Let the Adventures Begin! Part I

21 Nov

ImageSo here I am in Tuatapere…basically I can Hi5 Antarctica from here. I am staring at Fiordland right now, watching the sunset over the snow capped mountains…I have been on the road traveling for quite some time and it has been difficult to keep track and keep everyone posted, so this may be a bit lengthy, as much has happened!

Al’s toxic energy had gotten us all. (Us=Jon, Lindsey, and me). We could not show it on our faces anymore. Twice, sometimes three times toasted toast for breakfast AND lunch was a reality. We all leaned on one another but it was becoming difficult to humor the garbage anymore, but we had all planned on leaving December first and everyone was pushing through. On Friday, 9 November we had our typical Friday family meal. All seemed okay, until we wanted to have a chat briefly about what to do with our extra hours and how to take them off before we go. We had decided to make Saturdays a short day and still do the extra work we had been doing with milking the cows. Suzie said that it was okay, but then she looked at Jon & Lindsey and said “Well we could just pay you for your extra hours so you can go. We’ve noticed that you’ve been a bit unhappy.” They responded that they were happy to stay here their last few weeks and work, they just had over 40 extra hours so they would take Saturdays off, whereas I didn’t have as many as them so I would just make Saturday a short day. It was a bizarre and awkward moment for sure, but we all smiled and went to bed. Al had been getting worse, prior to dinner he offered Jon a beer and not me, and when I said I would take a beer he just ignored me entirely. Even his daughter noticed and called him out. How sad! Anyhow, I was in my room for at least an hour when Suzie knocked on my door. She told me that she did not want to have that conversation in front of the guests, but she wanted to talk to us all at breakfast in the morning before we separate the cows to milk. Of course I went over and found Jon & Lindsey to tell them to have their guard up because I had no idea what she meant by any of that.

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Then exactly one month of my existence in New Zealand struck. It was the 10th of November. Jon, Lindsey, and I were going to have a rainy day movie day, eat candy, and Lindsey was going to dread my hair. We all arrived at breakfast awaiting the awkward conversation in hopes to get it over with and get on with our day. While we were eating our usual breakfast of old toast, Suzie brought up that she noticed we are all unhappy. Instead of addressing the root of our misery with Al, she told us all that we needed to leave. Just like that with nowhere to go, we were on our own. I had a few massage clients lined up for the next few weeks and a wwoof host (Scotty & Verena-who I know are normal people that I love!) all lined up so that I would have money in my pocket prior to my South Island journey. I guess that was not the way at all that the universe had it planned.

That same day I went to town after packing my things to get a GPS and take out some cash…not that I had/have much. I am not superstitious, but I do believe that once we have a negative idea planted in our minds, it manifests like a weed and creates negative actions. A black cat walked in front of me in town just before I went to the ATM. I had to laugh out loud; nonetheless the negative seed was planted. I went to the ATM to take out $500. I received $60 and the machine stopped. Again, I laughed out loud. I had to or I would have cried. I went inside the post office to my bank (everything happens at the post office!). I explained what happened and the lady said that it was unfortunate and she would have me fill out a form and take a look at it. She said there was no guarantee I would get my money, but of course it showed up in my account that I withdrew $500. I was pretty sour at that point. Yes, I am in the most beautiful country on the planet doing epic things, but in that moment I was confused about why that would happen. I drove back to the house to gather the last of my belongings and catch Jon & Lindsey. We planned to go to the lake to regroup, then an internet café to plan, then somewhere for the night for shelter.

I have to admit, it felt quite liberating driving away from Earthstead Villas for the last time. I was not to keen on Cambridge anyway. There are so many amazing places in New Zealand, and Cambridge was a dud. We ended up doing exactly what we did, Lake Status to find Zen and laugh about our situation. My favorite moment was when we joked about which park bench we would sleep on, and Jon mentioned how awesome breakfast was, more specifically the conversation. Jon has a job, so he had a commitment to Hamilton. I did not. The longer I stayed in one place the more money I would spend. I had to make it south fast. We stayed in Hamilton at a cabin and hung out. Jon used the money that Al paid them off with for dinner at Speight’s brew pub for us. Of course Al did not pay me any money for my extra hours…

The next morning I had my breakfast with Jon & Lindsey at our cabin. Luckily it was not old toast! I took an epic shower and set off for Wellington. I had a cheap hostel booked and the ferry for the next day. The drive was long but incredible. I got to drive through most of the North Island. I had lunch at Lake Taupo, followed by a long windy drive through the desert. I had no idea that New Zealand even had a desert! Everything is so scenic and changes so quickly, so being able to drive is a true gift.

