ALL BY MYSELF, ALL BY MYSELF
Guten Tag, mein readers (I don't know what "reader" is in German)
As per usual you're expecting the usual over the top, mixed emotion drool, that I throw at you and expect you to get, absorb and laugh occasionally to the fun and adventures of Travelling.
Well BOLLOCKS to that!
As I left you before I was coming to the end of the kiwi exp bus tour, things took a downer. Well to quote bridesmaids, yes I know I complained about it in a previous blog but I watched it so much I can quote it!
"you thought that was my bottom, you were wrong, this is bottom"
I'm back in Auckland, I'm broke to the point I might declare myself bankrupt, I'm still sore from that jetboat, still sick, I'm still missing my tax refund, I'm stuck in a lovely country with nothing to do and you need to get that tamagotchi sized violin out for me!
Due to the STA not booking my flight in time and me not having enough money to cover the next flight to San Francisco, I'm in New Zealand for the foreseeable future.
As I'm low on cash and inspiration,I literally book any hostel that pops up on my phone that's under $25. I end up in a hostel called Frienz (get it? Friend and NZ mixed together...... That poor pun should have been a clue). Some travellers may get want I'm going to say next but there's a situation that comes along where you don't give a shit where you stay as long as it doesn't take away from your drink and food budget, oh just me?!? The place was strange, it had a lift that could only be worked from the 2nd floor, a massive kitchen with one microwave, a "gastropub" interior and a front desk that was Italian and only listened to Italian. At one point I was going to grab a red cap and wrench and quote mario bros just to get his attention.
Bing! What's that? It's not the only microwave in the kitchen, it's Facebook, people from the bus are here, HALLELUJAH! A head out for a drink and try to decide what to do for the next few days. Now reader this is where I went downhill, they were listing all this stuff and all I wanted to do was roll my eyes (liz lemon masterpiece). What is wrong with me? I have these cool friends, great suggestions and all I want to do is bury my head in a pillow (waiting for Hugh Jackman)?!? The constant battles with the ATO, the 360 degree illness and lack of cash has beaten me, I've had the ecstasy of kiwi travel, time for reality to kick in!
For the next few days, I have to think about every single thing I need to fix, from my bedroom, even Jennifer Aniston's love life isn't this melodramatic.
People from The bus come and go and I have to say my goodbyes but it was a bit half hearted from my end, sorry kiwi exp, when I string things out prepare to be tripped.
Don't worry readers, things are not all doom and gloom, the last two people I see, did something that you need to do to cheer me up.....
RIDDLE TIME - how do you cheer up an unnecessarily depressed black man?!
TAKE HIM TO A STRIP CLUB ON A WEEKNIGHT!
This is what it felt like - http://youtu.be/e0Q09Lag1cY
Seriously it worked, it's works on Tracy Morgan, Ludacris and even a misery guts gay.
Myself, Exemple and Doreen decide to have a "quiet night" in which involved a game of "I have never ever" and 2/3 litre bottle of vodka being drunk from a teapot (the find Queenstown anyone!?). I've never learnt so much from my friends and found out that I'm a women's medium in gillets. (I'll upload the photo another time)
Unfortunately when you get us three drunks that love 3man anything can happen, and it happened, myself and Doreen wanted to go to a stripclub, much to a reluctant exemple's surprise, seriously he's the only one out of us who wouldn't benefit from this event.
We head into the stripclub, and seeing as its a Tuesday night, we have the highest calibre of forgotten mothers and daughters "shaking" their stuff at us. There's no more than 14 people here that includes bar staff, us, bouncer, strippers and horny businessmen.
Next is the bit where I had an epiphany, I may have all these problems, however I'm not getting my flat chest out on a Tuesday night for 60-100 bucks a night in Auckland. That's right that little money and two of the girls looked like two aspirins on an ironing board for boobs. Alongside that, the stripper thought I was the lonely straight mate and Exemple and Doreen were a couple. Oh dear, shall we tell her boys and girls?!
Ok and BACK IN THE ROOM....... I'm good to go!
To get back into the swing of things, I go to a local rugby match Auckland Blues vs Wellington Hurricanes, with the England vs All blacks, the stadium is a bit on the light side but oh well. As Homer Simpson once said "it's not about who wins or loses, it's how drunk you get" thank you Homer I took that one to heart. I have no idea what the final score was but I cheered every time they scored cos the flame chutes went off and I was frozen and drank myself warm. (note drinking makes you colder and slows circulation,you're just too drunk to care after a while)
So after a few fruitless hostel changes and asking for work/accom jobs I decided to do my own little kiwi exp and revisit some of the towns I liked on the north island. So off to Rotorua and Taupo. Ironically, the nomads I was staying in Auckland said they had a position within minutes of me confirming and paying for this mini tour, NERD RAGE!
Before I leave, I have a little reunion with the guys I spent my first night with when the tour started, I'm with elbow Sarah aka crash test dummy, PETE, Exemple, Maclauy and Dr Naive, could this be a sign?!
Thankfully I use http://nakedbus.com for this trip, which was surprisingly cheap, the first stop is Rotorua. Now kids I want you to read this and learn something - "sometimes going backwards can be a good thing".
I get to Rotorua, all the eggy smells come hurling back, the memories of the conversation starters and something that was a welcome change, the peace and quiet. Seriously you guys wouldn't have had the last few blogs if it wasn't for this place.
