai people drive like mad men!! There are no real rules of the road! But we got there safe and sound after getting a little lost. We had a nice meal and drove the bike up to where jack and Harry were staying so it was safe.

After a little pre-drinking Harry suggested we head down to a place called coral bungalows as they hold a pool party every night that’s supposed to be really good. They run free taxis there so we thought why not. We arrived and it was dead as it was still really early so after a few more buckets I suggested the waterfall party as I’d heard it was really good. We got a taxi down there, got our free drink and started watching the fire dancers. As I was a little drunk it took me a while to realise there wasn’t a waterfall anywhere. We went hunting for it only to discover there was no waterfall, I was bitterly disappointed, so we left! We decided as it was a lot later now we should go back and try the pool party again, and this time it was rammed!! There were people everywhere!! We all jumped straight in the pool, which on reflection was probably pretty gross as I can only imagine how many drunk people had peed in it! But we had a great time and even bumped into mez and his friends. I have no idea what time it was when we left but we headed back to jack and Harry’s before deciding charlie was far too drunk to drive the bike back so we got a cab.

The next day was a complete right off. Everyone was feeling terrible. The boys made there way over to our hotel as we had a pool for everyone to chill at, but I hardly left the room!! Later on they all went for dinner, but I still couldn’t stomach moving so I stayed behind. After they had eaten they were all feeling great again and wanted another night on the town but I really wasn’t up for it. so I sent them off on a lads night out and they got up to lots of trouble from what I heard!

The next day was full moon, as charlie had been out the night before we had a bit of a layin before heading out and grabbing some essentials and the obligatory full moon tops. Charlie took me for dinner at the shake he went to the day before with the boys and then we headed back to get ready. We jumped into the earliest bus over as we wanted to get in as much pre drinking as possible to save money. We went straight over to jack and Harry’s who had already been joined by Sean, rou, alno and warren. I had grabbed some paints on the way over so started some fantastic art work on the lads! We were all pre drinking for a while but it was still super early so Harry suggested we try out the pool party we had been to the previous night before heading to the beach. As my delightful friend Rosanna was supposedly down at cactus bar we decided to do a bit of a drive by first to see if we could see her an then head over. As we were all a little drunk and no one really knew where cactus bar was we spent about half an hour roaming around the streets before we found it. We went in an the place was PACKED as it backs straight on to the beach. About a second after going in we lost half the group! There was no chance I was going to be able to find Rosanna so after a quick scout we decided to just go out to the beach. It was rammed!! There were people everywhere you looked. We decided to make our way to one end of the beach and gradually make our way to the other through the night. We got to the end and there was a huge stage with this amazing saxophone player with a huge crowd of people all around him! From there on in it’s all a bit of a drunken blur but from what I can remember we managed to stay with jack, Harry and alno for most of the evening, dancing like crazy people an getting covered in paint! At some point we made out way back towards cactus bar where we randomly also bumped into mez and Norris! More drinking and crazy dancing, at one point I was up on a table dancing with a Thai lady! Then we amazing managed to find Jynay a little further down the beach at a great bar which we stayed at for a while I think! Soon enough I was feeling a little too drunk so we decided to head off the beach and grab some food. We were sat in this cafe for what felt like hours at which point we found mez and Norris as well as some other boys we knew from the kiwi bus, and I facetimed lib, all before anyone had taken our order, so after using there Internet we left! We found another smaller cafe and got some food. At about 5am we managed to find our lift home and crashed out!

As you can imagine the next day we did nothing! Nothing at all! In fact I think we even went as far as to get take away food so we didn’t have to leave our room!

The next day was my birthday!! As we had had a terrible nights sleep due to the power constantly cutting out leaving us with no AC we didn’t get up till around midday. Charlie had got me a lovely card which I opened as well as a new deck of playing cards as a little gift and amazing my great aunt had managed to get a card to where we were staying that arrived on time, so I had that to open too. We decided to head over to the other side of the island to some of the much nicer resorts which had proper spas so I could get a birthday massage. It was a bloody long drive on the bike over some very interesting roads and on the way over we got to see some elephants just chilling out which was super cool! We went to a place called the aramana hotel and it was AMAZING!! The whole place was beautiful. It had an infinity pool that looked out on to the most amazing beach and the spa was unreal! I got to speak to my mum quickly before i went for my massage which was lovely. After my massage I met charlie at the bar and had a surprise call from my dad which was very sweet! After a quick stroll up the beach we decided to head back as we had dinner arrangements. Once we had showered an changed we headed out for dinner at a great sea food restaurant called fisherman’s which is right on the beach and you are able to sit in long tail boats which was very cool. The food was amazing and charlie had even arranged for them to sing happy birthday and bring me out a pudding with a candle in the top which was very sweet! Once we had finished we went back to where we were staying so I could FaceTime my mum and the kids properly as well as having a quick chat with lib! All in all I had a lovely chilled day which was exactly what I wanted after the chaos of full moon.

