Rakaia gorge.

So we’re getting used to the winter and the cold! And it is a shock to the system but a good one. We’ve been enjoying the Lions tour and (this is rugby for those of you who don’t know) even went to watch one game in person which was a great night out. Joe drank to much and managed to fall down the stairs but there were no injuries sustained and with a win from the Lions we left in high spirits! 


Work over the winter is quiet and more about fixing things than cows but we’ve both been getting stuck in and my god did the first pay day feel good! I reckon we could get used to this working malarkey! On our days off we decided to go for a walk up Rakaia gorge after driving through many times and liking the look of the area! The walk was beautiful and there are loads of different trails so I think we’ll try another one next week! 

I’ve even enrolled in weekly pole dancing lessons so maybe this is the new healthy us! The best thing so far for me is having our own kitchen and being able to cook every night and enjoy a little normality after all our crazy adventures in Asia! Don’t worry though I’m sure there will still be plenty of crazy mixed in! Take care everyone at home as always miss you all loads! 

Paris X

We’re still with you!!

I just wanted to write this quick post to let you know that Joe and I are still here we havn’t forgotton you!!! My laptops been broken and we’ve been pretty busy so it’s hard to write much! We spent the first 3 weeks in NZ living in Mavs house and abusing his hospitality while desperately looking for jobs and obviously drinking way too much alcohol. We now both work on a dairy farm and so far love it! But we’re really tired as we’ve pretty much spent the last 8 months doing nothing! We’ve enjoyed getting into a bit of a routine and meeting some awesome people aswell as eventually having some decent money coming in. We’re taking things slow planning things to do in NZ and enjoying normality i.e. Cheese on toast! It’s also really ace to have a bit of a home I’ve even started knitting a blanket and we plan to renovate a campervan to have some fun travels in on our time off. Until my laptop situation is sorted this is probably it for me for a while! But don’t worry you are not missing out on much! We still love and miss you all!! I’ll leave you with a few pictures of what’s occurring… and hopefully get a new laptop and post on more detail soon!


Paris X

For those of you that are avid followers I am still doing my book a week challenge and making progress it’s hard to add the list onto here so you’ll have to wait until the laptops sorted for all the finer details of what I’ve been reading. X

48 Hours in Bangkok airport! 

First of all I would like to apologise for taking so long to write anything here! We are currently both well and in NZ on a frantic job hunt before the ski season kicks off. However someone spilt a pint of beer over my laptop (it’s a story for another day) and that’s why I’ve not been online! So let’s travel back in time to when we were still in Bangkok and I’ll try catch you up over the next few days! 

Joe and I arrived at Bangkok airport with plenty of time…. 5 hours until our flight to be exact. We headed to check in and hoped to drop off our bags and get through! I had my heart set on a bit of shopping and a G and T before takeoff. At check in we were declined due to apparently not being registered on that flight! Shocked, and advised to call the agency (STA) we headed to the nearest pay phone! I don’t know how many of you have tried to use a pay phone in Bangkok airport but let me tell you!!! It is impossible it has more buttons than the cocpit of the plane! After no luck and patients wearing thin we found a Scottish man who let me use his phone. We eventually established that we weren’t checked onto the flight and had already missed checkin. 
Deflated and annoyed we headed to a nearby hotel which in itself was a mission as the taxi driver drove us miles away and then to a 5star facility. Eventually we found a suitable hotel where we could continue our phone conversations with STA and try work out what was going on. The hotel had condoms in the fridge, which was puzzling but you can’t be too fussy in these situations and I made for the phone. While Joe headed out to get me a pizza every cloud and all that….. 

After numerous phone calls we were assured that we would be flying tomorrow. However by now we’d heard it all before and we’re not too sure! We headed to bed with our fingers crossed and alarms set for the next day! Lucky for us we’d received an email with a flight confirmation yet no apology that we could fly tomorrow! Relieved we headed to the airport this time nearly 7 hours early just to be sure!! 
Once at the airport I got to indulge in a bit of shopping and Joe enjoyed a pint. We ditched Asian cuisine for a subway….before donning our flight socks and heading to the plane! 


The flight was long but without any further difficulties and we were collected from the airport by an old friend of mine who goes by the name Mav! Thankyou for reading and keep posted for more of the same.
Paris X

I do believe in unicorns!

So we jumped on our night bus and waved goodbye to Cambodia… we did very nearly miss the bus but neither of us were very bothered and we eventually managed to get there in time. After some emotional goodbyes to the Jack and Daniels crew. The bus was a nightmare. It was actually very comfy compared to some with proper mattress so we got a good sleep. It broke down at leat twice I stopped counting and then someone drove into us. So we arrived at the border very delayed… the border crossing took at least 2 hours. We ditched the second half of our bus trip in favour of a taxi with Bec and Ben who we’d met along the way. I think our taxi driver was the slowest taxi driver in the whole world but we made it back to Koh San Road! Wahooo. It went from bad to worse when we realised joes bag had been left in the Taxi… containing the laptop, phone charger all our credit and debit cards and both the passports. Joe ran down the road like Usain Bolt and somehow caught up with the taxi! FEW. We showered and enjoyed a few beers with Ben and Bec before a relatively early night.

