In new zealand, travel on August 31, 2007 at 21:27
I am sitting in an internet cafe/pub. I’ve had cider. I am covered in mud, and i couldn’t be happier. I spent yesterday morning on a bus from Auckland to Waitomo ( Waitomo is famous for its glow worm caves). I met up with my new couch surfing host Chris on his mini farm in Hangatiki ( a town just outside of Waitomo). He got me settled then told me about my choice of cave tours. Then invited me to help him feed the sheep. SHEEP! He has the cutiest little black lambs. And all i kept thinking was mmm sweaters… mmmmmmm sweaters!
The tour was amazing. I spent 30 mins in a raft floating through a dark cave staring at the ceiling. The glow worms ( actually glowing maggots) were beautiful. It was like a night time sky complete with uncharted constellations. We then headed to a different cave where we looked at the flow stones, stalactites, stalagmites and the bones of an extinct
I woke up this morning and for breakfast i had grapefruit freshly picked from a tree, a kiwifruit also freshly picked from a tree, and scrambled eggs fresh from a chicken. I spent the morning hiking through the woods, and up the hills and through farmlands and caves. 4 hours later i am sitting here in the pub covered in mud with achey feet and a grin on my face. I think i will go have another cider before i go explore the cave museum.
PS. whoever sent me the voice mail on my seattle number i can not listen to it so i hope it wasnt important!
In new zealand, travel on August 31, 2007 at 21:09
Air Pacific may have the worst airline food ever. My flight to Fiji was normal. I slept some and i watched bad movies. We landed in darkness but as the sun started to raise a tropical landscape was unveiled . I stared longingly from the windows and waited to board my next flight to NZ. We arrived in Auckland early. We exited the plane in an orderly fashion and proceeded to customs. I recently renewed my passport and it’s blank pages meant that for the first time in a long while i was able to get through customs in less than 5 mins. I made it to the city with no problems and managed to find my Couch Surfing host Deborah. She was great. She gave me her spare key, directions to her apartment, directions to the closest market, and then walked me to the bus stop. I found both places with no problems, settled in and waited for her arrival form work. We went out with a few of her friends for drinks and food. Lovely wine and yummy japanese food.
In travel on August 26, 2007 at 12:26
I borded the Cost Starlight train in Seattle at 09:35 on Firday August 24th prepared for my 35 hour starlite coastal ride. We rode through Washington and down into Oragon. The name of the train promised me plenty of Cost and Starlight and I had driven this route up until Klathmouth Falls last year on the way to Burningman so i did not pay close attention to the scenery for most of the first day instead i explored the actual train. As it turns out, there was no coast, and only minimal starlight. The highlight of my train journey was when the horrible parents sitting next to me decided to subdue their 3 year old daughter with music as their endless screaming was not working. They placed the headphones on her ears and moments later the otherwise quiet train car was filled with a tiny voice singing Baby you can drive my car…”hours later she would make me and half the train car laugh when she started singing Soul Aslyum
Runaway train, never going back
Wrong way on a one-way track
Seems like I should be getting somewhere
Somehow Im neither here nor there
Her 3 year old mind could not understand just how right she was… Sometime between 02:00 and 05:00 Saturday Morning a freight train broke down on the track in front of our train and we sat just outside of Redding California for 3 hours. Unfortunatly our costal starlight train can only travel 55 mps. And asthe day proceeded we continued to tack on more and more hours of lateness. I was prepared to be a little late. But when the already 5 hours late train arrived in Salinas and we were told there had been an accident down the rail line and that part of the track had been ripped up and the estimated repair time would be 5 hours. YAY! I decided this was a good time to go outside to get some air. And its a good thing i did as i walked out looked around and discovered the bag i had checked in sitting there. I was told that since i had inquired about getting off at an earlier stop (Van Nuys) instead of LA my bag was pulled with the people scheduled for that stop that were given a bus option. I took this as a sign and rushed to the bus that would then drive me the rest of the way south just before LA to Van Nuys. I got on the bus with another ocuple just as confused that was also told this bus owuld take them to Van Nuys. We were lied to. The bus then drove us 2 hours north to Merced where we boarded a fast train south. The new train was aparently having just as many problems but by this point we were happy to be moving in thr right direction and drunk with sleep depervation that we didnt care. 3 hours later we exited the train ( an hour late ) and boarded buses to our destinations. most of the original costal starlight crowded was bound for Santa Barbra, while me and a German couple was bound for Van Nuys. The bus ride was only 2 hours and i managed to sleep most of that. We arrived in Van Nuys at 03:13 sunday morning, 6 hours after we were due to originally arrive in LA. I stepped off the bus retreived my luggage and took a deep breath. The fumes from the car fire up the road warmed my lungs. Ahhh…. I thought…. Welcome to L.A. and i wondered what had happened to the other passengers on the Cost Snail Starlight Train.
In photos, randomness from my mind on August 22, 2007 at 18:25
On wet damp slow days i will miss watching snails have slow races.
In Kid Quotes on August 21, 2007 at 20:10
Kid walks into the room wearing a United airline pilots hat, with a green pool toy inner-tube around his waist.
Kid: See this hat… it says United. I’m a pilot. This inner-tube has air in it so i can breathe in space.
Me: United flies in space now?
Me: What planets does United fly to?
Me: Just Earth?
Kid: and Canada.
In sickness, travel on August 21, 2007 at 14:37
Tickets still gone. My plane tickets are apparently stored as E-Tickets so i have been told it does not matter that i no longer have the hard copy. This is good good news. I will, however, have to purchase my train ticket again. If i can provide proof that i have already purchased a ticket i will be able to purchase a replacement ticket for the same price ($92). However if i can not provide proof i will have to buy a replacement ticket at the current price ($180). I am unstressed about repurchasing a train ticket i will just pretend i went out for a couple really nice meals. Pretend food is very expensive… In other news, i have an external ear infection (also known as Swimmer’s ear). All praise the travel gods.
In travel on August 20, 2007 at 02:43
It seems i have already angered the travel gods and they are plotting against me. My train ticket to L.A along with my plane tickets are missing. I have not taken them out of this house, and i only once took them out of my room and that was weeks ago. I last saw them last week. The house has been very busy with lots of moving and clearing out. It is possible they were somehow thrown away, which seems odd but the other alternative is that someone took them, and that just doesn’t make sense either. As of now i have to re-buy my train tickets because Amtrak no longer reprints tickets. I am still waiting to hear back about replacing my plane tickets.
This is starting out in true Quinn travel style. What can go wrong probably will.
In photos on August 15, 2007 at 17:31
If you ever get caught in a web, don’t struggle.. it will only make things worse.
In photos on August 12, 2007 at 18:17
Yesterday we went berry picking. it turns out im not so good at the berry picking, but im really good at destrying berry bushes with a pair of cutters! These lovely ladies however were good with the pickin’
Kat’s battle scar.
Zophie is reaching too far.
Steph is happily placing berries in her bowl.