So my second month of the second part of my trip was all about Andy.
I picked him up at Cairns airport although he said I was late I maintain he was early and I was on time.
Had a lovely relaxing couple of days just chilling by the beach and pool at our apartment in Trinity Beach. Andy got his first dose of Australian sun and got a tad red!
Had a trip to Hartley’s Crocodile Farm which was great. Met Willie for dinner. It was lovely to catch up with him.
First stop Cairns and Andy’s introduction to hostel living, the joys of a shared toilet and kitchen facilities. Found a pub and watched England beat the All Blacks.
Jumped on a greyhound bus and headed back to mission beach which was my favourite place in the east coast.
A day trip on the GBR was followed by my crazy decision to jump out of a plane. It was without doubt the scariest, most amazing thing I’ve ever done. Oh and bloody freezing!!! Who knew it would cold at 14000 feet.
That afternoon Andy carried out his dream of riding a horse on the beach. It was lovely to see him so happy.
We said goodbye Mission Beach and the beautiful Driftwood bnb and headed back to Cairns and the hostel ready to catch the plane to Sydney at stupid o’clock in the morning.
Off the plane and straight on a train to the Blue Mountains and a hotel stuck in the 1920’s, but then the rest of the town was only just in this century. That said both were great.
Another walk on the Blue Mountains for me but this time it was sunny! We went down via the 890 steps to the path and had a great walk. I’m pleased to say Andy loved it as much as I did.
Back in Sydney where I could become a proper tour guide. Our accommodation was good albeit an auction house. A story to tell when I get home.
Walked to Sydney Opera House and had a cheeky couple of glasses of wine as we watched the world go by.
The next day we did the Bondi to Coogee walk – think he enjoyed it even tho apparently I was on a route march (all down to Jane Jackson).
Watched England play South Africa in the local pub. Enough said about that.
A day sun bathing at Bondi before getting up the next day and flying to Auckland.
Where after an stressful drive we spent a lovely few days in Whangarei with Bernice which started the NZ part of the trip off really well.
We both enjoyed the yoga classes and loved the trip to the Bay of Islands. Although I took the trip part too literally and fell over. Hurt my hand but also hurt my rib😢. No I hadn’t been drinking!
We said goodbye to Bernice and Mike and headed to Auckland and a two night stay in the awful Andy’s Homestay. The kitchen should be condemned.
Auckland is a big city with big city parking prices. Not my favourite but at least Andy got his skechers.
Raglan was our next stop and a hostel called Solscape that Jess has booked for our trip. Stayed in a caboose which was cool. Looking forward to Jess and I returning there next month.
Visited the Waitomo caves full of glow worms where one of the guides sung a lovely Maori song as we rode on the boat.
Hobitton was our stop en route to Rotorua. Never seen any of the movies. So no idea what it was about. Cool place tho. Jess can fill me in when we go there again next month.
Somehow Andy managed to convince me to go white water rafting. As if my mother hasn’t had enough to cope with! But it was such a thrill! Andy got a bit cocky and nearly fell out!
Tauranga was our next stop. Not much to say about that. However Ohope beach and Mount were lovely. Yes we climbed the mountain. The views from the top were lovely so well worth the climb. The hot spring swimming pool was lovely.
Taupo was our penultimate stop before heading back to Auckland. Walked (yes he’s still walking) to the hot springs at Haku Falls which was lovely.
Stopping at the shops Andy finally found an All Blacks jacket. I would like to point out that he has bought more clothes than me!
The next day we watched the flood gates open near the falls – spectacular.
We visited the “crater of the moon” on our way back to Auckland where we stayed at Caster Bay which was gorgeous. Unfortunately the same could not be said for our accommodation – some you win some you lose.
A trip to the home of the All Blacks and walk up mount Eden was our final trip before a tearful farewell to Andy to the airport. But it’s only 7 weeks not 7 months until I’m home.
I know he waited patiently for 7 months to do this trip and has been incredibly stressed with things at home. But the look on his face every day made everything worthwhile. It was his trip of a lifetime and I know it’s one he will remember forever.
So I’ve got three weeks in the Pacific Islands (Tonga , Fiji and Samoa) before Jess is here. Can’t wait to see her and our road trip.
Stay safe everyone x