Monthly Archives: February 2014

And Finally Beds & More Beds.

I think we are both a bit weird, we have over the last few weeks become fixated with beds. Hardly has the door closed behind us as we enter a new bedroom, whereupon we can be found testing the firmness of the bed, then deconstructing the bedding to see what type of mattress and whether it has a topper. Then we start on the pillows….. We have everything, from queens, kings, super kings, flat beds and joy of joys a CALIFORNIAN super king, the biggest bed in the world! Now that is a monster of a bed, sleeping 4 comfortably I reckon. Though that was attached to a hotel in the middle of nowhere, so no chance to try that particular theory out.
It is also important that the bed is big enough because my dearly beloved has restless leg syndrome, if you remember Kenny Everett’s TV shows and the way he crossed his legs in the best possible taste, you will kind of get the idea. Essential that you are far enough away otherwise you get battered all night long. We have had some motels with two bedrooms, one in particular springs to mind, if you remember the manager was a racist German who thought he had a good sense of humour. His wife we only met as we were leaving, she was cleaning the room opposite. Her first comment was to ask whether we were ‘one bed boys’, naturally we confirmed we were, ahh she said I have a son who is a one bed boy. Taking us to heart she then proceeded to say she had caught her husband in bed with someone else that very week and thus was leaving the following day. Not sure this is a place I am going to recommend!
All in all a great trip, a couple of flat beds to moan about on the way home, then our own, which I can assure you is still the best!


The Sting in the Tail.

He did it! My superhero. I have to say my cover was nearly blown when we discovered we could jump in tandem, I quickly went very pale and hoping he would not notice the million cameras covering every split second, said well you will need me to take your photos. Actually just leaning over the rails to get pictures of him bouncing up and down made me feel very sick. More entertaining were the Chinese women holding on for dear life who had to have their hands prized from the railings and then a gentle nudge followed by a very Chinese scream. Apparently you can do it naked if you want, that might have been interesting.
So jump done my hero returns full of adrenalin, of course we have to collect the t shirt, the certificate and buy all the pics because mine all appeared a bit wobbly. Time to go back to Queenstown….Have you sussed it yet? Any guesses? Back to the car, I have the bag which he gave be after he had been back to the car to change into shorts (much sexier to jump in shorts) Oh wait a minute car keys must be in the bag somewhere, no cant find them, let me look. 5 minutes later….HE MUST HAVE JUMPED WITH THE BLOODY CAR KEYS IN HIS POCKET.
You would have been proud of me, very calm, no raised voices, a little too calm perhaps, almost frigidly calm. Let’s go find the nice English guy who looked like our friend Ben Norris’s brother, because we sure need a friendly face at this moment. Hi says Dan, back already, another jump? Perhaps you Tony? So angry was I a Tom Daley dive off the platform would have been easy. Let’s review the video of Gordon’s jump suggests Dan, and there it is, plain to see, a splash as something falls into the river towards the end of his fall. Not the first to do that, says Dan, let’s go and call Hertz for you and see what options you have. By this time Hertz is already mighty pissed off with us as we arrived back at a car park a few days ago to find a camper van impaled in the back of our car. Excess lost that will be £1500 on your credit card until we sort out who is to blame, sir. Grrrr wonder how much this will cost me thinks.
Then, our guardian angel flies in on the end of a bungee rope, because as I lean over the reception desk, tucked away by the side of the computer, there seems to be a set of keys. Could they be? We both lunge for them, yes yes yes! Oh says Gordon I must have put them down here while I was signing the forms.
Divorce narrowly avoided, until the next dizzy blonde moment.

Alls Well That Ends Well.