The next day was our last day on the island so we had to drop back the bike which ended up being a complete disaster! Despite there being NOTHING wrong with the bike at all, the owner tried charging us 1,700bht after much discussion we realised that as they had Charlie’s passport we had to pay them but managed to get it down to just 1,000bht. We paced our bags and had dinner and were both quite looking forward to heading over to koh Tao for a few quite days after the craziness we had had here!

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Phuket and koh lanta

We jumped on our boat to Phuket just before lunch time and it took a couple of hours. We made it to our hotel after a long treck with our bags an checked in.

We didn’t do a huge amount while we were in phuket as we had had a few days of partying hard so we wanted to chill a bit, and save some money! We were also quite unlucky with the weather as it rained for a couple of days which meant we did pretty much nothing but play cards!

On our second to last day however we booked in to go to a cooking class. It started just after midday and charlie and I had already picked the dishes we wanted to cook. Charlie learnt how to make a panaeng curry, raad na which is a noodle dish in a thick gravy sauce and dancing fish with green lipstick, don’t ask me why it’s called that, but it was! I learnt how to make a red curry, noodle soup and paad su which is very similar to paad thi but with soy sauce instead of peanut. We were doing the class with 3 other Australian ladies who were all very nice. We started off learning all about different Thai herbs and spices and what each one was used for. We also learnt about different sauces such as light and dark soy and oyster sauce, what goes into them and what they are used for. Once we knew the basics it was time for each of us to make one dish each. Charlie made his raad na and I did my paad su. We were both so surprised at how quick they were to make. Once everyone had made there first dish we all sat down and shared all the food we had made. It was a delicious feast and everyone was swapping notes on how they made their dish. When everyone had finished eating we started cooking our second two dishes. To start with we needed to make the paste which is the base to any Thai curry. First we tried all the different ingredients that go into the paste and then added them all to a pestle and mortar and crushed them all together. Once that was done we could all start cooking. Again the meals were done super quickly and soon enough we were sat down again this time with an even bigger feast!

The next day charlie and I left for koh lanta, it was a fairly long tip as we had to go all the way back to koh phi phi and change boats to go on to koh lanta. When we arrived we managed to haggle for a very nice room and ended up staying for 4days doing nothing but chilling by the pool and beach and eating great food! We tried to have a really chilled out few days as our next stop was koh phangan for full moon so we knew it would be crazy from then on.

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Phi phi and songkran

We arrived into Phuket late evening, so we had booked a nights accommodation as we weren’t able to jump on a boat until the next day.

The next morning we were picked up and drove for a about an hour until we reached the port. We jumped on and sat up at the top to try and help with my sea sickness. After about 3 hours we arrived at the lovely koh phi phi. We were met by the guy from our accommodation and began the treck up to it! Once we had checked in and cooled down we decided to go investigate. We wondered round for a few hours and had dinner at a place called papaya on jacks recommendation. Charlie had his first panaeng curry and I had a green curry. The food was surprisingly good despite all the cats roaming around! We went for a couple of drinks after and then headed back to the room.

The next morning we woke up and decided to go on a maya bay over night trip. Luckily, as the trip didn’t leave until the afternoon we were able to book it for today. We got dressed and packed an over night bag before heading down to meet the boat. Maya bay is the area where most of the movie “the beach” was filmed and as its so popular with tourists the best time to see the beach is late afternoon once everyone else has gone.

We got on the boat with the other 18 people doing the same trip as us and set off. We made some new fwiends, coupling couple on there honey moon called will and Jamie, and strangely enough another girl called brooke and a girl called Shannon.

On the way there we stopped at the pirate caves to take some pictures. The pirate caves are where a group of pirates were shipwrecked years ago and ended up living there surviving only on birds nests! When we arrived at maya bay, unfortunately the weather took a turn for the worse and started to rain a little bit, the water was still super warm though so everyone jumped in and did some snorkelling while we waited for all the people of day tours to leave the beach. Just as we got into the long tail boat to take us to the beach it started to pour! We were all huddled under towels until we arrived where we found a cute shelter to sit under until the rain stopped. Once it had we all went down to the beach to take pictures, it was stunning! At about 8pm dinner was served. We had a huge Thai feast of curry, vegetables and rice, it was sooooooo good! We all sat in a big group and had some music on while we ate. Once we were done everyone got a free bucket, which is a bucket that u make sandcastles in full of alcohol! Everyone was chilling out an chatting and someone even pulled out a guitar and started playing, like true travellers!! After a short fiasco with a centipede and a lady being taken to hospital we all headed back to the boat! Once we were back it was about 11pm and pitch black so we were all told to jump in the sea and swim with the plankton. It was the coolest experience ever. During the day you can’t see plankton but at night when it’s really dark if you disturb it, by swimming, it all lights up and glows a silvery colour, just like in the movie! It was amazing! We all had snorkel masks on and when u put your face in the water it was like you were surrounded by stars under the sea! Unfortunately none of the pictures came out very well so I can’t put them up for you to see, but trust me, it was amazing! Once we were done we all slept under the stars on the roof of the boat.

