It’s really happening

Today we sold our car and it was emotional. Not that we’re particularly attached to the car, though it has been a good car, but its the first part of our move that has really been tangible. Our house is a tip, but that could be any day we’ve decided to have a clean out, and yes we’ve been very busy and very stressed trying to make sure we’ve thought of everything and made all the right phone calls, but its the car that really hit home, or questioned what a home is.

The whole concept of moving is undeniably stressful and significantly more so than the weddings last year. The comfort of our current home is currently being slowly ripped apart, every little thing sparks a memory and every little difficulty becomes an argument. That said, the excitement of another adventure and another phase of life every so often catches us unawares and the thought of being amongst our friends and family in the UK counters the fears of leaving those here. Needless to say wherever we are we’ll be in touch, all that changes is the frequency and type of contact we have.

Ok, so not sure where I’m going with the above. So will drastically stop and change tack.

Yes we’re moving to the UK, we arrive back home (or second home depending on your viewpoint) on 12 May at some horrible hour of the morning, not that it matters as we’ll be jetlagged despite spending a couple of days in Singapore on our way over. Then who knows, it’ll sort itself out….

…Well, it won’t but we’ve got enough to do here without figuring out any more at this stage. The house will be packed for us and the cats sent to the breeder before they join us in July (we didn’t realise the process for them is a lot longer than for us, even without quarantine).

Not only have we been moving but that hasn’t stopped us continuing some normality of life here. We’ve just got back from Samoa, from what will be a lovely resort once they’ve finished the refurbishment from the Tsunami last year. We had a great time not doing much of anything. Photos will follow shortly.

We’ve also managed a few days on the south island with Angus and Helen at the end of their trip. Robbie and I managed a plane, a train, an automobile, a boat and two bicycles, as well as a little time on our own two feet. Joining Angus and Helen in Nelson, we travelled to Renwick (and spent a gruelling afternoon riding 25km around the Vineyards, thankful to collapse at the wonderful little vineyard where we stayed at the end of the day – Korohi Vineyard, which we thoroughly recommend), and then travelled down to Kaikoura where we left them to continue to ChCh

Our own journey took us back on the TranzScenic railway to Picton, then ferry through the Sounds back to Wellington. We basked in the wonderful weather, with the exception of our day in Kaikoura, where thankfully it didn’t matter.

We put a selection of photos from March and April pre Samoa which you can see from the insightfully named March-April section of the menu bar (go to Photos, 2010)

Samoa – April 16-22

We’ve now uploaded photos of Samoa. The below is something I wrote while on holiday to remind us of our half day tour to Apia.

While the intention was always to have a relaxing holiday not doing much of anything, we thought we should at least make a bit of an effort to see some of a country where neither of us had been before.

Not knowing quite what to expect, as the information in our room said one thing, the resort activity board another, and the staff not saying much at all, we booked a half day tour to Apia. As it turned out we were the only people who’d booked, so having met our guide somewhere around 10am, and after a brief delay to grab a snorkel and mask, we headed out of the resort and towards the cross island road.

The day was cloudy so as we ascended over the island, we couldn’t make out much of the view. We drove past houses and rainforest and, unlike the drive from the airport to Sinalei (the resort), not many animals slowed our way.

After a brief stop at PapapapaiTai Falls, the tallest waterfall on the island, we made our way to the village of Vailima and the once home of Robert Louis Stevenson. What would have once been a spectacular view was now a nice view, with a glimpse of the ocean from a lovely garden beside a large hill where RLS is now buried. As we waited for our guide, we sat on the veranda of Villa Vailima (although it has a different meaning to the village and the local beer) and enjoyed a rare breeze on a hot stuffy day.

Our guide imparted his knowledge with a smile and gave us an insight to what seemed a lovely home of a man that sought Samoa’s climate for his health and helped the locals in their struggle for independence. The opulence of the redwood house contrasted against the effort of the locals on RLS’ death to fulfil his wish of being buried on the top of the nearby hill.

From the house, we went to Palolo Deep National Marine Reserve, where I’m sure with a guide knowing where to look and maybe a boat to get there, the marine life would have been there. As it was we snorkelled around the shallows not seeing much but dead hard corals and a few fish, starfish and sea cucumbers. All this was done without the assistance of fins, (apparently they had washed away in the tsunami), so when we caught in the rain storm for the day, we dashed not so quickly for the shore not wanting to be out of sight, though safe in the knowledge that although we were some 300-400m offshore we hadn’t gone past waist depth.

Wondering what the time was but deciding that was the guide’s problem, we headed for Papaseea Sliding Rocks. A brief look down the NZ funded steps, thankfully with an Aussie funded hand rail, told us we’d be heading down into a valley. As we descended, the sound of childish screams of delight reached our ears and as we approached the bottom of the steps a series of pools and waterfalls appeared.

The choice was then upon us, do we have a go? The locals quite happily slid, jumped and surfed down the falls, or alternatively jumped from the valley walls. After much consideration and a belief that I’d regret it if I didn’t, out guide showed me where to sit and advised me to hold my nose. A short pause followed where I tried to figure out where the bravery (or was it foolishness) of my previous adventurous spirit had done, before shuffling to the edge. Suddenly I was in the cools pool below. Glad I’d done it, we watched the locals for a little longer before heading back up the step steps to our van.

Little did we know but it was now gone 2pm and with our stomachs rumbling we welcomed the suggestion by our guide for lunch at a local eatery. My bravery at the sliding rocks did not quite extend to inspire me to sample any of the local dishes on display reverting instead to chicken and chips.

We arrived back at the resort around 3.30pm after another journey on the cross island road, which this time afforded better views of the coast. So much for a half day tour.