So he’s back safely, Mr Smarty Pants. Oh you would have been fine up there it was easy, no steep climbs, no sharp drops. Should have come blah blah. Well I immediately downed tools and stopped ironing, no need to practise now he is back. In fact so pumped up with adrenalin he roared up to the ironing board and this was the result.
Right so we have gone all macho now and thrown caution to the wind, helicopter trip, tick, light aircraft, tick, bungee jumping, tick, all booked ready to go. Though considering I felt a little sick on our boat trip around Doubtful Sound today I might be a little apprehensive.
Driving out here is pretty easy, few roads, few cars. I follow the signs because I am not a good map reader and guess what it makes me car sick. My heart sinks when asked to check the map, why for heavens sake the road sign says we are on the right road, if you want to look at the map I will drive. Then I have to drive with him tutting next to me when I don’t change up to 5th gear at exactly the moment he would. So basically I can’t drive or map read. You notice funny things as you drive along in the middle of nowhere, on a couple of occasions the fences around a particular property have been covered in old hanging trainers, that’s the shoes in case you need clarification. Today there was maybe 50 women’s bras hanging at regular intervals along a wooden fence, lots of different colours and sizes. I had to ask myself whether perhaps there was a little mystercism going on and as women drove past they were compelled by some hidden force to screech to a halt, whip off their undergarments, attach them to the fence and then roar off into the sunset cackling manically to themselves. Or it could just be that the local farmer is advertising his prowess to the local ladies. Quite frankly I think they need to give this guy a very wide berth, assuming of course that it is a guy!
Oh sorry I lied about the bungee jumping, surely you can’t in a million years have thought I would jump off a bridge attached to a stretchy bit of rubber?? But I have booked it for Gordon, he might bottle out, think I might need to give the ironing another go, just in case.

In Recovery

Picture the scene, I am sitting on my terrace looking at this
Franz Josef glacier, in case your bothered, oh and thank you I am feeling much better. It seems it is the reoccurrence of an old condition, the cure to which was in my bag. So determined was I that I had some new life threatening condition which probably would end in hospitalisation, that I ignored all the well known symptoms, insisted Gordon give me several types of antibiotics, tutted at him when he quietly suggested it might be my old complaint and became miserable and emotional. Such is life. As I lay in bed in my miserable state I thought there would be no harm in trying the drugs I had been carrying round. So I whopped one up, suppository in case you were wondering, and this morning 100 percent better. Doctor probably knows best, lesson learned.
The thing to do here is to Heli Hike on the glacier, so when we arrived yesterday we booked two places provisionally for today, on the basis that I might still be unwell. I was concerned it wasn’t for me, very macho, ice picks and crampons, a bit like my stomach for the last few days. So we then walked to the face of another glacier and I could see all these little specks crawling about on the ice, Oooh not sure about this, don’t have a good head for heights and not good standing on the edge of steep drops. Then of course there is the helicopter trip to get there. As I was cogitating all this this morning the news comes on the telly and guess what ANOTHER shark attack not so far from us, the odds of two shark attacks in a couple of weeks must be pretty high, definetly a sign, no glacier hike for me. Gordon has just flown over hanging out the back of the helicopter, sure he will be back safe and sound, really must not get anxious for him. He gave me loads of jobs to do to keep myself busy until 3 including the washing, he said it was about time I learnt to do these things, just in case.
Now I am sure some of you will we interested in how the Carol and David story paned out, you have to read my last blog if you are not up to speed with that little saga. Actually it’s Karel and David but it sounds like Carol. Funny thing the language here, I am beginning to pick it up I can say fssh = fish yeess = yes, listening to the radio here helps its a bit like those language courses you can buy. Every time we hear a new word we both repeat it out loud and then dissolve into hysterical laughter. Well all I can say about Karel and David is they both deserve Oscar’s, sterling performance,perfect hosts,everything tickity boo. Perhaps I should have warned Gordon not to give them our website address, because of course they could read this blog via the website. Whoops but no real harm done me thinks. We stayed in another place run by a racist German who thought he was a comedian with a Scottish wife who had serious issues. That might have to wait I need to practise my ironing…..just in case.