The next morning we were woken up bright and early so that we could have another chance to see the beach before all the day trippers arrived. Luckily it was a nice sunny morning so we could all appreciate the beach properly. Once we had had breakfast the boat took us back to phi phi. As charlie and I were so shattered we headed straight back to our hotel for a nap! When we got up We went and met up with will and Jamie and grabbed some late lunch before wandering around the market stalls. Later on we also met up with brooke and Shannon for dinner at papaya again (Charlie’s new favourite place)

While we were there we also bumped into mez and Norris from our kiwi bus who where there with two of there other friends. When everyone had finished eating we headed over to banana bar for a few drinks with everyone. Jamie, will, brooke and Shannon all went home but charlie and I stayed out with the other boys and got to whiteness a real life dance off!! Soon enough charlie was very drunk and I practically had to carry him home! we got through the door and he was passed out in a star shape for about 10mins before running to the toilet to be sick!

The next day was a bit of a right off as charlie was so hung over so we chilled in the room and I started our scrap book. That night and the next day were songkran which is thai new year, a festival which is celebrated with a huge water fight! So once charlie was feeling a little better we grabbed some dinner and two huge super soakers and met up with the boys. We went over to banana bar again whilst soaking everyone in our path, as well as getting completely soaked! We had a couple of drinks before attempting to make our way to the beach. The streets were packed and everyone was soaking each other, it was so much fun! We made our way to slinkys bar on the beach where we all got split up. It was just a huge mass of people all with water guns, it was amazing! We all ended up getting very drunk and I’m not too sure what time we got home!

Today Charlie’s friend jack and his girlfriend Alex were arriving on phi phi so charlie and I went to the pier, armed with our water guns to greet them. Charlie had got the wrong boat time so we went back into town to grab some lunch, getting soaked again the whole way! We sat down and had one of the worst meals we’ve had since we’ve been away, but it was so funny to watch everyone walking past getting drenched from all different angles! Jack and Alex arrived and as they hadn’t eaten we sat with them while they grabbed some food. As we were sat down we watch the big parade go past with loads of different floats and people singing, it was very pretty. Once they had finished we got stuck into the water fight again before grabbing some drinks and heading to their room to pre drink. We headed to banana bar again to see if we could find mez and Norris before setting off for the beach. It was much much quieter tonight, I think because most people had been drinking all day so they had pretty much crashed by the evening, but the beach was still busy and we proceeded to get drunk again and had a great night. We didn’t stay out too late though as we had to get up early the next morning to check out and head to Phuket.

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Bangkok!

We arrived into Bangkok in the evening and after spending hours trying to sort out sim cards and looking for somewhere to stay we eventually left the airport! When we got to our hotel it was pretty late so we just passed out!

The next day we were up fairly early so we set off with the intention of going to the grand palace. We grabbed some lunch first from what we thought was a sushi bar, only to discover that actually it was more of a noodle soup type place where you make it your self! Charlie and I had no idea what we were doing and were just chucking thing off the conveyer belt into the broth! We were convinced we were going to make ourselves ill!

After lunch we jumped on the train and got off at the national stadium to walk the rest. As soon as we left the station we were jumped on by tuck tuck drivers who explained it was supposedly a Buddhist holiday so the palace wasn’t open for visitors. I wasn’t so sure but there was no getting away now! He offered to take us to all these different places for only 50bht and before I could protest charlie was already in the tuck tuck! As he had never been in one he was eager to jump in! First we were taken to the “lucky Buddha” know to everyone who has ever been to Bangkok as the place you take tourists who don’t know what they are doing! The Buddha sure as hell wasn’t lucky. While we were strolling around the building site we met a man who seemed nice enough, he was chatting away to us for ages about songkran, Thai new year, and eventually told us to go down to C.T.A.T which was supposedly some government travel agent who would help us book our train ticket up to Chang mai.

We got back in our tuck tuck and headed to our next stop which was described to us as a shopping mall. We turned up to an empty shop front and were whisked upstairs to a very odd looking tailors. We were the only people in here and had to awkwardly flick through design books of different dresses and suits while throwing each other side ways glances, trying to work out how we were going to get out of this! We eventually made some excuse about having no money and after him then trying to sell us some soap instead, managed to get out.

We then decided it would be a good idea to head over to this travel agency as we only planned on staying in Bangkok for a couple of days so wanted to get things organised. We sat down with a guy called ninja and told him our plans. After a quick chat we had decided to change our whole trip around due to weather so rather than going up north we decided to head down south. After a quick trip back to our hotel to check our Vietnam visas we stupidly started making arrangements. We booked two lots of accommodation through him, one was for songkran in Phuket, the other was for full moon on koh phangan. We ended up paying a fortune that was very unnecessary but by then it was too late. We left and didn’t really think much of it.