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After eight hours of driving I arrived in Wellington. I found my hostel and checked in. As soon as I saw my room I almost vomited, but I smiled instead. It was, without a doubt, a dumpster fire. The bathroom…well…there are no words for it. Well, actually I like dumpster fire, so I’ll stick with that. I decided that the only way I could handle a night’s sleep in this craphole was to get tanked. I explored town quite a bit, and landed at a German pub. It was inexpensive for New Zealand, so I got myself a burger and a beer. Afterward I managed back to my dumpster and was off to sleep.

At the crack of dawn I headed out to catch the Bluebird Cook Strait Ferry. It was Monday, 12 November. I had read that one could go whale watching in Kaikoura, so I booked my next stay at an extremely inexpensive cabin there, in hopes to find cheap whale watching.

I boarded the ferry. I was a bit hung-over but full of excitement. It was a bit rocky, but I didn’t have a care in the world. I was free, and it felt damn good. Once the ferry reached sunny Marlborough I went outside to take look at the most amazing scenery I have ever set eyes on. I have never seen water so blue, mountains so green, and the sun so bright. My eyes filled with tears. They were happy tears, proud tears, and beautiful tears. I am always grateful for every moment, especially the beautiful ones. This was living. This was real life. I, Kimberly Wilson, the girl who grew up poor and struggled her whole life, was witnessing the most amazing sights on Earth because I work hard and have determination. I had a nice conversation with a man from Belgium, and then headed back in when the ferry stopped.

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Picton, Marlborough was epic. Being in my car and seeing: New Zealand, South Island on my GPS was a great feeling. The drive to Kaikoura was sunny, mountainy, and breathtaking. It was a two hour drive that I turned into over three hours because I kept stopping to see everything and soak it up.

I stopped for lunch about forty minutes before I arrived at my cabins. I had to stop because there were a bunch of seals on rocks just off the road. (My drive was down the coast). I had some muesli bars and my favorite thing here-Ginger beer. There were seals all over the most beautiful blue-green water. It was only a taste of what was to come. Everything was a surprise. I had no idea what to expect, which is the most beautiful thing. I finished my lunch and set off to the Holiday Park in which I was staying.

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I arrived at the cabin and the lady at the desk was super nice. I can honestly say Kaikoura has the most amazing and special energy from any place I have been in the world. There must be something to it! The woman gave me some free internet and I went to check out my cabin, which was incredible! It was such a relief after the dumpster fire hostel I stayed at in Wellington. It was symbolic. It was spotless, smelled nice, had an amazing view of the mountains, and the ocean was across the street. It was everything I needed after everything. All whale watch trips were cancelled so I wandered around on my own in town. It was a bit rainy, but not bad at all. I sat at the beach for hours. The energy there was unreal. I had heart palpitations from all the energy. It was unlike any other body of water. Then I walked around town, stopped at the store and got myself some dinner (which would also be my breakfast and lunch the next day). I had my dinner and enjoyed the hot tub at the cabin as well as a bit of swimming.

I had a hard time justifying going whale watching because I am working with an extremely tight budget, but I figured if I camped near Christchurch, stayed with a mutual friend in Dunedin, I would not have to pay to sleep anywhere else on my way down to Tuatapere. Plus I have always wanted to go whale watching but never could because I never had enough money. I will never let money keep me from doing what I really want ever again. So I justified it. How could I not go?! I was in Kaikoura! While booking my ticket the night before I ended up getting a really sweet last minute discount, so I knew it was meant to be.

 

It was Tuesday, 13 November. I opened my eyes and the first thing that I saw was the ceiling of my warm and cozy cabin. I had the greatest night’s sleep of my life, and I smiled from ear to ear. In that moment I was the happiest I had ever been in my life. I was happy to exist. Life was perfect. I showered in the awesome showers at the cabin, packed my things, and set off to go see some whales! The boat ride was incredible. The ocean is such an amazing thing, and the waters are so blue and green I can never get enough of it. The boat flew through the water and we ended up about seven miles out onto the ocean where the sperm whales feed. Within seconds we saw one. He was feeding and preparing to dive. We were able to enjoy about ten minutes of this massive creature of the sea. Then he prepared to dive. When he dove I got all teary eyed. Whales are incredible. New Zealand is incredible! After the sperm whale dives he doesn’t come back up to the surface for another 45 minutes. The captain was a really cool guy, and he decided to take us over to where heaps of dolphins hang out. That was super cool as well. I have never seen so many dolphins in my life. They came right up to the boat! I loved their playful and free energy. Afterward we cruised back up to catch one last glimpse of the sperm whale, followed by some seal sighting and checking out some natural rock formations. It was without a doubt an epic experience.

