Thursday, March 29, 2007

What USB port?

It seems our photo plan have been foiled again, it seems that USB is currently out of fashion in the southern hemisphere! At least the place we are in is amazing so it makes up for their port deficiencies! It is a little backpackers that has fruit trees with plums, peaches, apples and other things from the Dan's allergies list that Jenni can enjoy! I get to have lemons, yum! It is the only lovely place (that we can afford) in the whole of the Marlborough wine region, the towns look like big American strip mall kind of places and all the locals look like extras from 8Mile! Jenni was convinced she would be mugged by one of the Eminem lookalikes until we found this little oasis in Renwick called Watsons Way. It is amazing how horrible the towns are here as the country side is really beautiful, there are loads of vines on the flat planes that reach to mountains that seem to surround everything until the beach which has black sand and stunning turquoise water. It is a shame they didn't try a bit harder to make the towns beautiful too!

We are planning a cycle trip through some of the 25 vineyards tomorrow that are all within a 5km radius of our hostel. A little bit of exercise between wine tastings, should be fun!

Stopped at a seal colony on our drive up today which was really brilliant, they were right near the road so you could see them all really clearly. there were about 200 seals there, from big bulls to tiny pups. Some of the pups were in a sort of nursery with one of the young adults in a little rock pool that they were all playing in, it was really cute! We think we might get one when we are back. We had a walk to a waterfall afterwards which was really pretty, it is the first walk we have actually finished now, a full 10 minutes return! It has been really warm today, and not rainy which has been great. This should mean the mattresses in our van might start to lose that lovely slightly damp feel that they have been developing!

Thanks again for the comments!

Dan & Jenni

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

We're on the road now

We seem to have found a super rubbish internet place that doesn't have any USB sockets on any of it's computers which has royally foiled our putting nice photos up plan, but hey ho! There will be some here soon though, we promise.

We have got our van now, and it is cool, we have seen about 6 others now and ours has the coolest paint job, we would normally put a photo here but you will have to imagine the big cow and ram that adorn the sides of our farm themed vehicle!

We are in Kaikoura now (see, which is up the coast from Christchurch. We came here via Maruia thermal springs where we spent the night with lots of sandflies. A bit like mosquitoes but without the noise and a bite that kills, only good thing is they do go to sleep at night! It was a spectacular setting, the springs were set in this lush green valley, with a beautiful view of the setting sun as we sat in the hot springs. We'll post up some photos for you to see soon.

Went for a walk along the cliffs to see the seals today, which was lovely and seals a plenty, unfortunately we managed to coincide with the only downpour of the day, which lasted for about an hour and got us absolutely soaked. Our van is now a mobile washing line! Oh and we saw whales yesterday from the beach, about three sperm whales splashing about, how cool is that!

Thank you all for your comments, they've made a great read! You'll notice the surprisingly popular "Dan's allergies" -section hasn't been reinstated yet, but I'm working on it!

Bye for now,
Dan and Jen

Saturday, March 24, 2007

We made it, that's good isn't it!

We are hanging out with the cool kids in the backpackers staying in on a Saturday night doing our washing, reading emails and updating the blog, this is the life! We have been pretty knackered the last couple of days, Jenni managed to sleep for 17 hours last night which is pretty impressive!

The flight was long (took off on Tuesday & landed on Thursday) with a strange number of breakfasts and dinners being served, we never managed to make it to lunch time! Had a few stressful moments when we realised there were 60 different films to watch on the on demand special tele thing and only 29 hours to fit it all in! After a long debate and timetable of our planned viewing we managed to fit in a whopping two films, brilliant! We are probably really behind on this, but Notes on a scandal is a fantastic film and really good to watch on a plane with a tiny screen in the back of the seat in front of you!

We have done lots of wandering about and looking at stuff desperately trying to get to grips with the exchange rate, which in a bizarre currency transaction has seen us trying to do complex NZ dollars to Euros to pounds conversions that seems to make everything spectacularly cheap, which is all good, until we realise we were doing it all backwards and have spent our month's budget in a week!

We went canoeing yesterday which was good, I've got some lovely pictures of Jenni being all sporty and active! We'll put those up once we figure out how to do that. If you click the flickr button on the right hand side you can look at our photos as we add them during the trip.

We're going to get our campervan on Monday, which I'm very excited about. We saw one yesterday which looked wicked and pretty new, let's hope ours lives up to my expectations!

That'll do for our first go in foreign climes, which I might add are rather toasty warm and blue skied!

Lots of love
Dan & Jenni

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Don't panic!

Organisation is definitely not one of our life skills.

It seems we've lost the decision making skills as well somewhere along the way. Packing up our flat took a phenomenal amount of thought, time and effort - on the part of Finn & Kirsty, Mum & Dad. Me and Dan were basically useless, just going into fits of panic, and staring around the rooms that weren't getting any emptier.