We then got dropped at ko San road where we met up with adam who we met in NZ. We had a quick drink an then took a stroll up the road with adam. Unfortunately he was catching a bus that night so we didn’t get to spend long with him. While walking around a random group of Canadian guys called us over so we sat down and had some drinks with them. More and more people joined us and eventually we went for dinner with one of the other couples there. Once we’d eaten we headed back to ko San road for some more drinks when we bumped into some more people we had met earlier. We joined them in a bar where charlie somehow got talked into eating a scorpion. Someone soon came up with the idea of going to see an obligatory ping pong show, so off we went. It was vile and I’m now scared for life! We left quite quickly and walked our new friends Jynay and sean home before heading back ourselves.

The next morning we woke up surprisingly worse for wear! We had planned again to go to the grand palace but due to our hangover didn’t leave the room until lunch time, we grabbed something to eat an had a stroll round the shops before setting off to meet Sean on ko San road. We got there and had a couple of drinks before bumping into Jynay too who was eating with her tour group.

Charlie and I had already planned to go for some cocktails at a roof top bar I had found called nest so Sean tagged along. The bar was quite far away but defiantly worth it! It was up on the 7th floor and had an amazing view over Bangkok. The bar itself was also really quirky with big love seats and a mixture of sand and grass for the floor. We ordered some snacks and cocktails and had a really lovely evening before heading back.

The next day charlie and I had a flight booked to take us down south to Phuket, but not until the evening. So we checked out and left our bags at reception, determined this time to actually make it to the grand palace! We got another tuck tuck and after another awkward stop at a different tailors made it to the grand palace! As charlie and I were both in shorts we had to hire some very fetching bottoms. I had an interesting sorong type thing and charlie had some beautiful trousers! We wandered round for a few hours looking at all the beautiful, sparkling buildings. I think charlie was more impressed than I was as it was his first time visiting anywhere like this.

At about 4pm we made a move back to ko San road to say goodbye to Sean and have a quick drink. As we were stopping to get some pad thai for dinner we were approached by a lady with a film crew who asked if she could interview us. We agreed and she asked us questions about songkran and how we knew about it. Before we knew it, it was 5pm and our flight was at 7, leaving us only an hour to go back to our hotel, get our bags and get to the airport. We had a mad dash, and of course the traffic was terrible. The latest we were able to arrive was 6:15 so charlie and I were desperately panicking as by the time we left our hotel it was already 5:30! Our taxi driver was going super fast and for a while I thought we were going to be fine and even have time to spare, right up until our driver missed the exit for the airport! It was now 6pm and we had to drive all the way round, charlie and I had no idea where we were going and had already come to the conclusion that we were going to miss our flight. After driving round, in what felt like circles, for another 10mins I was beginning to feel like the driver had no idea where he was going. At 6:14 we pulled into the airport, charlie and I literally threw money at our driver and sprinted into the terminal. We had made it, JUST!

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Christchurch

After a horrendously long coach journey, we arrived in Christchurch. We had been told by most of the people that had been there that due to the earth quake there still wasn’t an awful lot to do there but it’s still worth seeing, so we only gave ourselves two days here. We had also pre-booked our accommodation separately from the kiwi bus as we were told it gets very booked up, so we were dropped off last.

By the time we had checked in and got ourselves sorted it was early evening so charlie and I decided to go check out the westfields they had to get some dinner and possibly see a movie. Of course we forgot that we were in NZ and not England, so when we got there pretty much everything was shut apart from one lonesome English themed pub. We had already arranged to meet up with dustin and as we hadn’t eaten we had no choice but to go into the English pub. After we had eaten we decided to go watch some film no one had heard of as there wasn’t a whole lot else to do and it was still pretty early. The film was surprisingly much better than any of us expected! In the cab ride home I couldn’t help but feel christchurch had a bit of an eery feel to it, as I had been asleep for most of the drive up here I had missed out on seeing a lot of the destruction that sadly still takes over most of Christchurch. So driving around it at night, it felt like a ghost town, partly because nearly everything closes at 5pm so there arnt many people around at night, but also because at night when it’s lit up parts of the destruction looks like something from a zombie film, sections of the street are fine and then you turn a corner and there is just half a building surrounded by rubble, it’s very sad.

The next morning we wanted to get out and see some of Christchurch. The lady at reception was very helpful and gave us a whole list of stuff to do. We started off at a memorial that I had been told to go and see. It’s situated where an old church used to be. Huge parts of the church were ruined during the earth quake and so the rest of the building was knocked down a few months later. An artist decided to creat the memorial here and has put out a white chair for every person that was killed during the quake. There is also a makeshift staple at the back that holds a list of all the names of the people that died along with there ages and where they were from. It was very moving. The artist had clearly chosen chairs to try and represent the people as there were baby seats, rocking chairs, wheel chairs, everything you could think of.

