Tag Archives: Swimming

A Foreign Christmas

5 Jan

Will, Tom and I piled into the car on a perfectly sunny day and hit the road to drive up North. We had the windows open and I felt that summer had finally arrived in the South Pacific. A few hours into the drive Tom announced we should go bungee jumping, and my heart sank immediately. Bungee jumping is definitely on the bucket list, but I thought I would have more time to work up the courage. We stop in the next town to grab some of that courage in liquid format and continue on our voyage. We arrive at Lake Taupo and get kited up for the jump. Will jumps first and hits the water. Then it is my turn, my heart racing I stand at the ledge and look down and heave myself off the ledge. Tom went next in his waist harness (Tom had dislocated his hip years ago in rugby and was talked into not doing it from the ankles) and then we were back on the road as fast as he had gotten off of it. We dropped Will off with his Dad and then drove the rest of the way to Tauranga.

I woke up at Tom’s and his Mom came in with a little cupcake and candle on it for my birthday. It was another beautiful day so we went for a hike up Mt. Manganui for a view up and down the coast. Next up was a swim at the beach and then continued on to Simi’s house. We picked him up and went for a drive in the sunshine and stopped by at a local pub for lunch. This was special for me as it is a tradition to do this back home on my birthday with my friends. We went back for a swim in Simi’s pool before heading into town for a night at the bar.

Taraunga

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I woke up at Simi’s for Christmas and his mom had made us a great breakfast. The champagne was opened and we gathered around the tree for presents. I opened all the ones from my family, and then to my surprise the Simister’s had gotten me a few things as well. It was pretty amazing to feel a part of the family so far away from mine. We then carried some food next door to grandma’s and set up for Christmas lunch. It was quite the spread with turkey, chicken, beef, ham, lots of different salads and veggies. After lunch I skyped the family and we chatted for a while. It was great to get them all together at the same time and talk to them (even though my mom couldn’t hold up the ipad without crying), after a few numbers from my nieces which included a brush up of my ABC’s I left them back in the snow of Whistler. We then went and grabbed Tom from his place where I had a few more presents waiting for me from his family. We drove back to Simi’s and started to play a little BYC* with the boys. Christmas ended with us lounged out on the couch watching movies with stomachs to full to do much else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This will definitely be a Christmas that always stands out for me. I thought my first Christmas away from home was going to be tough but it turned out to be an amazing experience. The Simisters and Culleys went well out of their way to make me feel like part of the family and I greatly appreciate that. I know I have said it a lot but the way New Zealander’s make you feel welcome is out of this world and that is something I will take with me the rest of my days. A huge Thank You to both families and I hope to one day pass on the kindness they showed me.

Foggy

*BYC – Back yard cricket

Turkey Tips

31 Aug

When I first arrived in this country, it was only supposed to be for five days. It was supposed to be my stepping stone into Greece, and those of your following along know that didn’t quite work out. I ended up visiting the cities of Bodrum, Fetiye, Olympos, Goreme and then back to Istanbul. The people of Turkey were very hospitable and always went the extra mile. They were happy to see tourists which is a rarity in many nations. Here are a couple of tips to make your stay a little more enjoyable.

Transportation

Busses- Turkey has very nice busses all including TV’s, tea and coffee, snacks and some even have wifi. You can get to many destinations throughout Turkey on overnighters.

Drinking

Efes- Is the local beer found in a blue can, it goes down pretty easy especially on a scorching day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raki- If you are looking for something a little harder, look no further than rocky. It is along the same lines as Sambuca. Try mixing it with water to get a white color; they call it lion’s milk.

Women

Sorry boys unless you speak Turkish your chances are slim, better stick to the tourists.

Eating

I was pretty surprised on how much I loved the food in Turkey, here are a few of the favourites.

Lamachun- A thin crust with a bunch of spices and meat on it. You throw lettuce, onion, tomatoes and then drizzle it in lemon juice. Roll that bad boy up and you have yourself a meal.

Gozleme – A large Crepe type thing cooked on a dome stove top. You can put feta, potatoes, spinach, cheese, mushrooms or meat in it.

 Sleeping

Hostels are very cheap here and you can generally find ones that include breakfast. All hostels in Olympos will include dinner and breakfast in the price.

Foggy

Turkey

Turkey

Horizontal Lifestyle

26 Aug

For those of you who think this post is about something else, get your mind out of the gutter. We found this cool little hippie town called Olympos on the South coast of Turkey. Came across a little backpackers that cost us 10 euros for a private room, breakfast and dinner included. It was deemed the perfect spot for the next 2 days to recover from the cruise. The hardest thing we did was walk somewhere to lunch and then carried on to the beach. We lived in the horizontal position 85% of the time, quite the rough life style. It was a nice curveball from the rate I have been going at, but could not stay longer than that so we ponied out of there on the next bus to something involving a little more effort.

Foggy

Olympos, Turkey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Olympos, Turkey

Dead Sea

9 Aug

No trip to Israel/Jordan is complete without a trip to the Dead Sea. I brushed off my very hungover self and caught the bus from Jerusalem. It took about an hour but finally got to Ein Gedi a cool little town on the coast. I stripped down and jumped in and like everyone else was amazed on how you just float on the top. It is very salty so make sure to keep it out of your eyes and mouth, also if you had too many beers the night before or ate a shwarma that didn’t agree with your stomach there might be something else burning also…

Foggy

Dead Sea

Swimming in Dubai

25 Jul

I was told that I needed to feel the water temperature at the beach in Dubai. So Meghan and I hoped in a cab out to a beach. We walked around a little before and my boxers were instantly soaked, can you say swass? We eventually got to the beach and it was right into my swim shorts. Jumped in the water and could not believe how hot it was, it was warmer than a bath tub. It was about 32C, which is crazy so we swam for a while and then got out to watch the sun go down. The only thing that could have made it better was some cold beers, but we felt it was better to stay out of prison.

Foggy