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Car trouble part deux

Wellington, New Zealand

First impressions of Wellington were good as we managed to find a hostel that provided free dinners. We'd heard Courtney Place was the party street and so Friday and Saturday night were spent there. After two nights of bar hopping each different establishment merged in to one. In hindsight, we needn't have left our hostel, photographic evidence shows that after having demolished a box of Country, we were having a lovely time amusing ourselves in our room. The fun you can have with bunk beds.........
We spent a lovely afternoon in Khandallah visiting Colly's old house and some neighbours Beth and Rachel. We thoroughly appreciated Beth's homemade banana cake and shortbread. Gifts of chutney and jam have been put to good use in many a sandwich. Colly, Beth and Rachel managed to inadvertently coordinate both their outfits and their cheeks in a shocking fuschia pink- we apologise for the glare. One of Wellington's main tourist attractions is Te Papa, a mammoth six floor museum full of free exhibitions. Once again Murph, Erin and Tay geeked-it-up at the Lord of the Rings exhibition, whilst Colly pensively got involved in some art appreciation.
You probably won't be surprised to hear that our car problems continued. It turns out Sir Cliff Richard was to be no better behaved than Stanley. His timing was impeccable, when in the car queue for the ferry to the south island, we turned the keys in the ignition to no avail. We had a flat battery. After a couple of minutes of cursing Ace Car Rentals and watching all other cars board the ferry, Murph sent for help. A kind steward, jump leads at the ready quickly appeared. Once finally on the ferry we explained our plights to another steward who informed us in no uncertain terms that, "there would be plenty of young men on board willing to give you girls a jump start!" Luckily we didn't need one and cruised onwards to spend the night in Picton. The next morning we awoke to discover that we are undoubtedly the most unluckiest car renters in New Zealand. We had been issued a ticket for parking the wrong way along a street. Who even knew that was an offence? {{PICT0679.jpg|right}}
In Blenheim we were excited about the prospect of touring the wineries of the famous Marlborough region. Our excitement was slightly dampened by the fact that we had to share a very intimate dorm room with 8 smelly boys, all of whom snored and one of which shouted obscenities in his sleep. All being conossieurs of cheap Tesco wine, we headed for an educational trip to teach us about the finer varities. The tour began quite sedately with us being uncharacteristically quiet due to our lack of knowledge. Twenty-something wines later we were all too happy to voice our 'educated' opinions on undertones of Vegemite and oaky flavours. Tay and Erin found they favoured a light and fruity Sauvignon Blanc while Murph and Colly preferred a full-bodied Chardonnay. They were all in agreement about the bubbly.
Abel Tasmin National Park boasts some of the most unique and stunning scenery in New Zealand so we spent a couple of days wandering the shores and collecting shells. {{DSCN1082.jpg|center}} Pupu Springs were not as murky as they may sound, the clear blue waters were so inviting we had to fight the urge to jump in. {{DSCN1104.jpg|left}} Franz Josef, our next major destination was a long way south so we decided to break up the journey with a number of stops, the first being a seal colony. Despite gale force winds, we could'nt tear ourselves away from watching the baby pups and honing our now near-professional seal noises. {{PICT0621.jpg|right}}It was like a David Attenborough special. Paparoa National Park provided us with pancake rocks and blowholes. We couldn't resist a visit to Greymouth's mock gold mining town. The average clientelle consisted of 5 year olds with their grandparents. {{PICT0615.jpg|left}}This did not deter us from frolicking about the park with huge grins on our faces and pic 'n mix from the sweetie shop. We panned for gold and came away triumphant with our tiny flecks of treasure- we know how those early pioneers felt. {{PICT0616.jpg|right}}
Bad luck comes in threes and we made the schoolboy error of making one too many toilet stops. We found ourselves up shit creek without a paddle as Sir Cliff broke down once more. The flat battery had reared its ugly head once again. We found a local mechanic who instead of coming to help us, sent us away with a jump set and vague instructions on how to use it. {{S5020018.jpg|left}} Once we had got the engine running with all limbs intact, we returned the jump set and were sent off with the mechanic's particularly helpful advice, "to avoid further trouble, just don't turn off the engine."

permalink written by  Murph, Tay, Colly and Erin on August 18, 2006 from Wellington, New Zealand
from the travel blog: The Smug Adventures Down Under
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Once again Erin is looking under the bonnet of your car, perhaps you should give the next car a girlie name I am sureshe would be much more reliable than the boy cars. Glad the skydiving is out of the way, lots of street cred for that one I am sure.

Mum G

permalink written by  Debe Gillham on August 21, 2006

Hope that Sir Cliff Richard manages to survive the rest of the time in NZ. Happy birthday for Saturday, Murph! One of the first birthday celebrations taking place the other side of the world. Love the blog! Tay's Mum

permalink written by  Pat Taylor on August 21, 2006

thought a comment was long overdue so here goes!!!
firstly well done to mumma Taylor for commenting aswell! hopefully this new injection of Taylor commenting will cause papa t and joey to write something too!

really enjoying the blog, New Zealand sounds amazing, incredibly jealous as would have loved to have seen hobbiton! sights and scenery sound beautiful. how long now until Australia?

sorry to hear about all the car trouble aswell, flat tires, batteries and parking tickets! but i do think that maybe the name of your next car should be "Weasel." its worth a try and it might bring u more luck!!!

bye for now girls and keep up the gags!! take care!

ps..miss you my beauuuuuuttttifullll sister!

permalink written by  The Weasel on August 22, 2006

Hi Helen - yep, Tom recommended this site as you guys have got such a good blog on it. Think I'm going much the same route you've taken to Aus. Apart from not going to New Zealand of course. Good luck with your car, Ollie

permalink written by  olliejohnson on August 23, 2006

Right. Ahem...

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy Birthday Dear Helen...
Happy Birthday To You x

Right, that just about covers it I think. Hope you're all still having a lovely time, it certainly sounds like it. Splendid as it is, England could be better! c'est la vie xxx

permalink written by  R James Russell esq on August 24, 2006

Must say there is something wholly implausible about Erin with her head under the bonnet of a broken car. Last time I checked (March) she didn't even know where the release catch was and assuming it was opened for her was as likely as not to pour water into the oil filler. What happened in the interim or was it, as one suspects, no more than a photo opportunity!

Nice one. Keep blogging

Dad G.

permalink written by  Andy Gillham aka Dad G on August 24, 2006

hey ladies,
Hope you are all wonderfully well :) just thought I'd leave a (belated) birthday message for you smelly helly asi just got back from my holidays.
love and kisses to you all
Katy D
p.s as of monday i will officially be a history teacher in an actual real school... how middle-aged is that?

permalink written by  Katy Daniels on August 29, 2006

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