We met up with dustin here and decided to walk through the red zone, which is the area still cornered off due to the destruction, but parts are open to walk through, to the re-start centre. The re-start centre is very cool. It’s a shopping mall that was created soon after the earth quake hit but as they had little resources all the stores are made from shipping containers. Also within the mall is the quake live museum. It’s an interactive museum all about the earth quake, how it happened, how it affected different areas and what they are planning on doing with the rest of the city. It also has a very moving section that has testimonies of different peoples personal accounts of what happened to them during the quake. It’s very cool to see what they are planning on doing to the city in the future as its almost like being able to create a city from scratch as most of the remaining buildings are to be knocked down.

Once we were done at the re-start centre we decided to head back over to westfields for an early dinner and to go to the cinema AGAIN! We went to see OZ this time which was ok but a little disappointing. Then the 3 of us decided to walk back to our hostels as it wasn’t too late and we didn’t have any change for the bus! As soon as we set off it started raining but we didn’t have much choice so we carried on. Dustin came back to our hostel for a couple of drinks before heading back as he had a very early start the next day.

The next morning charlie and I headed back up to Auckland to spend the night before setting off to Thailand!!

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Our weekend down south

We set off around midday down to Dunedin and tweedy had kindly volunteered to drive first, so the rest of us pretty much fell asleep straight away! The great thing about NZ is that there only really seems to be one road that gets you to each place, so you don’t really need to worry about directions or getting lost! Mobs had gone in Petes car so he wasn’t by himself which meant that Karen and I could stretch out in the back!

We arrived into Dunedin early afternoon and headed straight for our accommodation. As it was Easter weekend EVERYTHING was fully booked so luckily we had managed to find a hotel/apartment style place that had 2 double rooms left. This meant that we somehow had to try and sneak the other 2 in. Luckily, as it was Easter weekend, the receptionist left at 4pm so by the time we had checked in and lugged in all the bags she was gone!

We got settled and tweedy and charlie had spotted a nandos on the way in so we went and had dinner there. Once we were done an had made contact with the other girls we got ready for the rugby! Dunedin is a huge student town and the rugby there is always a massive event so we had pre booked tickets. Sadly it wasn’t an international match but we were excited all the same. We met the other girls and followed the crowd to the match.

We were watching the highlanders, which were the local team, against the reds, which were an Aussie team. As it didn’t make a difference to us who won we decided to support the locals, as according to mobs they were due a win soon! The match was so much fun, even though the highlanders lost. It was defiantly a highlight of our trip. Once the game was done we headed to the octagon in town as this was supposedly where everyone goes out. Again because the stupid Easter weekend rule everything had to shut at midnight. So we had a couple of drinks in one of the bars before heading over to where Ella, Sophie and rosy were saying. The downstairs part of there hostel was a huge snooker hall, so we went there and carried on drinking whilst attempting to play! After a variety of different matches we headed home, once again stopping at McDonald’s on the way!

The next day we had a bit of a liein and the others got nandos for lunch! Then we went over to Cadburys world, something mobs and I had been looking forward too since we decided to go to Dunedin! Ella, Sophie and rosy were supposed to leave that morning on there bus but as they weren’t having the best time and Pete had a practically empty car they decided to stay with us instead!

Because it was the weekend the factory was closed but we were still able to go on a great tour. As soon as we went in we met our guide who was a crazy old NZ man who had spent a lot of time in the uk. We each got a goodie bag that had some on NZ most popular Cadburys treats in it. The chocolate in NZ is very different to the uk, I think it has something to do with the milk or sugar, but ours is way better! They also love marshmallows in NZ and lots of the Cadburys chocolate bars have marshmallows in them, which seemed very bizarre to us!

We watched a short video about the tour and this history of Cadburys in NZ and then we set off. We started outside looking at 2 old Cadburys delivery trucks which supposedly still work! The whole way round our guide was asking us questions and who ever gave the right answer got more chocolate! Next we watched another short video about how they make jaffas. Jaffas are not Jaffa cakes like I thought! They are a NZ thing, they are similar to a smartie but more circular and are only orange. Next we started to climb one of the Cadbury towers. The walls inside the tower were covered with old chocolate and all you could smell was chocolate, it was my heaven! When we got to the top our guide pressed a button and suddenly there was a huge chocolate waterfall in front of us. It was awesome! When we came back out we were given samples of melted chocolate to try which were sooooooooo good! When our tour was done we all stocked up on cheap chocolate and Karen even tried the Cadburys chocolate cola, it wasn’t very nice!

