Salad days at The Junction Hotel, Thames


NickyDehydrated pasta, noodles and porridge play havoc with belly and the brain if you go for days without proper nutrients. So aside from boshing Berocca as much as we can on trail, getting into town is a chance to nail a few vital vitamins! I believe Cookie’s thoughts are that it’s probably sacrelidge to miss any opportunity for steak and chips, but I think just sometimes you’ve gotta make space for a few leaves ;) 

This is us chillin on the roof of our pub/hotel. Bloggin, boozin, and botherin the landlord Oz. He was busy up there smoking a Snapper on the barbie with some Manuka wood chips. Smelt pretty tasty… Manuka are the fragrant trees the expensive honey making bees hang out in, in the bush. Also first called the Tea Tree, by Captain Cook himself.

CookieThis is what happens when you take a girl hiking.. salad on your rest days! When me and Paul walked across America, our rule was to find & eat the biggest steak in town. Ah the good old days eh ;)

Palmerston North & Aberdeen Steakhouse

Aberdeen Steakhouse

Christchurch Earthquake

Christchurch Earthquake on TV

NickyWe’re both completely fine. We felt it though. Such a bizarre sensation. We’re 80 miles away, and so luckily there’s no damage here in Hanmer Springs. Initially I wrote this description when I imagined it was only a very small local event. I had no idea we were feeling the edge of the huge quake in Christchurch.

I was outside on the decking in the motel writing for the blog. I thought I felt someone stomping on the decking and wobbling my screen. Pissed off I grumpily looked up to see no one there. The doors behind me were rattling, and my chair was shaking a bit. Confused I thought for an instant that Cookie was mucking about wobbling the chair to scare me then I realised the chair was against the motel wall and the whole thing was wobbling. I stood up and the floor was going side to side a bit like the sensation of being on a boat. 

Cookie popped his head out, “is this a..?” “Yeh! Earthquake!”

Felt bloody weird!! :) We’re ok though. All fine here. You get occasional very very subtle wobbles 2 or 3 times and hour. Feels a bit like someone turning over in bed next to you. But nothin bad. 

We were in the supermarket when one went off. Looking down the aisle at the shelving units as they tilted alternately back and forth was very odd! It makes you think you’re seeing things. I was trying to grab a can of olives at the time and they slipped out of my grip. It sounds more dramatic than it was though. It was extremely subtle here. Just a strange experience.

We turned the tv on and saw the live footage of the aftershocks that brought more of the cathedral down., and it started to sink in what was actually happening. Very distressed people recounting how they’d just seen facades of numerous buildings collapse in front of them on top of screaming people outside in the street. Terrible, horrific stories. It’s hard to imagine that this was all happening live and just down the road.

We’re hoping to hear about some hiker friends, Michael and Elna, who were in the mountains in the last section of trail. They were going back to Christchurch, probably yesterday (22nd). Hoping they were running late and were still in the mountains.

Also – a very lovely young couple who gave us a ride from the end of the trail in Boyle village, who were driving back from Nelson to Christchurch after a friends wedding. Watching the news, i just hope they are alright. There are such awful images on the tv… The complete devastation. But also stories of heroism, hope, and survival. The resilience of the people here is incredible.

I’m watching right now as they are still finding people alive in multistory buildings that have been totally and utterly flattened. It’s pretty astounding. Hopefully as communications are restored many more people listed as missing will be able to be reunited with their families.

So glad we are several days behind our original schedule, as we’d planned to visit Christchurch these last few days. So thankful I am such a slow-coach hiker!

Ollie & Nico go crazy at the Duty Free

6 Bottles of duty free booze

Heeeeey Makarora, Eye!

Heeeeey Makarora, Eye!

Low Moon in Twizel

Low Moon in Twizel

Supplies for 3 Weeks on a Desert Island

Supplies for 3 Weeks on a Desert Island

CookieHere’s what we packed for 3 weeks on the island, it was our biggest shop of the holiday! We took all the essentials such as cocktail umbrellas and straws ;) We had to post most of our hiking gear to friends we’ll be visiting in Oz to fit it all in our packs. It would of been nice to change our diet after 6 months of noodles and porridge, but our Air Raro flight had a weight restriction of 16kg each, so we had to stick to the lightweight hiker food for a little while longer. We did manage to add a load of fresh food to this when we got to Aitutaki.

Our hosts gave us a MASSIVE bunch/branch of bananas that kept us going for toppings on our porridge in the mornings. Also a regular supply of Paw Paw and lime for elevensies :)

Noodles are our mainstay, we never get tired of them, our favourite brand is Koka Noodles, they make the best Hot & Sour soup base. We add all sorts stuff to our noodles – Dried chilli, balsamic vinegar, dried mushrooms and anything fresh we can get our hands on.

We had coconut rice mixed with some Thai curry pastes for dinner, plus whatever fresh veg we had. Our hosts would also send us some special treats to spice it up, fish, eggs, cake and all sorts.

Coconut Rum Cocktails
We mix up our lemon & lime drink powders strong and tart, add some fresh lime and our rum of choice Mount Gay, then just stick it into a freshly cracked open coconut, awesome drink!