Tuesday, March 30, 2010

primo path

Click here to view these pictures larger

puni part3

Click here to view these pictures larger

punikuiki and pancakes

Click here to view these pictures larger

Bus to Nelson

Click here to view these pictures larger

Mtn Oxford

Click here to view these pictures larger


Click here to view these pictures larger

To the hills.

I lift my eyes to the hills, from where does my help come? My help comes from the lord our God!

Where ever I was in Punikaiki I could look up and see this view no matter what was happening or what I was doing. Some times during this little stay in Punikaiki frustrations and irritations world fill my mind. But I could always look up to this hills and just breathe in the awe of nature and the beauty of Gods creation. It was so easy to just mull in my thoughts of how this could be better or why this was happening and miss some of the most beautiful sights on this earth. Whenever I would look up or around me all my little problems would fade away. I wonder how often this happens sometimes in all of life, we get so caught up in the little things that we never look to the hills and remember where our help comes from.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Te Nikau Hostel

Our journey to the other edge of the world has so far been very interesting, stressful and entertaining.
it seems like much much longer then 3 weeks have passed since we left. Books and volumes could be written
about the beautiful places we have seen so far. 
It seems to me that our life before is a million miles away and very unfamilar. I am trying to remember that
I had a job back home, and friends (not that they are forgotten, just suddenly they all have facebook faces to
me), my family...it's crazy to think that they are so far away, doing normal everyday things.
I do have time now to back up and look at the big picture of my life and those around me. What I want to
do when I get back...What other possiblities are there out there in the future?
Living at the present in a lush rainforest by incredible beaches and dangerous, fascinating coastlines makes
God seem much bigger, and most definitely in total control of this world.
One thing I have learned from working at this hostel in Punakaiki is that you will find difficult people to work
with where ever you go. Getting sick so soon after arriving in NZ was annoying to say the least, but since I am now feeling much better, I am seeing what a difference feeling sick it makes to the quality of work.
The nearest 'shop' is 3 km away and is not even a shop, it's a overpriced cafe with a 'wee' shop inside.
Our coworkers and flat mates are 4 others at the moment, all in their 20's. Natasha and her boyfriend Moritz, both German. She is 24 and he is 21. Venus, 24 or 26, who is Malaysian. And Primosh, 24, who is Slovenian and working on his thesis for school. Very awesome people, and they love the card game Mao, which we have played almost every evening since we arrived.

This place reminds us of Riven and Myst. Even the bird calls (Weka birds) sound similar to the game.

Also the beaches are dangerous. Haha...so of course we went swimming.

Punakaiki Pancakes

Click here to view these pictures larger

Punakaiki Pancakes

These are the amazing Punakaiki pancake rocks. 
we imagined they would be larger and more tasty looking, but they were small and very rock looking.
this was a medium tide, but apparently at high tide there are rocks that let water shoot out the top and make a cool whistling sound, so we will likely return at high tide someday next week.

then we walked down along this very cool stream that is at ocean level, so it goes both ways! 

joe went exploring.

we found an endangered bird, and took pictures of it. it was very exciting.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

We left Christchurch spent a night in nelson and are now in Punakiaki.

Weet-Bix, NZ's national breaky food

This is NZ's national breaky, or snack food. it's very dense. and will absorb all the milk! this was strawberry milk, that's why it is pink. it was cheaper then other kinds of milk.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Nelson to Punakaiki

We arrived in Nelson this afternoon. It's very warm here and sunny. Joe seems to be feeling better, the past week he has been on the verge of getting sick, but it seems to be clearing up now. I (Jak)now have a sore throat and couldn't find my specific brand of contact lens solution at the pharmacies here.The one place that did have it was charging a freaking 62 bucks for 2 bottles. Not worth it, I figured at the time, but now that I ran out of solution last night, I'm rethinking if it is worth it or not... The hostel we slept in last night was very badly reviewed, but we figured it was cheap and we only needed one night. The  beds were rock hard and the nightlife carried on until 3 in the morning, the 2 cups of tea I had before bed didn't help me sleep either. Since our bus left at 7:15, we had to be up early and we ate breaky on the way. We cooked up some beef and cheese buns to eat for lunch on the way to Nelson. We stopped in Blenhiem for almost an hour, during which I tried to find cough drops or something, but no luck so far. We might go out on the town this evening to look for various things. The free wifi you can find almost anywhere in the States is basically unheard of here, even Starbucks charges by the hour. We have exactly 61 minutes of free internet here at the hostel. We will be leaving for Punakaiki tomorrow morning at 7:15am. We will be arriving in Punakaiki around noontime and we plan to spend several weeks working at a hostel there. Photos of the apparently amazing pancake rocks and other such wonders of the West Coast will follow in other posts soon. :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Oxford - Farm country

We are in Oxford, about an hour out of Christchurch. We are staying with a family (Jeff, Rose, and their daughter Hazel) that is in post-sheep farm transition. They have some odd jobs for us to do in exchange for room and food. AMAZING NZ food, and tea times that happen about 5 times a day! :D They get fresh milk every couple days and consider that 'trim milk' to be 'dieter's milk'. 
We went on a hike up Mt. Oxford, it was 4 hours up and 2 hours down. I had blisters and very sore legs the next day, but we found lots of fresh wild blackberries up there in the foot hills. 
We watered native NZ plants that Jeff and Rose have planted up by their dam, also we have helped fishing (Joe) and walking the dogs (Jak), and today we will be helping to capture some wild chooks (chickens) that have been laying eggs in the utility shed and then the eggs rot and smell horrid when the rats get to them. :o
We will be leaving on Monday for the West Coast, a place called Punakaiki (said: Poo Na Kyi Ke)

Friday, March 5, 2010

New Brighton beach + hostel

The night before this sunrise, I had been very tired because of jet lag, and meaning to take a short nap, I ended up sleeping for 4 hours. Then I stayed up for about an hour and went to bed for the night at about 9:30pm. I woke up at 7 and couldn't go back to sleep so I went to take pictures of the sunrise through the window of the hostel kitchen. 