When we were done we went back and got the cars and went on a hunt to try and find some penguins and seals. After driving round for a while we eventually found the seal beach. We starts strolling up the beach when we saw a family walking the opposite way to us, we asked if they had seen any seals but they said no, there weren’t any. We carried on down the beach anyway. When we got to the very end of the beach, we were about to turn around and come back when luckily rosy looked round a huge rock and found 2 massive sleeping sea lions! We were all so amazed that we had found them and that we were so close to them! We all started taking pictures when one of the sea lions woke up, and wasn’t very happy about us being there. The good thing about sea lions is that when they are on land they are very slow and there isnt much they can do but growl at you and try to charge. We quickly got the hint and started to back away. We headed back to the cars, amazed by what we had seen and set off for penguin beach. After a short drive we were there but the car park for the beach was miles away on top of a really high cliff, so getting down to the beach would take about half an hour. We decided against it and instead headed back to where the girls were staying for a big group dinner, mainly cooked by Ella. Once we’d eaten we played more pool and then headed back to our place to watch movies.

The next morning we were up super early to start the drive to Milford sound. It was my turn to drive so after we packed everything in we were off. Luckily the day before charlie had brought an aux cable so that we could listen to music through the stereo as you get no radio reception at all! I drove for a few hours along pretty much the same round until we stopped for lunch. Then charlie an I switched and he drove most of the rest of the way to Milford. We made it just in time for our cruse after mobs tried to collect what he thought was fresh spring water, turned out to have stuff floating in it and no one drank it!

The cruse was amazing and Milford sound was so beautiful. It rained while we were there, but that’s very common, and in actual fact makes it more beautiful as the waterfalls are stronger. We saw tones of waterfalls and even a colony of seas which was really cool. As bloody usual I started feeling sea sick so had to sit inside for most of it, but I still had a great view.

On the way back it was Karen’s turn to drive. I love you Karen, but I have never been so scared in my life!! The roads are very windy down through Milford and I spent most of the journey clutching Charlie’s hand!! We got to we’re we we’re staying pretty late and as we had to be up early, decided to have a chilled one. We made dinner and played cards and who am I until we all called it a night.

The cars had too be back by 10am so we left at about 7 to make sure we had enough time. We arrived back in queens town with loads of time to spare, so we dropped all our stuff at our hostels and got some breakfast from the furg bakery. It wasn’t until Pete and the girls arrived that we heard how terrible there morning had been. Ella had left her phone at the hostel and on the drive back had got a speeding ticket. Everyone was pretty tired from our long weekend do we all went and napped. That evening was charlie and I’s last night in queens town so I thought it would be a nice idea if we went and had a nice meal, just the two of us. So charlie made a reservation at captains. We went down and had possibly one of the best meals I’ve ever had! To start we had muscles, then for main I had there award winning lamb (it was unreal!) and charlie and the fish special, and for pudding we had a white chocolate cheese cake, again unbelievable. I would 100% recommend it to anyone even near queens town, it was that good!

When we were done we went to meet the others at base to start pre drinking. When we checked into our room in nomads we also bumped into our old friend dustin so he came along too! After a while we headed down to the fat badger for goblets of beer! Milsey also came down to see us so we had a great group. Tweedy and Sophie weren’t feeling too well so they headed back after fat badgers while the rest of us web up to world bar AGAIN! Not long after we got in rosy was a tad too drunk so Ella took her home. The rest of the night is a bit of a blur as we ended up getting very drunk. All I remember is that we ended up getting yet ANOTHER furg burger before calling it a night at god knows what time!

The next morning charlie, dustin and I started the long arsed journey from queens town to Christchurch. All I’m going to say is it took 8hours and I was hung over. Not a good combo!

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Queens town

On our way into queens town we made a stop at the aj hacket bridge Bungy where we watched a short info video about aj hacket and all the different experiences they had to offer. Once it was finished we all had to pay for our bungys or canyon swings in advance, so there was no backing out from here! Charlie paid for his Nevis and somehow I got convinced to do the free style ledge jump over the whole of queens town, so I unwillingly paid for mine too!

Once we had all paid we were able to watch the people doing the bridge jump, one of them being our friend Helen. She was terrified and got talked into it just like me, so I felt for her. But she did it, and with no hesitation! She did t enjoy it much apparently but she was glad shed done it!

When everyone had jumped we carried on into queens town and took a huge group picture before started the long process of checking everyone into nomads. It was actually really lovely, the best hostel we had stayed in so far. Once we had dropped all our stuff off we found Caroline and were pleasantly surprised to also find out our other 2 friends george and Callum had managed to change there flight and we’re also still in queens town. We also found Casey too who we hadn’t seen since Auckland so that was lovely.

We headed over to world bar where we were going to be drinking that night to get our wristbands before taking a stroll around the town and also bumping into Millsy! He took us down to the lake where we chilled out before charlie hit a duck in the face while skimming stones, so we headed to get ready for our night out.

