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Showing posts from March, 2017

House update: finished bathroom!!

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At the end of September 2016 we moved into our 1920's house. We were immediately swept into making it feel like our own and the room I wanted done first was the upstairs bathroom. Initially, we only planned a simple makeover; just to put up some wet room panels and a new sink. Boy did that turn into something way bigger than we could have imagined last year.

We tore it all out, walls, floor and all, and hired a company to do it properly. We didn't want to risk messing up the waterproofing part of the bathroom renovation!

In February we hired a contractor, and we were told they would be done in just two weeks. ...Well...it took six. One thing after another, there was always a hiccough. But it's finally done! I'm very happy with the result, but once we finish renovating the last room in the second floor, we are going to wait on doing more big projects til we have saved up money again.

BEFORE


MIDDLE








AFTER!




The current state of our bedroom...


There and back again - Abel Tasman (day 3) + Greymouth

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Day three we woke up not feeling 100%. We had been eaten alive by sandflies, were not too comfy in our tent set up (Marius' legs were sticking out of the end), and we just weren't feelin' it. But it was the last day, the last 10 kms, the last hours in Abel Tasman. We packed up, the sun was shining and it was yet another gorgeous day.

This section of the track wove in and out from woods to beach. While walking along one of the beaches early in the day, a group of hikers called us over. We took our packs off and went to see what was up. They had found a colony of fur seals playing in the cove about 100 yards from where we sat. We watched them for about 15 minutes. The pups were playing in the water and one of the adults swam by us to check us out and make sure we weren't dangerous. Such a beautiful way to start the day.


The last six kms of the track weren't that exciting, just about as nice as the first six. Mainly walking in the woods, pretty normal vegetation and …

There and back again - Abel Tasman (day 2)

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Day two started from Bark Bay and finished at Anapai campsite. We technically only had about 8 hours of walking to do, but due to the tidal schedule, we planned to take a lot of breaks to get to the Awaroa Inlet at low tide (which was not until 5:30PM).

We walked about an hour before our first break to make sure we did not get to the inlet too early before low tide. The sun was already pretty strong and the water was very inviting. It wasn't super warm, but it wasn't too cold either. For lunch we brought pitas and salami, but the pitas we got had already gotten moldy, apparently they were the kind with butter inside them and meant to be baked. When we bought them we were not thinking clearly and did not pay attention to the details, but we just cut off the bad parts and ate a little bit. Luckily we had more than enough snack food, so we didn't starve at all on this hike.

About 1 hour before we were expecting to get to the inlet we walked up on a little cafe that made pizz…

There and back again - Abel Tasman (Day 1)

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New Zealand is known for nature, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) has found a great way to get people to see the best of the best. Thus, the 9 Great Walks of New Zealand: Abel Tasman, Milford,  Lake Waikaremoana, Tongariro Northern Circuit, Whanganui Journey, Heaphy, Routeburn, Kepler, and Rakiura.

So far I can say I have done three of these: Milford, Tongariro and Abel Tasman.

We walked the Abel Tasman with our good friend, Divya. They recommend using 3-5 days to do the trek, and we did it in three...but we like to brag that we rather did it in 48 hours.

We flew to Nelson on Monday morning with Divya in tow, and a shuttle picked us up at the airport and drove us to Marahau, the start of the Abel Tasman Coastal Track. The weather was predicted to be perfect for the whole week and we were excited to experience this unique part of New Zealand.

At 12:30 we began walking and we had to walk 24 kms to make it to our accommodation. We managed to get to the hut at Bark Bay by 7:30 an…

There and back again - Auckland

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We did a lot in New Zealand in a short amount of time, so I'll write entries in chunks.

On February 24th we landed in Auckland in the morning after quite a long haul of plane flights and layovers (Bergen - Oslo - London - Hong Kong - Auckland). Between London and Auckland we had a total of 22hrs of flight time, probably round it up to 25 hours with the layover. We landed just before 8AM and were picked up by my old flatmates, Dominic and Beau, whom I lived with when I was living down there. They hadn't changed a bit, and chatting with them made it feel like I had never left. It was hard to believe that I hadn't seen them in nearly 6 years.

We had breakfast at Mission Bay, a local beach that we frequented and got caught up. Marius and I felt very pale and were eager to get a shower and a nap. We got to our hostel (YHA Auckland City) and dropped off our bags, freshened up, and took a walk around Auckland to keep us awake and get used to the time shift.

That night a bunch of…