This is the adorable kitchen, like a 4 season porch, with huge windows.
Also, the other side of the kitchen, where we put groceries, (well labeled, for fear of being thrown out by the staff. haha) including our strawberry milk, which was cheaper then other types. Milk costs a bundle here, also calls them by different names. There is regular, lite, and cali-slim. 

I decided after breaky to go down to the New Brighton beach by myself for a walk. It's about 2 minutes walk from our hostel to the beach. The New Brighton Pier stretches out for a long way over the awesome breakers. Lots of surfers in the afternoon time, and even some kite surfers.
This was morning time though, it was quite overcast. 

Beautiful water, it's pretty cold though, with the breeze.

Directly under the pier.

I went walking way down the beach, probably 2 or 3 km. The view of the mountains from the beach is incredible.

My hair got pretty crazy from all the wind! The sun kept peeking through all the clouds.
This bird is very cool, I actually walked up to it this close, this isn't extreme zoom. I have no idea what kind of bird it is, just that it was super chill and was sunbathing in the tide.

Odd Cars, Trundlers, and Signage.

we went from the airport to New Brighton where we are staying.

we don't have this car in the US any one know what kind it is?

Emergency plan: run away?

soy fish, and non-cut sushi.
they have sushi everywhere here as well as fish and chips. another car I've never seen before.

It's takeaways not to-go.

Dad is there something you need to tell us?

O ya!

No shoping carts in NZ only Trundlers.
Also no parking lots only carparks.

once again what kind of car is this??

Ya about that...

2010-03-05 christschurch

Click here to view these pictures larger

Sydney AUS.

Click here to view these pictures larger

Thursday, March 4, 2010


We landed in Sydney at 6:35 am. Everything was super expensive, the train tickets costed 56 AUS dollars, which are worth about the same as US dollars. We wandered around the Sydney Opera House and decided to go on the ferry to Watson's Bay. We had 8 dollars left, not enough to get the famous fish and chips at Doyle's on the dock. :(
We were very exhausted and after walking around some more looking for wifi or coffee or anything that didn't cost more then 3 dollars. Eventually we decided to go to the airport and check in for our flight, but unfortunately we couldn't check in until 1 1/2 hours before our flight left which was at 7:05. So we went and sat on seats in the office section and ate random sushi that costed far too much.
It was a 3 hour flight to NZ, but we also gained 2 hours on the way over, so it was 12:05 am before we arrived in Christchurch.
Another post will follow shortly about our adventures so far in NZ.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Las Vegas - Los Angeles

Las Vegas is very 'interesting'. I wouldn't like to live there...
Anyways, it helps that we were there at 2 am. Just newly broke drunks and street cleaners were around. A couple walked by us and asked us if we smoked weed.
Also a man stood up and threw his beer bottle in front of another couple who were walking by. The woman jumped away from the shattered glass and screamed something in Spanish, but the man asked the drunk what was wrong, and what the deal was. The drunk kicked the bottle and stamped on it. It was safe to conclude that he was out of money. When we returned to the station with 5 minutes to spare on our bus leaving, Joe had gotten rid of his ticket stub. Jak got on the bus, thinking it would be easily taken care of. Unfortunately the bus driver and the security decided that Joe was trying to steal a free ride and detained him for several minutes while they tried to figure it out. Jak got back out and came to watch the drama. Finally after doubting the truth several more times, the security guard checked Joe's checked baggage which had the final destination written on the tag. Two somewhat flustered and relieved siblings got onto the bus again. Sleeping was much better for both on the second night.

It's two hours earlier here now then in MN, which makes it 3 hours + one day difference to NZ. Yay! We are now at LAX airport, waiting for our flight to leave for Australia this evening. 10:10 this evening.
We met an absolutely adorable woman from Australia, who is flying back to Melbourne tonight 2 hours after we leave for Sydney. She decided we must be writing a book because we spend so much time on the computer here at the airport. :o But we explained that we are getting our money's worth for our day pass of wifi that we bought after getting through security. We ordered some random dinner food from Burger King, and are trying to remember to drink plenty of water to jet lag a little later. Until we again find wifi... we will be busy trying to entertain ourselves in warm and beautiful cali. :)

Vegas and LA in pictures

This is our trip so far we finally made it to LA early this morning.

We got into Los Vegas around 2ish in the morning.

There where a lot of shiny building but not much else....

Krispy Kreme! sadly closed

Cuz when Emers is there the buildings light up??

lots of shiny!

sushi and rice balls on the 3rd street promenade!

we payed a total of 2.25 each to bus all over LA.

rice balls and emers in Santa Monica


more buses

I wished we had packed lighter....lol

on the santa monica beach.

working on my camera skills

3rd st.