2015

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Just before Christmas, my family and I drove to Sydney and enjoyed a visit with relations (albeit short). We managed to cram in a host of activities, including some last minute shopping and catching the final day of an exhibition.
Christmas was a quiet affair at home, as was New Years. In the afternoon, my mum, sister and I traipsed over to the beach for a swim (and chip sandwiches).
With no developments on the job front and no massively exciting tales of adventure, here are some photos from around my mum’s house.

Not really one for resolutions, I will say I’m hoping 2015 brings new and better things. Stay tuned.

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Flying foxes and job search conundrums

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Despite spending days trawling job search sites, submitting innumerable applications and getting the odd interview, I am yet to find a job. I am stuck in a difficult zone – too old to be paid junior rates, too young to be completely proficient and experienced. This isn’t made any easier by the fact that to get experience, you need to already have experience! Hopefully some volunteering can help me upskill.

Anyway, feeling thoroughly defeated, I went home to visit my family this past weekend. The couple of weeks prior, there had been a heatwave of around 44 degrees, which killed thousands of fruit bats (flying foxes) and left hundreds of their orphaned babies very distressed and dehydrated. My mum has raised a couple of bats before and helped with the rescue effort. We are both vaccinated, so on the weekend she took me to see how the bats were going. Set up on modified clothes airers, the young bats definitely have distinct personalities and most recovered brilliantly with the tireless effort of wildlife carers. They are very interesting creatures, and will try to grab onto your shirt if you walk by, to have some pats or ensure their food is coming on time! After helping feed and clean some bats, I was asked to take some photos for a particular wildlife service to use for a promotion. Here are a few.

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Cats in grey

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It has been a boring couple of weeks. Job searching has been tedious and draining. I had an interview for a position which seemed ideal and was a ‘finalist’, but for whatever reason (did I come across as ditzy? Bungle the interview questions? Ask too few questions of my own?) I didn’t get it, which was disheartening. Sam took me out today as he had the weekend off and we had a very nice time. My poor camera has been neglected lately but hopefully I’ll feel like getting it out again soon.

Attached are a couple of pics from about a month ago. Until next time.IMG_8966

Post-travel blues and how I’m trying to combat them

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Since returning from my short but enjoyable trip, I’ve been plagued by those aching feelings of lust for travel.
They make me feel guilty; I just had an adventure, shouldn’t that be enough? Maybe, but I find going travelling only heightens my desires to explore. First world problems indeed.

My personal method of fighting these feelings is to employ hair of the dog (travel edition).
Very loose draft plans for my next trip are already bouncing around in my head. I would love to go backpacking in Europe with Sam for several months, hopefully at the end of next year. I’m ridiculously excited by the prospect.

Before we went to NZ I dropped uni for the semester, and I think I’ll defer next year. I’m not in the right headspace and am thinking of moving to a different course anyway. The good part about that is I’m free to work full time now, so we could potentially save enough to make our ideas actually happen.

The main hitch in my plan is that I’ve had no luck finding jobs so far. Waiting to hear back is pretty draining. Someone hire me!

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New Zealand – Day Nine from Greymouth to Christchurch via Arthur’s Pass

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On our ninth day we awoke in a very sodden Greymouth. We replenished our car snack stockpile and got some breakfast, happy to move on. Initially the drive was slow due to heavy winds and rain. I took it pretty easy after driving past a large 4WD being pulled out of a ditch by two tractors.

A couple of hours in and we reached Arthur’s Pass, an alpine road which winds through a mountain range right in the middle of the South Island. The last leg of the pass was very slick with ice and snow.
As we all remained mesmerised by snow, I pulled over into the one spot I could, a (closed) snowfield carpark. The three of us jumped around a lovely river-side clearing and mucked around in the light snow for a while. I still can’t believe we got to our last full day and finally got to mess about in the snow – it was my sister’s one goal for the trip and a great note to end on. 
The remainder of the car trip was quiet and contemplative quite rowdy as we were so chuffed. Upon reaching our cabin for the night, we made some hot drinks, then headed into Christchurch for dinner.

Our final day was spent packing, going into the city to eat and buy a couple of presents, then bidding our trusty rental car farewell. Tired, we were all quiet on the plane. Time went quickly (3 hour flights are such a treat) and before we knew it, Sam’s dad had kindly picked us up and driven us to my mum’s house.

(Photos from an iPod – too wet for my camera!)

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New Zealand – Day Eight at Fox Glacier, Franz Josef Glacier and Greymouth (Fail Day)

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Unfortunately, just like the day, this post is a bit disappointing, but since not all things go to plan I decided to include it. Sorry about the distinct lack of photos!
From Wanaka we planned to check out Fox Glacier, Franz Josef Glacier, and finally get into Greymouth in the early evening, after about 6 hours of driving. Apparently typical of the West Coast, it poured for most of the drive. Undeterred, we donned our raincoats and checked the conditions before commencing the 45 minute return walk. We walked most of the distance before coming to a sign which said the rest of the walk was closed due to rockfall. It was too misty to see anything, so we turned back and drove to Franz Josef Glacier.
On the drive in we saw the glacier for about two minutes before clouds obscured it. As we pulled into the car park rain started belting down, showing no signs of stopping for the next twenty minutes. Between my sick and hungry companions and the need to keep driving, we admitted defeat and I grudgingly drove away from the seemingly absent glacier. I don’t know if it’s because I was sick and tired or because of the inclement weather, but Greymouth didn’t really grab me.
It did have roundabouts with train crossings on them though. Weird.

New Zealand – Night Six/Day Seven in Wanaka and Aoraki

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After riding, we meandered back into Queenstown and spent the early afternoon there before leaving for Wanaka. The drive was a bit slow through the ice-slicked alpine passes, but we got there in just over an hour and immediately set out to find food (priorities).

IMG_8751Settling on variants of fish and chips, we sat by the lake and enjoyed the quiet afternoon and magnificent scenery. As it goes with chips, it didn’t take long before we had some avian stalkers. Gulls, sparrows and ducks soon flocked around us, and my sister delighted in throwing a few chips skyward. The ensuing bird acrobatics made for fun photos! Still chilly in the evenings, we scoffed some ice-cream as the sun went down and headed back to our accommodation.

IMG_8782I was feeling off again the next day, but we had planned to drive out to Aoraki/Mt. Cook and I didn’t want to miss it. The road winds alongside enormous jewel coloured lakes before reaching a flat valley bordered by the Southern Alps. Not feeling up to any walks, we hung around for a while, took photos and drove to a couple of different points. My sister managed to drop her iPod and smash the screen (I realised days later I got a photo of the crucial moment!), so between that and everyone being a bit sick and grumpy, we drove home, thoroughly impressed by the scenery but lacking the verve to explore it.

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Next time I guess – it was probably a good idea to get some rest anyway, as we had a big drive coming up the next day.

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