The Upside to travelling with Friends

As I sit here ‘praying’, to whatever higher power you feel to be appropriate, that my photos aren’t actually gone forever …I’m actually not that fussed. Quite frankly, I took some SICK photos of the Coromandel, but if they don’t some how re-appear on my memory card, at least I was with my friend Sarah when I was there.

My friend Wes joined me for a couple nights in Wellington where we had one night of a self invented pub crawl where we went to –probably 8ish?- pubs trying different beers/ciders and listening to different bands. In that time we tried Ginger Beer, and alternated tastes deciding whether we loved or hated it…still unsure. We also followed a guy to his ‘friend’s secret club’…which took us into an alley and up a graffiti covered elevator. At that point we joked about it being a rape elevator…which was funny only because there were two of us and we walked out fine…but in that moment I realized I probably would have been tempted by my ‘saying yes’-ness to see the ‘secret club’ [which didn’t exist by the way] even if Wes hadn’t been there. At which point we would have had riding in elevators with boys, the sketchy sequel to riding in cars with boys…And I realized how much more fun travelling with friends can be. Fun in the moment as opposed to terrifying in the moment and funny next week…at least.

Anyway the next night we drank [not very much cider-embarassingly] at the pier while chatting about ‘life’. Like actual life, not “I’m Anika, from Canada –no, not the French part- I am travelling for a year, I was in Oz for 3 months….blahhhhh” life, but family, future and friends…the kind of stuff you can’t quite chat about with the guy that moved into the bunk over yours yesterday. Anyway…scrumpy…don’t do it. It is cider in a green bottle…it is lying to you from point of purchase and therefore fundamentally cannot be trusted…unless you want to trust a beverage to have you eating butter chicken off of the streets of wellington in 2 quick hours…then it’s your guy. Anyway, the early night was followed by a morning of intense egg separating…yes, you read correctly. Basically, Wes and I became friends in first year because we would go for daily runs (which were supposed to happen….but wine seems to win the battle every time)…There was a Jeep with RoadRunner written on it, so we assumed it would be a road race we might be able to run. Turns out it was an event by a culinary school where we had to go through heats of separating eggs, whisking a meringue, and poaching an egg. I obviously got WAYYY too into the competition, but that’s beyond the point. We joined [I got gyped from advancing], we cheered for a 14 year old named Manford with epic skills, and ran into my friends from Byron Bay…all while eating free cupcakes, mocktails, lollies (or sweets….not candy…britts, kiwis and aussies don’t know what ‘candy’ is…)and holding our free carton of eggs. Pretty sure my only photo of the day is of my perfectly separated eggs…but the shared memories require no photos.

I proceeded on to Napier to visit Wes at home where he is going to Wine Making school-Yep, it exists! Where I only really took photos of the kitten that was living with him because it was supposed to be put down and the landlord wanted it out, and I was utterly terrified for its life. I still am…I don’t even like cats…and the stupid thing would bite my toes like a needy child at 5am like clockwork nightly…yet still, a 10 photo album of kitten is all I have to show for my 5 days in Napier.

I went on to Taupo where a friendly Facebook update met me up with my friend Lucie who I’d met in Oz (in coolangatta where I busted my knee, then in Byron, then in Sydney), who scored me more malaria tablets, a south east asia lonely planet, and a partner for my walk along New Zealand’s largest lake. I’m pretty sure my photos of Taupo are the first of the lost bunch on my SD card…which I’ll get to. Anyway, I went from Taupo to Rotorua, had a quick look around (thankfully…smellllllllly), then headed to Hamilton to meet my friend Sarah.

Sarah and I went to the Food and Wine festival which Wes was working at on the Saturday then headed out to the House (AMAZING bar in Hamilton…Great live music, mostly outdoors, SO FUN-GO!!), Sarah’s favourite bar, then to her friend’s beachouse (Bach) on the Coromandel on Sunday. I might have been hungover, and about to puke on every turn of the windy road but I was potentially the world’s best drive by window photographer ever. I captured every sweet view of the Coromandel’s rolling hills into the bright blue Ocean in the Sunny 30 degree heat. We got settled into the gorgeous beachouse then went on a sunset walk on the beach…wannabe-travel-photographer’s dream day…until ‘let’s review the photos’….”There are no files on media card”…

Quick note on the food and wine festival…mostly wine…not so much food…but there was deep fried bread and mussel fritters that were amazing….and on a less exotic note “american brownies”…”what makes them american”….”I’m american and I baked them” says the vendor…good thing they were tasty…

The next day we had a beach day where I decided to swim in waves that probably didn’t want me swimming in them because I got dumped about 3 times in a row…losing my first pair of sunnies in 4 months…but also sending my camera into a further downfall…”this file does not contain image data” became it’s catch phrase (It’s waterproof/dustproof/shockproof).

I decided to start doubling on shots with my lovely 5.0mp blackberry camera…which has surprisingly sharp images considering its lack of color absorbancy…

The next day was a tourist jackpot with Hot Water Beach…which is hot springs led under the beach. So you go during low tide and dig a hole and its like instant hot tub! Then off to Cathedral cove. Anyway…I took a series of photos that sporadically stayed on the memory card, others said they were corrupted…I was okay with it. Then I got back and once again tried to upload photos only to read “Card needs to be Formatted” “format Card” –yes- “formatting card will delete all contents of card”-no-

SO we are hoping, and like I said…maybe even praying…that ALL the photos from taupo onward are on the card, but I can’t actually even review them on pc or camera until I sort out the formatting issue…which many people have given me tips for, so the next time I have full internet (probably when I post this post) I will give it a try.

Oddly I’m a bit chapped, but not full on gutted about the photo situation. The fact that every one of the photos was with friends almost makes me feel like I don’t need photos. Like I don’t need ‘evidence’ because I have a witness. And for the first time, as I head away to places where I know nobody all over again, I feel pretty blah about travelling alone. As much as I love the freedom, there’s something to be said for sharing moments with people. I think Nomadic Matt actually wrote it best in THIS post about his time in Africa. It’s made me really reconsider where I go and for how long… As much as I want to hit a list of places on this trip, it gets a little lonely…and in the case of lost/broken technology, it would be great to have a second ‘witness’ to reminisce with. And not the guy I got to add himself on facebook because I really didn’t know his name at all…

Plan update…Bay of Islands to Auckland to Bali to Singapore to Malaysia to Thailand to Cambodia will be the next 6 weeks. 😀

One response to “The Upside to travelling with Friends

  1. Pingback: Writing… | anika's adventures

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