From Motel to Hotel to B & B

So today I thought I would try to be sensible and do a quick resume of some of the places we have stayed, who knows you might want to follow our wobbly footprints.
Today we are in Nelson and it is our first taste of a NZ B&B, now I wanted to support this type of place but struggled to find places that got my juices flowing. I admit to digging closely into the pictures so I can get the low down. Does that look like flat pack furniture? Is that a frilly lampshade on the bedside light? Plastic looking toilet seat? In fact any excuse not to book. Nelson appears not to have any options other than B&B’s, so here we are. Ring the bell, door opens and I say to the lovely Carol hope you are expecting me, yes she says, but I have messed up and you don’t have the room that you particularly booked and wanted. Ok I am sure it will be fine I say gayly, ( is that a proper word, sounds right but doesn’t look right on paper. I wasn’t being obviously gay, just trying to put Carol at her ease) Then Gordon skips round the corner to introduce himself, well if I am being honest it was not a proper skip. At this point the lovely Carol does a tiny tiny double take, not obvious at all, really, but to my trained eye which misses not a trick, there was a tiny shift in her demeanour. Oh but she recovered well, ever the consummate host.
Now of course running a B&B myself I have been in a similar situation, the Rolls Royce driver with the Thai bride who wouldn’t get out of the car is a good example, so I can sympathise with Carol. Not met the husband yet, though the two page biography in the guest information folder sounds interesting. Looking forward to meeting him over breakfast tomorrow. BTW 3 irons from Gordon Iron and Board in room plus same day laundry service. Clean smalls all round tomorrow. Internet gets 4 whatsits (little iPad symbols?) Free and good speed. If this makes no sense you missed an earlier blog.
Last night we stayed at the Copthorne Hotel Oriental Bay in Wellington. 19th floor room overlooking the bay, fab, so it should be for the price. Minus iPad symbols, slow and expensive, one iron from Gordon. Early start to catch the ferry, bit grumpy, sorry Mr Front Desk man, I should have know you knew exactly where our car was and I was only joking when I said it had been stolen, you had the keys after all. Not a bad place to stay if you are in Wellington.
The night before was Bates Motel, oh sorry whenever anyone mentions Motel I am thinking Hitchcock with dodgy plumbing and dirty shower curtains, of course it was actually called the Siena Motor lodge, so alls well as its a Motor Lodge not a Motel. 5 symbols from the tec department and 5 from the laundry department. This place could teach some of the other so called 5 star joints a thing or two.

Shark Attack.

No please don’t panic I can assure you that all my appendages are accounted for, however if I continue to eat and drink as I have been doing for another three weeks there may be one appendage that I might have trouble checking! I do love my Twitter and Facebook feeds but a Twitter post a few days ago unsettled me. Apparently a man was attached by a shark in two metres of water at the bottom of the South Island, several things worked in his favour, firstly he just happenedu to have a knife in his hand, don’t ask me why because I have no idea. Secondly,having stabbed the shark and got his leg out of its mouth, he was able to stitch his own wound up because, A. He was a doctor so knew what he was doing and B. He just happened to have a full on 1st Aid kit to hand. How lucky was all that? I am not a doctor, don’t carry knives or 1st Aid kits, so would surely have been gobbled up. That should be the end of the story except I have an irrational fear of sharks, even checking swimming pools for that Jaw’s like fin so for the next three weeks I am staying off beaches because I swear I read somewhere they can grab you from 6 inches of water. If you never hear from me again you know the worst has happened and I am the first tourist in maybe 50 years to be eaten.

Ok I guess you might like to know where we are. Two days at Lake Taupo in the Hilton which actually was a great base. see photos below.Then a stunning drive over the mountains to Whanganui which is a lovely old town.Staying in a Motel as we are only here for one night, yes yes standards slipping I know, but for £60 a night this place could teach some of the fancy places a thing or two, that’s a whole new blog. Later…..