“There’s so many onions in here it talks with a French accent”

Firstly apologies this has taken so long…. I’ve been busy…. Sorta….

 

So here we are, back in Welly. James has settled into his job and is happy to be back playing with bikes again. I am yet to find work, not even the supermarket wants me! However enjoying dealing with the recruitment agency who have questionable skills, spelling and general knowledge.

However, it’s a tough life being a kept woman but I seem to be doing it quite well. I still have to do the cooking, cleaning and bed putting away. James is a skilled bed maker and dishwasher though – I’d rate him 5*.


To celebrate having money again, we went out for dinner, we’ll sort of, we went for fish and chips, James knows how to spoil a girl 


With ‘real life’ in full swing the weekends are bike time, and after James had seen some cool biking pictures somewhere on the internet we head to a place called Red Rocks, on the west coast of NZ about 15 minutes from the centre of the City, but the place was amazing. Really windy, rough seas, high cliffs and sunshine. The climb to the biking tracks was up the road a bit and up. And up. And up. It was a rather long track to climb up to the top, sort of 4×4 off road shale/rocky/sh*te! I was not enjoying it at all, however the views were delightful. James was just dreaming about how cool it would be to have a drone up there.


If I thought the uphill was bad, I was not prepared for the downhill which was even worse. Involving me falling off, twisting my ankle and smashing into the bank about 25 meters in to the decent. James telling me to smile and at least pretend I was enjoying it did not help.

The rest of the trail was down similar tracks, I think it was a disused 4×4 track (I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to be in a car on there!!!!) but it was all along the ridgeline which was gorgeous. We saw an intact dead possum (the only possums we have seen thus far have been flattened in the middle of roads!) James heroically helped me cross 2 rivers with my bike – how was I, Mrs-I-cant-even-stand-on-one-leg, supposed to stepping stone my way across slippery wet rocks in mountain biking shoes with a bike – nah, not happening! Once we got to sea level it was a 2 mile ride back to where we had parked, along a beach road which was pretty much pebbles and sand, much better to ride along! Where James says ‘I became slightly less of a pain in the arse’ (he’s so lovely….!)


Unlike Rotorua where all the riding is in one place so you can park somewhere and go for the day and ride around and its epic, here the riding is spread out all over the city, and beyond.

Life continued and the following weekend was spent at a place called Colonial Knob *snigger* in Porirua (a little bit north of Wellington on the west coast) to get a ride in.

 

And what a ride it was, it was lavely. Felt like a cross between Yorkshire and Wales.

 

Found a bench for Papa

 

Applying for jobs, drinking tea, running and listening to podcasts was the highlight of my days, one day whilst sitting in the library “looking for jobs” and procrastinating I finally got around to reviewing on tripadvisor the camp site we went to in Tauranga where we came back to our van and found that the event parking was where we had parked. Within an hour of my review being published I had an email from the site manager apologising for not getting back to my original complaint email and offering a full refund and one night free should we wish to return. The power of public reviews!

 

It sounds like unemployment wasn’t fun, however it is – I did manage to find a toilet reviewed on the travelling app we use as ‘The best toilet in New Zealand’ I can add, it was pretty cool – on stilts in the sea with only gapped boards underfoot so whilst the tide was high you can see the water below. (I made sure the van keys were in my pocket, zipped up! Especially after dropping the keys in the toilet when in Rotorua and now we are on the spare set… (p)Ooooops, my bad)

 

Rainy days were few and far between, but as winter sets in it is certainly cold. And whilst van life has its perks, however down in Wellington it seems to be less perky living in a mental tin and the novelty of permanently being cold has certainly worn off! James has just told me off for being too negative, so I shall add that I loved wiping down the windows to get rid of the condensation every morning, I loved shared bathrooms and finding people had left used plasters in the showers, I love Germans who take 40 minutes in the shower whilst there’s a queue of people, I love annoying French people taking up the whole of the kitchen when there’s an entire campsite of people needing to use the facilities, those said French people then taking up an entire bench, pulling out a ukulele and singing non-stop shit French songs. But seriously, van life was sometimes shit, but I do love it.


The following weekend we head out to Lower Hutt, which is sort of in the middle of Wellington Harbour, to the National Park area called Belmont. The uphill track was a lot more like Rotorua with more trees and proper ground, however the downhill had some pretty tight corners with some terrifying drops the other side of them and nothing stopping you going over the top other than ‘skill’ something which I seem to have lost since leaving Rotorua (I think I left my biking super powers there, that’s my story anyway!)

On the way back to the campsite following the ride, we passed a cute little place on the hill with a ‘to let’ sign in the window and made note of where it was for future reference if we wanted to actually get somewhere to base ourselves.

Then, we sadly missed our friends wedding back home, but never fear – I was taken along for the journey… 


The following week whilst I was looking through trade me, the NZ version of Jersey Insight, I came across the house, which had an open viewing that evening, however having read about the housing crisis that was in Wellington thought we’d go along and just see, but didn’t expect anything further to come of it.

We went, filled out a form with our details on, admired the view across Wellington harbour and left. The following day I had a phone call from the landlady letting us know that the house was ours if we wanted it. EEEEEEEEEEK! I still didn’t have a job and it would just be James’ wage that we would be living off. After some rough calculations, we worked out that we could survive so went for it.

 

Van life was no more, for now, and time to be proper grown ups living in the big smoke!

The grown up adventure continues…

 

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