That night we started out at altitude bar attached to the base hostel. After our free shots and a few more drinks we headed over to world bar. They had a free bar tab going of up to a $1,000 so you can imagine it was madness! They also did really great cocktails that were served in tea pots which was cool. We stayed and parties the night away until charlie decided he wanted McDonald’s and so began his routine of getting a mc attack which is two big macs every night before we want home!

The next day was a bit of a right off for me due to my terrible hang over! However charlie, dan, adam and emma all had there Nevis Bungy jump. As its so high up you can’t go and watch so I spent most of the morning in bed recovering before helen and I got up and headed down to the lake as there was a small market going on so we wanted to check it out. We got quick massages which were lovely before bumping into dustin, George and Callum. Just as we bumped into them I got the call from charlie to say he had survived and was on his way back so Hellen and I thought it would be a nice idea to get them congratulation cup cakes from this cute shop we had found!

We found them in the Nevis store uploading there videos and pictures. We presented them with there cup cakes which they were very happy with before heading down to get a world famous ferg burger. We had herd so much about them and were all very excited to finally try one! The shop was busy but not too bad so we didn’t have to wait too long. The burger was AMAZING!! But also huge, I couldn’t finish all of mine in one go! As it was still early afternoon we decided to go luging so we went back to nomads to book our tickets and then went straight up. As the luging track is so high up you have to get a gondola up. The view was unreal. You could see for miles, you could look out over all the town, see the whole of the lake and see where it met the mountains. It was so beautiful. We got to the top and grabbed helmets and went onto the track. Now the best way to describe luging is that it’s like go carting but without the engine. You have to pull the handle bars towards you a little bit to release the breaks, and pull them all the way towards you to break properly. It was great fun and you go a hell of a lot faster then you would think! We had a great time and had loads of races before heading back down!

That evening as we were all so shattered from our day of activities we decided to have a night in, we were going to go to the cinema, but there wasn’t a film that we all wanted to see and nomads had a cinema room so we decided to save some money and stay in instead.

The next day the boys had decided to watch the lord of the rings trilogy so we had a very chilled day. It was also the day that the rest of our group that we left behind arrived! So mid afternoon we were all reunited again! And in true kiwi bus style we started planning our night out! As it was Helen’s birthday soon some of us decided we should go to ice bar to start the night off. As we booked the tickets on bookme.co.nz there were only a couple of spaces, so it ended up being me, charlie, Casey, dan and helen.

We started off drinking in the hostel with everyone until 9pm when we were told we had to stop. In usual youth style, when told not to do something we did the opposite, so we all headed to matt’s room to carry on drinking. Casey an I ducked out to go to the bathroom and the next thing we knew it was all kicking off! Turns out one of the receptionist had caught everyone drinking and was screaming at Matt. One thing lead to another and before we knew it Matt was being thrown out and told he was no longer aloud to stay at nomads. It was all very crazy and not something that could be sorted with everyone fairly drunk. So we all left and tried to forget what had happened!

Everyone else headed over to world bar while charlie and the rest of us web to the ice bar. God knows why but that night I had decided to go out in shorts…to an ice bar! I was bloody freezing, but the bar was awesome! Your only really able to stay for an hour as its so cold and I think in the end we stayed for less but we had a great time! Charlie found a penguin costume while we were putting our coats on so he obviously put it on and wore it for most of the evening! Inside they had an ice hockey table, an ice chandelier and an ice photo booth! It was great! Very quickly though I got super cold so thought it would be a great idea to put on a coat as trouser! I looked insane, but it worked!

Once we were done at the ice bar we went over to meet everyone else at world bar and again partied hard! I don’t know what time we left all I know is as usual charlie polished off two big macs and a cheese burger this time!

Again the next day was a bit of a write off as everyone was so hung over! Neither charlie or I can remember what we got up which shows it can’t have been that eventful! That night as we were no longer aloud to drink in the hostel everyone went down to the river instead. It was really cold in the evenings as it was starting to get into autumn in new Zealand so we didn’t stay long and decided to attempt an early night especially as I had my canyon swing the next day!

The next morning we weren’t up too early as my continent swing was at about midday. Emma and I were doing it together so we grabbed our stuff and made our way down to their shop in town. When we arrived we checked in and were weighed, there were 3 other girls also doing it with us so once everyone was done we hopped in the car to do the short drive to the site. On the way we watched a video showing all the different ways you are able to do the swing. I had already made my mind up that I wanted to do the slide. When we got there we all got harnessed up and took it in turns. Emma went first and god know why but she decided to lie flat in the air and drop like that! I screamed for her while watching it! Next it was my go so they set up the slide. I was sat on the edge and they were chatting away with me which was freaking me out as you never know if they are just going to push you off! After a min or so they said it was time to go and I was pretty much frozen to the spot so they had to pretty much push me! But once I was of it was amazing! You free fall for what feels like forever, and falling over the canyon means you drop so much further! All in all it was amazing! And I was very tempted to do it again but decided against due to money. So we all headed back after buying our pictures and charlie came to meet me to watch my video!

