Nice views, good company and great news!!

Photos are on

Hi all!!

Well, what a month! It has been absolutely fantastic!! To start of with the company from Christchurch. Fiona and David. They decided to come over one Saturday and that was just lovely! I had to work that night but they all came and sit at the bar with me, so that didn’t matter. Next day, after a beautiful breakfast cooked by Peter, we had a look at the seals of course, a coffee at the Bayhouse Café and then they slowly had to head back towards Christchurch again. 

Weather escape: Hanmer Springs, Akaroa, Ellangowan and back to Westport

The beautiful weather was leaving us for a little while so Peter and I decided the weekend after to just leave. So we went to Hanmer Springs on that Friday. Stayed overnight and jumped into the hot springs in the morning. Nice warm water (the pool with 41 degrees just stunk though) and nice surroundings with snow capped mountains.

After that and a bit of a look around we headed towards Akaroa, just east of Christchurch. We were waiting to be able to get a key for Peter’s farm, which is nearby Akaroa, so we’ve drove around a bit, had something to eat and enjoyed the beautiful views. By the time we did get the key and found our way to Ellangowen, which is where Peters farm is, it was already dark. So we’ve got the sleeping bags, cheese, wine and firewood out and enjoyed a nice evening near the wood fire.

When daylight came and I had a chance to really look around I was just amazed about how lovely this little farm is! It’s an old farm, so nothing modern about it (that is why I love it) and it is totally in the middle of nowhere! Just surrounded by green hills everywhere. We had a bit of a walk around as Peter wanted to check the fences everywhere (there’s also cattle on the farm) and on top of the hill you have an amazing view over hickory bay. I’ve been to the bay on the left the beginning of this year (where I had mussels at the beach) and well, this area of New Zealand, the Bank Peninsula, is just absolutely fantastic! The green of the hills, the blue of the lakes and sea: it just all seems a bit unreal. As if you have ended up in a fairy tail. I reckon at least…

Anyway, we quickly visited with Fiona and David (thanks for the coffee and freshly baked scones!!) before we headed back to Westport. :Y

Back home, Peter has been really busy with his new job. The Stockton Alliance has started and everyone needs inductions and they all need to be assessed, so I don’t see too much of Peter during the week. They all make really long days at work with the startup of the Alliance. However, it gave me some time to work on my websites and to get everything organised for the VIP-visitors I was expecting the next Sunday....

:-) Very good Dutch company in town!!

I was so excited to be seeing my friends again… after 22 months… and late on that Sunday, Petra, Jeen and Rianda finally arrived at our house! It was soooooo fantaaaastic to see them again!! And we have had so much fun in the 5 days that they have spend in New Zealand!!

First day I took them to the Seals of course (highlight of the Westport area I reckon) and we enjoyed a few beers on the beach until the tide came in close and took the life out of my camera (beach is renamed that day, is called ‘e-bay’ now ;) ). Dinner at night with some of Peter colleagues at the Denniston Dog as nice as well. 

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Super Doos (Dozer) on a mountain

The next day we had a little tour through the Stockton Mine. Very different mine compared to all the Australian ones I have seen. In Australia the mines are often a hole in the ground. This mine also is a hole in the ground (a huge on) but on top of a mountain. So freeeeeezing cold but with the most amazing views!! And there was a Super Dozer, which was indeed quite big I have to say. Best part of the day was our humour though, although I don’t know if our fellow tourist agree (they couldn't understand us to start off with). But hey, we did!! :Y

So that was all quite interesting, and at least now I know where Peter works everyday.
That night I had the best meal since the time I ate at Jeen’s place in 2007. Jeen cooked for us and it was absolutely fantastic. He can come and do that any day if he wants to ^O^

Coming out of the closet… twice!!

The highlight of that evening was that Peter suggested that I should hide myself in the closet and scare Petra. Well.. I didn’t manage to scare Petra by coming out of the closet but scaring it was! First Rianda and later on Jeen... both nearly got a heart attack!! Oh my god, that was soooo funny! The pictures show how Rianda had to sit down on the floor and how Jeen and Peter were nearly crying from laughter. Really was very funny… lol! _O_

Charming Creek Walk 

A bit of a relaxing morning the day after and in the afternoon we went for a bit of a drive. Ended up walking the Charming Creek walk to the Mangatini falls. Nice wet track (which can be a pain when you have holes in your shoes) but very nice. Some old mining gear everywhere and a train rail where coal was transported on ages ago. And a nice waterfall as a reward for walking on muddy tracks, shaking bridges and through dark tunnels. 
The Fish and Chips that night (out of the newspaper) was very welcome and never tasted so nice before. 

