where I have been living

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raspberries, picked

Two days done at raspberry picking! I am living in a town about a 20 minutes drive from Nelson. It’s beautiful there and the orchard is beautiful. The family is SUPER nice. I am living in my tent beside the giant shed, and there is a kitchen/living area right beside it (with an oven!!! hehe).

On weekdays off, I can get a ride into Nelson with the mom and hang around Nelson for the day. Not too shabby at all.

Raspberry picking is not hard at all but you do have to raise your hands above your head a lot. And my arms kind of look like a person that is recovering from cutting themself. It’s really fine though. I have a lot of down time so I have been reading, listening the radio, walking, doing sit-ups, etc. The town (population 1800) is a 3km walk. There is a cafe there too where I can read the paper.

For the past few days I tune into the radio a lot just to hear about everything in Fiji. Seems like Suva wasn’t hit that hard but the West was.

Christmas plans are shaping up! Helenka booked tickets to go from the West of the South Island (where she is working) to Nelson for a few days. If all goes according to plan we will meet up (I need to find some rides into the city) and spend some time together. They aren’t picking on Christmas or Boxing Day so I will have some free time.

Ooh also, New Zealand has a holiday on January 2nd too! It is called “the day after new years day”. Haha!


Today I am leaving Nelson to go work on an orchard about 25km from Nelson picking raspberries and then maybe eventually boisenberries (sp?). I walked around the market yesterday asking all the farmers (sound familiar???? haha) and one guy said he needed more pickers. I’ll be living on site in my tent.

The last day in Melbourne was pretty sweet – Scott, Jessie and I did a Melb food tour kicking off the day with breakfast kangaroo, then dimsims, dumplings, gelato, beer and sushi. OM NOM

Oh yeah! I am in Nelson (top of South Island). I decided to come here because it was circled about eight times in the guidebook that Natasha used. There were maybe a few stops along the way that I would have wanted to stop at, but I ended up seeing seals from the bus (what Kaikoura is about) and there are plenty of hiking opportunities EVERYWHERE. It was a good decision. It is a relatively small town and has the beach, and some hills and lots of sunshine. I walked to the ‘centre of New Zealand’ and went indoor climbing with another backpacker. All in all it’s been a good time!As I talk to more people and read more in the guidebooks, there is so much I want to see here! I need to come around and accept that I will not see everything and I’ll have to come back. … maybe in July when my visa is still valid. (…ski bum?)

south island

Greetings! I have reached Christchurch. Just figuring out my plan for the next little while. Yesterday I got an IRD number, set up a bank account and picked up the South Island climbing book. So far I think my plan is to slowly make my way up to Nelson/Marlborough/Golden Bay and look for work there.. lots of vineyards, a highly recommended place and lots of sports climbing. Sounds like a good plan to me.

Christchuch is a lot more broken than I thought it would be. Almost half of the downtown area is all closed because of earthquake clean-up. There are also lots of houses with no walls and broken windows.

melbourne pt2

It’s my last night in Melbourne! Tomorrow evening I fly to Christchurch and start my two months in NZ, starting in the South Island.

Friday was Jemma’s wedding day, but it wasn’t until the evening so I took the train into the city and spent the day touring around downtown. I popped into the Australian Centre for the Moving Image musuem and wandered around Chinatown and up to Fitzroy. Along the way I popped into a small shop and got some sushi rolls… it’s very similar to Vancouver that there are sushi shops on every corner, but in Melbourne they sell them in rolls that you can just grab and eat. Portable, cheap and delicious! I don’t think I will ever cut my sushi again. This makes so much more sense!

In the late afternoon, I headed with ‘the boys’ (Scott, Jessie (his sister)’s fiance and Scott’s dad) to the wedding. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful location. Jemma looked great and she even sewed her own dress which I think is way awesome! The evening was fun and everyone was really friendly. I did spend part of the ceremony in the bush with Beau and Seth though (Scott’s youngest nephews).

Saturday was awesome. I went climbing at Mt Macedon, which is about 45 minutes by car outside of Melbourne. It was amazing being back on the rocks – I missed it so much. I spent the day easing myself into climbing again by following and practicing cleaning trad gear. Trad climbing still gives me the creepsies. Some day…. maybe. The weather was great and it was an overall awesome, great, superfantastic day! In the evening, I met Scott and his friends/family downtown and we all went out for drinks at a bar. Unfortunately I didn’t think of this at 5:30 in the morning but I was still in my rock climbing clothes and running shoes when I showed up, whoops!

Yesterday (Sunday) I met up with Marty, a friend from Fiji who was on contract in Suva, and together with his girlfriend we had lunch at a cafe and then Marty and I went.. whatasurprise..climbing. His choice this time though! We went to an indoor climbing gym that was realllllly tall! It was fun and good seeing him again. That evening I couldn’t do anything without a muscle hurting. Owwww.

Today Scott and I went along the Great Ocean Road to the 12 Apostles. The drive the way there was all along the coast with waves and beaches and lots of pretty sights. It took probably about 4.5 hours. While Scott was driving he spotted a koala (!!!) so we (illegally) pulled a u-turn and drove past it once and then (illegally) pulled another u-turn and drove past it again. Seeing a koala in the wild.. check! The 12 (er, 8) Apostles was a really nice view! We drove back through the countryside. And when I say we drove back, I mean that Scott drove and I slept pretty much the entire way back and part of the way there before we hit the Ocean Road. I get really sleepy in cars.. whoops.

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Tomorrow Jessie, Scott and I are going to head into the city and finish up a few things that we still want to do. ┬áMost of them involve eating. Australia has not been the healthiest trip so far… there are a lot of delicious snacks here. Mmm but I know I will be back to healthy eating in New Zealand because I am going to be on el budgeto.

melbourne pt1

A post I wrote on Thursday:


Aussie Aussie Aussie! As a spur of the moment decision about a month ago I decided to fly to Australia when Scott would be there for his sister’s wedding (Jemma). We have been keeping busy, but we also have lots of down time and I am staying at his parents house so lots of Internet access.

The first day Scott showed me St Kilda and Chapel Street – two trendy streets. We ate at Ganache which was cool because Kat has been talking about it FOREVA, and we had lentil burgers at a non-profit cafe (maybe I should open some kind of business like that? hmm…) That evening I met most of the family at trivia night… I could help with the anagrams but otherwise my Aussie trivia was not up to snuff.

I tried Victoria Bitter….it is the exact same as Fiji Bitter! I thought I had escaped that stuff, hehe.

On Wednesday we went to the Healesville Sanctuary with Scott’s nephew Beau. We saw koalas, kangaroos, an echidna, snakes, turtles, lizards, emus, dingos, Tasmanian devils and a billion other animals. We concluded the day by eating the animals we saw during the day…is that a bad thing? Haha. The night market was busy and very trendy…and had a billion awesome food stalls.

Thursday was very relaxed…. Tim Tams, board games and visiting with everyone. Not too shabby! Melbourne has been good so far – it’s real nice having a tour guide (thanks Scott)… It is a nice city and I can see bits why Kat liked it…would be better if she was here though. Sometime this will happen…

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