As my hatred for Base hostels grow, I decide to back somewhere different and after being here I think I need to express an opinion to the management of kiwi experience. I end up at Rock Solid backpackers, yes I laughed at the name,when I booked this place.
It's amazing. It's a hostel that's attached to an independent cinema, indoor rock climbing centres and is miles cheaper and relaxed than Base.
So here was my chance to do all the things I missed out on from The original tour, namely eating in peace and scratching my crotch in private.... Uh I mean zorbing and shweebing.
Yes you heard right zorbing and shweebing they may sound like things that scooby doo and the script editor from 1960s batman may have come up with but it's true.
First day I did zorbing, for those who have no idea what it is it's basically the massive balls you got from gladiators but in plastic form, filled with water and you're meant to go down a downhill course. If you are successful you can stand up the whole way down in this oversized washing machine hamster ball! Ummm I felt like a was back in the womb, I was allooverthe place, I couldn't see outside and was feeling so many things before I popped out its was like being I forgot the experience..
Site - http://zorb.com/world/rotorua/ $24 on bookme or $45 normally
After the zorb ball gave birth to me, I had a quick jacuzzi which is free with the ride and provided the staff with a good laugh of me tumbling around trying to keep my balance and keep the camera inside on my good side.
I got a ride from a nice scottish/kiwi couple who were in the same hostel as me. As I had a whole afternoon to myself, I did an indoor rock climb and chilled. Although I think I ruined a kid's time on the rock climbing as I took over his part of the wall and then let out a little excitement fart when I got to the top, uh oops!
Moving swiftly, the next day I went to Argoventures (http://www.agroventures.co.nz/) which is an activity park and it's great, you can even get a free transfer to the park, $25 bookme, $49 normally . shweebing, again for those who have no idea what this is it's basically an upside down aerodynamic cycling course. There's photos to follow, if that description confuses you through.
Schwebe in German means suspend, nice little fact for you! Apparently this is the only type of shweeb in the world, so they have a world record at the moment of 54secs, I got 1min 5 secs, even the guys who work there said they can't even get close to that record. I swear quicksilver or the flash was powering that ride.
You can also do bungy, swing bungy, freefall and jet boating, I advise missing the jet boat and bungy, you can do these in more thrilling places, although prepare the bubble wrap for the jet boat.
The next day was basically chill out day where I wrote the last few blog entries, played xbox (I want one!) and pretty much took in the sights and unfortunately smells of the town.
Next stop - TAUPO
I'm not sure what I can say but this is my surprisingly second favourite place in NZ, it's big, the lake is picturesque, the people are constantly nice and it's generally the northern answer to Queenstown. But as ever the north sucks compared to the south, I know there's a northerner reading this who is turning into the hulk as we speak (read) :)
I stayed in a hostel which was called Taupo Urban Retreat (http://www.tur.co.nz) as much as I hate Base Hostels, this place was nice but I'd stick to Base mainly for the location, lake views and comfort. This place was part hostel, part Bavarian bar and part themed hotel you'd find in Disneyland Paris.
I'm gonna spare you from hurting your eyes and save my wrists and say the 3 things that happened while I was here
My bank card doesn't work anywhere other than online and I had an incident where I went to the supermarket and had to had to a bank to get money out. During this time I think my "looks" had gotten round the store and by the time I came back, EVERY woman had served me (I'll edit that later to sound less gross) or basically just stood around me while I shopped again. I might have been confused for a celebrity. The most bizarre situation ever, it was like I was auditioning for a lynx advert. I can see it now, my oblivious and gormless expression pops up on screen and the caption below "Lynx Africa, make the Taupo women go wild".
2. I sailed on the lake for $22 bookme special normally $40 (www.sailbarbary.com) to see some Maori cravings that were only made in the 1980s, not exactly historic more nostalgic really. You can BYOB and by lucifer's beard I took that to heart as well, part way through the "historical" talk, I whip up my $8 wine and drink from the bottle and the captain instantly says "are you from the kiwi exp bus!?" touché el captain.
3. I write more blog while sat in Burger Fuel and pretty much making love to a caramel milkshake, "when Harry met Sally" style
And that's Taupo, I know everything seems a bit tame but there's a reason for this....... I HAVE NO F*CKING MONEY! Seriously, is the ATO just sat around filing their nails while I contemplate eating my foot for nutrition!
Anyway I head back to Auckland for one night but to my surprise, White Lenny and Matt turn up :). uhhh Matt if you are reading this, I've not thought of a nickname for you yet, you're not weird or crazy like the rest of the bus to have one, believe me that's a compliment.
I leave Auckland in a bit of strange mood I have to say.
I'm part excited that I'm going to San Franscico, I'm also worried about my finances and I'm gutted (upset for those non- English people) that I'm leaving my new favourite place In The world. BYE BYE NEW ZEALAND, I WILL RETURN. (and the Oscar goes to....)
I fly to San Fran now and I go with Air New Zealand and just to snap me out of my mini unnecessary depression, I fly with the most awkward, out of place, cheesy air crew ever. I don't know how to describe them as I've been treated to the likes of Emirates and BA and even BA isn't this old school any more. The crew were forcefully cheerful, old fashioned and unentertaining to the point I wanted to host just to show people humanity was still relevant.
They were somewhere inbetween being too old for butlins, too polite it was insulting and looked like they were dressed in CA clothing that not even a crazy cat lady would wear.
So follow me to the American section as we touchdown in the gay Captial that is San franny......