While we were there charlie found out that milsey had been able to get us a really good discount for the shot over jet as his friend worked there and they had 2 spaces left if we went right now. So we ran straight over and jumped in the car that takes you down to the canyon, which was actually where I’d just done my canyon swing over, only this time we were getting in a boat! We got there and put on the really attractive water proof jackets provided before jumping in the boat. The boat is equips with 2 special water jets that makes the boat go so fast. We started off down the river and soon enough we were doing 360degree turns and getting super close to the surrounding rock walls. We were in the boat for about 20mins and was good fun. We were super lucky that we had got the discount though as if we had paid full price I wouldn’t have been that impressed!

When we got back we were both super hungry a we hadn’t really eaten much that day, so we went to a great sushi restaurant in town and grabbed some dinner. While we were eating we bumped into some of the girls and made some plans for later. We all got ready an layered up this time as we were pre drinking by the lake again. We all went down and started playing drinking games when all pod a sudden some crazy guy started shinning these lights on one of our friends pippa. Apparently it was light healing, something to do with different coloured lights doing different things. He wasn’t charging anyone so we all had a go! I don’t think it did much but we humoured him and sat there for a while before heading back to the hostel to drop our extra layers off and heading out! I planned on not getting too drunk as I had my Bungy jump the next day, but unfortunately it didn’t quite work out as planned. Ended up getting very drunk and didn’t get home till super late.

The next morning I had to get up to do my Bungy and it’s safe to say I could think of nothing worse!! I was so hung over and just didn’t want to go. We had decided that as it was up where the living was and we were going to have to buy a gondola ticket anyway we may as well go luging again. We had to pretty much run all the way down with the girls as we were now running late which very much didn’t help my hangover! We got to the top and I started freaking out. I just saw how high it was and felt sick. It’s strange because when I did the canyon swing it was higher, much higher, and I was fine. I guess this was because I had to actually jump, there was no one there to push me. The lovely lady at reception tried to give me a sympathetic pep talk while she weighed me but it didnt help. I did the walk down to the platform and just felt worse and worse. I really didn’t think I could do it. I got harnessed up and just started feeling worse and worse. Soon enough it was time to jump and I just froze. I physically couldn’t move. The guy on the platform clearly saw stuff like this all the time so didn’t have a huge amount of sympathy and just said if you don’t want to do it I’ll take off your harness and let the guys behind go, otherwise you need to go now. I don’t know what changed but I started to run, then paused, then carried on and ran off the edge! It was horrible, I cried and hated it!! But soon enough it was over. I was nearly sick when I got back up, not sure if that was from the hang over or the nerves. We went into the cafe at the top to get something to eat and try and settle me before going luging again. Luging was great fun again. I fell out my cart this time because I was going too quick!

On our way down from luging we bumped into the others all playing mini golf in the sun and decided to join them. Charlie kicked my arse even with me cheating, so that tells just how terrible I am! Half way though our game we heard some one shout Charlie’s name, and low and behold it was milsey and his girlfriend who’s name is also brooke, very strange! So they joined in too and offered to have charlie an I over for dinner at there place later. So we made arraignments and finished our games. Once everyone was done we headed into town with mobs, Karen and tweedy to hire a car for the weekend so we could head down to Dunedin and Milford sound. After traipsing round different companies we found one and got it booked. Then we grabbed another furg burger and went down to the lake to sit in the sun and organise stuff for our weekend trip!

We chilled for a bit longer before making our way over to milsey and Brooke’s place. It was just outside of queens town so we jumped on the bus to get there. It’s amazing how much nicer/helpful bus drivers are in NZ! We got to there place fairly quickly and dinner was pretty much ready when we arrived. It was so nice to have home cooked food again as we had been living pretty much on pasta since we had got to NZ! We had a lovely chilled evening catching up and when we were done milsey dropped us back. It was also our lovely friend Caseys last night 😦 so rather than heading straight home we came out for a couple of drinks to say goodbye.

Thursday was pretty much everyone’s last day together as people were either heading further north or further south like us. It was also a really beautiful day so most of us put on our swimming costumes and headed down to the lake to sunbath. Again it was a nice chilled day and we didn’t really get up to a great deal. That night a it was everyone’s last night Ella had booked a table at a nice restaurant and we all went and had our last supper! It was a lovely evening and a really nice way to say goodbye. Afterwards everyone headed down to the lake to pre drink before going out. As Friday was the start of the Easter weekend, for some bizarre reason all the pubs and clubs shut at midnight. I wasn’t feeling too great so called it a night early but charlie stayed out and had a good time.

The next morning we all had to say our sad fair wells as there were only 9 of us heading down to Dunedin for the weekend, Ella, rosy and Sophie had it included in there bus ticket so they left before us, and Pete had decided to hire his own car. So we picked up the cars, stuffed everything we owned into them said our goodbyes and set off.

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