Gisborne

 
Another amazing vista on our drive to Gisborne at Tūtira Lake.

One of the upsides to staying in a Top 10 campsite is they usually have a jumping pillow…



After exerting most of our energy bouncing around like kids we took on the challenge of walking the length of Poverty Bay.






It’s the equivalent to November weather here, but that didn’t stop us having a sea swim.





We ended walking over 10 miles and we still didn’t make it to the end of the beach!

Hawera

Hawera is near Egmont National Park, which is home to Taranaki volcano.
The rain was torrential, luckily we could listen to it from the comfort of our motel room. Luxury for a few nights, a spa bath, a soft bed, a kitchen! All the simple pleasures!
The sun did put in an appearance the following day which allowed us to walk to the beach.












We did venture up the volcano, it was misty.


On a clear day you can probably see all the way to the sea. But not today.
Next destination Taumarunui. 

Dunedin to the Catlins

There’s a Cadburys World in Dunedin, it didn’t escape us!





We weren’t allowed to take our phones in to take pictures-making chocolate is top secret! 
We were given a bar or chocolate in each room. New Zealander chocolate.


We were informed (by the Cadbury World guide) that the train station in Dunedin is the second most photographed landmark in the world. The first being Sydney Opera House. We dutifully had our picture taken with it…



It was then time to leave Dunedin, and head for the Catlins.

Didn’t take long until we found a scenic route and walk.



Everytime we stop somewhere I’m always glad we did. Everywhere is awesome and unique.



This is Tunnel beach, as the only way to get to the beach is through a tunnel! Ingenious.






We had been tipped off by a fellow traveler, Callum, who was driving around the country in the opposite direction, that Cannibal Bay was a good spot for getting pretty close to the sea lions.






We had planned to stay in a campsite on the other side of this beach point, Newhaven, but when we turned up it was closed. The closest place was Surat Bay Lodge.



We took a romantic walk on the beach as the sun went down…








New Zealand

 
Been offline for a bit, which has been nice. We are staying with Laura’s family friend, who is also letting us use his car for our travels too! 
After sleeping off the jet lag we were initiated into Kiwi life with drinks with some locals.



Even with our headaches in the morning we still got up and went for a walk to clear the cobwebs and get our bearings of the area.
We are planning on road tripping around the country which is the cheapest way to go, so camping supplies are needed!


Tried out our new wheels and it didn’t take long to fill the back full of camping crap, and discover the Kiwis like chocolate more than I do!


Sun is shining and we needed some sea air, Taylor’s Mistake was recommended to us.









Pomeroy’s bar for a few and met up with Alex who I know from back home! 



Yet another night drinking, New Zealand is a bad influence! 

Singapore Shores

I think I have mentioned the Couchsurfing app in previous posts, I uploaded my travel plans a while ago to find someone to host me during my stay.

I had been offered to stay with a few hosts here in Singapore, one who turned out to be a bit flakey and couldn’t actually commit, the other who insisted I should stay with him the whole time, then messaged me on the morning telling me a pipe burst in his house so he was staying in a hotel while it was being repaired (I was relieved as I didn’t want to stay with him, he kept nagging to drink all the time, which set my alarm bells off).
He kept insisting I could come stay with him in the hotel, and repeatedly asking if I would drink with him, no matter how many times I said no. 
In the end I said his messages are coming across like he just wants to get me drunk and take advantage, his reply ‘yeh’.
Not exactly what Couchsurfing is for, but obviously for sleaze balls, they will look for any opportunity. Just hope that any other solo female travelers don’t fall for it.
I moved to the hotel today, I chose it based on it being in a different location for me to explore, price and pool. 
After last night’s sleep, I am so happy to be in a room alone. The hostel dorm was full when I came back at 3am, air con and fan on again, I had no blanket to steal and couldn’t put my towel up to protect me from the icy blast from the fan. 
So once I’d got ready for bed I quickly turned the fan off and hoped no one would notice! They didn’t! Yay! 
Only thing to deal with then was everyone’s alarms going off at 7am. If it wakes me up and I’m three beds over, why doesn’t it wake them up when it’s next to their head? You’re in a room with other people! A little consideration goes a long way! 

Now I have a lovely clean, plush room all to myself. 


Enjoyed the rooftop pool and dozed in the sunshine.
Colin from Couchsurfing messaged me asking if I had any plans, apart from lounging around, I hadn’t actually made any for today. He offered to take me to Wake Park. A lake with a zip line for people to wakeboard around on. The guys doing it made it look so easy! 


Colin treated me to a milkshake while we watched the wakeboarders and we swapped travel stories, Colin had just returned from a trip to Phuket, another one on my list, so enjoyed getting as much info as possible!


We took a walk on the beach, although the beach itself is decent, the numerous tankers parked in the bay spoil the horizon somewhat, although I’ve been informed that these ships bring in about 50% of Singapore’s revenue.





I found the very rare and elusive Singapore sea orange washed up on the shore..


Colin then took me for Malaysian food, we had Murtavak, which is like eggy bread stuffed with meat, Sup sayur, a vegetable soup, Butter chicken, which was basically chicken tikka, with a fish curry on the side to dip the bread in and washed down with Teh Tarik, which literally translates to ‘tea pull’, like a very milky tea. 



It was all delicious and I was stuffed, Colin returned me to my hotel fat and happy and ready for a lay down.
Obviously that didn’t happen, it’s my last day tomorrow so I was flicking through the book to see what else I fancied doing…

When Will came to China-Highlights

Starting with the most epic weather ever known in Beijing for the Great Wall of China. A life long dream of mine I can now say is ticked off the bucket list.



Enjoying Peking duck in the place it originated.


Trying to get the audio guide to work in the Forbidden City.



Experiencing the hustle and bustle of the Muslim quarter street food markets in Xi’an.



Getting soaked to the skin while checking out a despotic emperor’s desire to rule the afterlife with pottery. 



Not sleeping on the sleeper train…


Finally getting some decent street food in Chongqing. 


Changing our plan last minute and going on a hard sleeper train which turned out to be a better night sleep than the soft sleeper!


Climbing an inordinate amount of steps through the mist in Zhangjiajie mountains. 








Sleeping overnight in an airport for the first time.


Shown all sides Hong Kong has to offer with Becky and Ed.










Finally arriving in Haikou.



What a whirlwind couple of weeks! 

Last day on the island

That went by way too quickly. 
I had ideas of finishing my book, learning Chinese, learning a bit of ukulele off one of the other guests…
If anyone comes to Cambodia and wants to escape and live island life, this is the place. 
Having nosed at other hotels and hostels in the area, I would gladly come back to this one. It’s cheaper, the food is good and cheaper, good beach, plenty of hammocks.

What more do you need from a beach on an island?

Nothing much more to write about other than I made it to 5 beers in the Klang30 game! I achieved my goal! And found the smallest praying mantis ever!


http://lastpointisland.com/