Hey ho, we're out of our flat in London now. Great news, if you don't take into account that this actually means we're jobless, homeless and flying out of the country tomorrow and we haven't even packed yet!

We had a great time at our leaving party on Saturday, thanks to everyone that came to see us off!!! Jack & Denice gave us a great book called "Point it" - not a good read, but brilliant for those moments you really need to know where the nearest lobster is but don't know how to ask the man on the street - just point at the fab pics in the book and away you go! Dan thinks this could be his ticket to a future life in Finland. Excellent.

Tomorrow we're getting on the plane to Christchurch in New Zealand, so by the end of the week we might have something more interesting to write to you about. Here's hoping! We're going to get some sleep now, it's been a long day for us.

Please make comments and send us emails, we'll want to hear from you and will miss you all loads!

Jen & Dan

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Lost in translation

We're going to be looking for more of these on our trip, what a brilliant sign. I just want to know what happens on "the other side"! We didn't dare eat there on our honeymoon we weren't sure if we would make it out.

One week to go

Getting quite excited now, I've managed to get over my slight packing breakdown and have made some good progress in the putting things in boxes arena, probably taken it off my list of potential careers on my return, but I'm getting better none the less. We visited the Thai embassy to get our visa yesterday which made everything feel a lot more real and exciting, this could have been the first travel related amusing story about bureaucracy, waiting and hilariously complicated form filling out, unfortunately it went very smoothly and efficiently, taking away any blog story potential! But let's hope that will set up a whole year of quick efficient visa getting and queuing, Jen thinks I'm a little optimistic!

On a more fruit based note, I've been eating a lot of oranges at recently, enough that I have started to wonder if it is bad for you, (probably another sign of not having worked for 6 weeks and having too little to think about) will my skin go orange, will my insides dissolve in a vat of citric acid, will my nails get ludicrously hard to enable efficient pith removal, very worrying, but I can't find anything yet! Here is a picture of some oranges for those of you who were unsure what I was talking about.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

At home with too much to do

Getting slightly overwhelmed with the whole packing thing at the mo, I've found many many things to do that are far more interesting and far less stressful than trying to pack up 5 years of life in London into cardboard boxes that are a bit too big. I won't bore you with a list suffice to say the things probably wouldn't be on your top ten interesting things to do in London list! I've put up a few new photos from our new compact camera on Flickr to see how they look, and they aren't too bad, here is a little taster for you, its not special but it is new, which is good in some peoples books...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Exciting shades of grey

An excess of fiddling about and talking to my wife has lead to an abundance of grey taking over the tonal paint box for this little blog (sorry Duncan but I'm not sure what else to call it!), which although well regarded as a rather dull and lifeless colour through out the world I think we have managed to pull it off! I hope you like it, we do, so even if you don't like it just try and pretend that you do so that we don't get all upset and start spending our whole trip worrying about and adjusting the background and text colours of our blog just to satisfy the whims of our friends, that, I think you would agree could be seen as a bit of a waste of our year away, and it would be all your fault, you don't want that guilt hanging over you now do you.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

jen's first post

Hi, my name is Jenni, and this is the first time I've ever done this 'blog thing'.

As Dan told you yesterday, last night we went to se The Fratellis, and they were good. Dan didn't need to worry about just the encore being excellent, the whole thing was amazing to see.
We've spent our last weeks in London going out and seeing friends which has been really good and makes me feel almost like I don't want to be leaving, but I'm sure I'll get over it once our plane has landed in an exciting new place. We've had Janette & Jukka and Satu & Antti from Finland visit us the last couple of weekends, and it's been really important for us because it's felt like all of our friends in Finland aren't that far after all, and we'll stay close friends no matter what.
It's T minus 2 weeks till we're off exploring the world, and I only have another week at work, after which both me and Dan will be unemployed, homeless and penniless. What a weird concept! I'm really looking forward to this experience without having the same routine day after day and month after month, and actually being able to think about what to do with my days and make some fresh decisions about what I'm doing with my life. I don't think that cramming myself on the Tube with sweaty strangers will be what I'll miss first thing in the mornings, but before you try it, I guess you never know.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Fiddling about

I'm trying to sort out this blog so that it is all ready for us when we are away, I'm not very brilliant at it yet, but I have managed to add a link to our photos on flickr which is good as it has some pretty pics that we've taken that you can look at once you have finished reading this unbelieveably long sentance, sorry! I've been looking at other peoples sights to see what they do so that I can nick their good ideas and pass them off as my own, so watch this space for exciting editions and colour changes, oh the fun that can be had changing background colours and fonts! We are gong to see the fratelli's tonight at Brixton academy which will be our last gig while we still live around the corner, let's hope it is a good one, I've heard good things about the encore, which leaves me a little worried about the main gig, but I'm sure it will be good, the album is. Sorry to waste your time with this mindless drivel, but you obviously haven't got much better to do either as you have stuck with me to the end of this post, but chin up you have made my writing feel a little more worth while and for that I thank you!