Christchurch via Arthurs Pass

Because I had to do my medical and x-ray for immigration in Christchurch, we all got in the car on Thursday. Stopped at Punakaiki to have a look at the blowholes and to have a coffee, before we headed towards Greymouth for a nice subway lunch, haha (that’s the beauty of Westport: NO Subway, NO MacDonalds, NO KFC and NO Burger King!!).

To get to Christchurch you have to cross the Southern Alps. The way to Westport I’ve told Jeen, Petra and Rianda to take the Lewis Pass. This is a beautiful scenic road. But to give them different scenery on the way back, we took a little detour and went through Arthurs Pass, which was really nice. 

It is quite different from what we are used to in Holland I guess. Bridges that are shared with trains, snow capped mountains, and later on just green plains everywhere. 

In Arthurs Pass, we had a short walk to the Punchbowl falls (huge waterfall, where I also have been already somewhere last year) before we continued our trip.

Good wine, good food, good company, good bye

Once in Christchurch we needed some good wine and good food. So Jeen and I ordered the hottest dishes on the menu of the Indian Restaurant, and with tears in our eyes and running noses, we enjoyed a beautiful meal. Afterwards coffee and some baileys… what else does one want?

BEER of course!! So Irish pub it was. All very tired though, so it didn’t turn out be a big one, but still all good!

After I had my medical, we all enjoyed the sun by sitting on the grass in Christchurch city and doing nothing!

Next morning... when I woke up… my friends were all gone!!!! :s 
They left the hostel like 4am in the morning to head back to Sydney and from there to the Netherlands. So I was all by myself and all the Kiwi’s in Kiwiland again, lol! No more Dutch jokes, no more Dutch conversations, no more Dutch humour… ohhhhhhh!!

So I went back to Westport. I had to work in Greymouth this week, to scope the project I am going to work on for Development West Coast. Had to do it now as my working-holiday visa runs out on the 15th of October.

And very good news!!

But guess what?!?! My work permit is approved and I can stay another year in New Zealand!!! Yay!!! I am so happy, because I also have a few jobs going on and it’s just great to be back into it. I really enjoyed being at the office the last few days, so I’d say: bring it on!! And not to forget: I get to stay with Peter and live happily ever after for at least another year :L:! I really am happy about this!

Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans… And since I gave up on trying to do whatever I had planned for myself, it all seems to fall into place. 

Well, so far this months wise lessons. Hope everyone is happy! I say: start saving money my friends and follow Petra, Jeen and Rianda by coming over to Westport! Now that would be nice!

:W Until next time round :W!


Hélène    |     Photos are on

Comments 5

harry en irene 09-10-2009 11:27

hallo helene ik heb genoten van je verhaal en wat een mooie fotos,jij moet een gelukkig mens zijn en een leuke vriend heel veel geluk samen groetjes harry en irene uit cuijk baaaaaaai

Maudje 09-10-2009 12:14

It looks like you had a ball! waaw that's great! Congrats on the visa And we talk soon!!! Nice pictures X X X

Mariëlle 09-10-2009 23:52

Hee Lene,

Wow wow wow wow wow wow. Wat gaaf om je verhalen te lezen. En wat gaat het je goed! Je hebt best wel heftige maanden achter de rug... nu ff lekker settelen in Westport 't Is echt een heel mooi gebied daar idd., en dat niet alleen, je woont nu gewoon in één van de allermooiste landen ter wereld!! Chapeau Veel succes met werken en heel veel plezier met je Kiwi friend Peter Tof!!! x Mariëlle (die het in NL ook best naar d'r zin heeft, lieve vriend, leuk werk, lekker aan de studie, all good here)Doei doei!

Mariëlle 09-10-2009 23:55

nog ff een, met heftig doel ik op al die deuren die je achter je dicht moest doen in Oz, heimwee naar NL... lang leve internet en vliegtuigen

Clemence and Cedric 19-10-2009 09:36

We are so happyyyyyyyy for 4, Peter, the house, the visa... It is just a pity we are not going back to South Island... But your are still welcome in Wellington. Only 2 weeks left though.
Take care!


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