After my whale watching adventure I hadn’t really had a plan for my next stop so I headed to the i-site. I found some really cool places to camp near Christchurch, so I headed that way. This drive was also quite scenic, exciting, coastal, oceany, sealy, and super mountainy. It was another five to six hour trip of astonishment the whole way. Once I passed CHCH, I headed down the Banks Peninsula. I hadn’t known that yet, so it was quite the breathtaking surprise! The place that I camped was at the top of a mountain overlooking the Akaroa Harbour. Again, I was pleasantly surprised.

When I woke up the next morning I had a new love for life. Every single day I thought that I couldn’t love life any more than that, and every day I woke up loving life more than the day before. I decided to make my intention for that day to be love. I don’t mean like, romantic love or anything, just love for life and all of its beautiful gifts, and I focused on staying open to whatever the universe brings. I turned up my music and I headed down to Dunedin. Some friends of mine from Redondo Beach, California have a friend in Dunedin who is also from California. We swapped info and had been chatting, and she was going to let me stay with her in Dunedin since it is on my way to Tuatapere, where I would be wwoofing next. This drive was another 5 hours, but it was a bit different. It was pretty straight and less terrifying because I wasn’t driving up, down, and around super steep windy mountains. I did have some beautiful snow cap mountains in my view most of the drive, which are always a gorgeous setting for a long drive.

I made it to Dunedin quite early (which was a first) so I headed to town to explore. I found some really cool op-shops as well as a Turkish place that had Doener Kebabs like the ones I would have in Germany all the time. Of course that made me incredibly happy.

Kelly, the girl I was supposed to be meeting for the first time, had just finished a huge diving test and was pretty busy with things. She texted me her address and her lock box key, and I headed over that way. Luckily I had a car full of beer and her house was on the corner of the ocean. I have to admit, I was a little confused at the whole situation and felt totally awkward being in this girl’s house who I have never met. So…I headed to the beach and had a couple brews. I perched myself on a sand dune and reminded myself of my intention for the day: Love. And as I sat in front of the beautiful Pacific, I smiled, in total love with life as I watched the sunset.

After it grew darker and cooler I headed back, in hopes to at least meet Kelly. I was rinsing out my beer bottles in the kitchen to put in the recycling when a guy from the street gave me a bizarre look. When I walked out back to throw my bottles in the bin he walked up to the house. It was one of Kelly’s roommates, who had no idea who I was or that Kelly had invited someone to stay. I introduced myself and offered him a beer. I probably looked pretty pathetic sitting there in an empty house drinking beer by myself, so he pulled up a chair and joined me. We ended up staying up most of the night talking and laughing hysterically. The poor guy probably slept ten minutes before he had to go to work at 3am. He was sweet enough to offer me half his bed as well, and gentleman enough to literally just sleep in it. I have to admit that was a first for me.

We had talked about doing a Speight’s Brewery tour. If I were to do that, I couldn’t drive to Tuatapere so we figured I would just stay another night and we would check out the brewery tour. When he got home from work we decided to check out this beach instead. At the beach we were able to hang out with heaps of seals, AND go sit in an observatory and check out penguins! I didn’t even know there were penguins in New Zealand!! It was such a beautiful thing to see. Luckily we were able to spot a penguin, and we got to watch him for quite some time. Afterward we hiked back up the steepest sand dune known to man to get back to the car. I felt as if I had conquered Mount Everest when I got to the top. Maybe I ought to drink less beer and do more of that….

We didn’t end up doing the brew tour that night because it was already late, but penguins are way cooler. It was that night that I decided to hang out for the weekend. What a pleasant surprise! I’m not the type of girl to look for love. In fact, I don’t even really care about it. I am secure and I love myself, therefore I do not crave love or affection. I don’t chase boys, and I don’t waste my time with useless relationships that never go anywhere….so this caught me off guard for sure.

He is an incredible human being, lots of love and positive energy beaming from his soul. It was easy to be around, AND he cooked for me! Like, a lot. And really really good stuff. I felt incredibly spoiled. He wouldn’t let me pay for anything either…which is definitely an absolute first! It was more than just hospitality; it was a beautiful friendship blooming.

Eventually we got around to doing the Cadbury tour as well as the Speight’s tour, and in the same day we walked up Baldwin Street, which is the steepest street in the world. Then we went out that night, so it was quite an exhausting day! There was no way in hell I was driving to Tuatapere on Sunday after all that, so we enjoyed an amazingly lazy day, had ice cream for dinner, and relaxed.

Monday, 20 November happened just yesterday. I woke up, had the most delicious stack of pancakes in my life, and sat at the beach in the sunshine and waited for him to finish working so I could say goodbye and be on my way to Tuatapere-where I would wwoof with awesome Tamsin and find work, in hopes to make this a few month stay.

TO BE CONTINUED……

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