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The next day I had a real treat in store for Joe! I’d seen it on Facebook and was desperate to go to the unicorn cafe. It must be my birthday as Joe agreed and off we headed! it was so magical. We got to dress up in unicorn onesies and drink unicorn drinks and eat unicorn carbonara. Totally magical! I want to go back every single day!

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We headed back and I got my hair tidied up….

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And then did a spot of shopping…

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Asia has been magical! I’ll do a proper post later with our highlights. 215 days of partying, meeting ace people and seeing all the corners of 4 beautiful countries. I wish I could do it all over again but we are very excited for our next leg of the journey and New Zealand!!! Love to you all. Thankyou so much for reading!

Paris X

New Years Resolution update:

01.05.2017 (Week 18 of challenge) Books Read:

  1. A Dance With Dragons 1: Dreams And Dust – George R. R. Martin
  2. A Dance With Dragons 2: After The Feast – George R. R. Martin
  3. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
  4. Comfort food – Kitty Thomas
  5. Mark One – John Hindmarsh (must read sequel at some point)
  6. Girl Undone – Marla Madison
  7. The Sick House – Ambrose Ibsen
  8. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
  9. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
  10. Survivor The Triumph Of An Ordinary Man In The Khmer Rouge Genocide – Chum Mey
  11. The Little Old Lady Who Broke All The Rules – Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg
  12. Bone Pit: A Chilling Medical Suspense Thriller – Bette Golden Lamb and J. J. Lamb
  13. Sabotage – Dale Wiley
  14. Dracula – Bram Stoker
  15. First They Killed My Father – Loung Ung
  16. Lucky Child – Loung Ung
  17. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy (Among others still a work in progress but I am making progress!)

Status: STILL TWO WEEKS BEHIND

A spot of SCUBA in Koh Rong

Due to our very minor injuries -grazed shoulder for Joe, grazed knee and foot for me- from our recent motorbike accident we were not quite sure whether diving was going to be the fun experience we had planned. We even thought about cancelling but in the end decided due to only a small amount of time left we should go! So we set our alarms for 6 am and headed off to catch the ferry to Koh Rong. We’d been previously informed that there was to be a film crew documenting the whole thing for a Cambodian documentary. This was very interesting as they whipped out the camera and Joe commented that he thinks Taid has a similar model!

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I finished a book on the boat ride there and we were both tired. When we arrived we were met by Tom who introduced himself as our instructor for the two days. We discussed modules and theory for the course and what dives we would like to complete. we decided on Peak Performance Buoyancy, Night Dive, Fish identification. Deep Dive and Navigation are compulsory. After this we got changed and then headed for the boat… after some spring rolls and chicken wings (making of an alternative breakfast). The boat was nice all be it slow as there other boat had broken. There was a nice relaxed environment and we both started to get excited for our first dive of the day. First was Buoyancy, so we had a quick dive briefing and jumped in. I was pleasantly surprised that the graze on my knee didn’t sting too much and now really excited. First test passed with flying colours. We didn’t take any  underwater pics for the whole trip because I was concentrating and my underwater photography is questionable but i’ll put one here of me!! On a dive a few  weeks ago and if you want to see more underwater pictures try Underwater in Koh Tao or Koh Phi phi with Papa Dre

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With the first Dive having been a great success we headed to town in Koh Rong for some lunch, fried rice with chicken. For an included lunch on a trip it was lovely and we all sat together discussing our mornings dive. Back on the boat and dive number 2… the one i’d been dreading… NAVIGATION. Those of you that know me can appreciate how much i struggle with directions at the best of times. I can get lost with a Sat Nav!  Tom was very patient and explained it above the water at least four times. When we jumped in I still wasn’t really sure I knew how to make a square at the  bottom of the ocean using a compass but I decided i’d try wing it.  Surprisingly I managed it first time!! And there were a lot of underwater high fives! Dive number 2 passed obviously Joe had no problems performing the same task! Woop.

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Dive number 3… By now we are very tired and back at the accommodation, which by the way was provided free and lovely. We were told it was basic but not by our standards i mean there was a flushing toilet and everything! We had a little rest and a bit more theory and then went to the pier to jump. We had a few set back as some how joe had the wrong fins and they were like 4 sizes too small but one of the Khmer staff ran back to get them and we changed them over quickly… Dive number 3 as you should be able to guess is the Night Dive. A first for both of us! We headed down and it really is bizarre I must admit it wasn’t my favourite. its very strange, but after a few minutes i’d settled into it a little. The highlight was seeing an octopus! I’d seen one before but at night it was amazing and this one was a bit bigger and walking- if octopi walk- plus at night it looked AMAZING! We also got to see a small wreck of an old dive boat. So although we didn’t choose a wreck dive kind of a two for one! ;). We were invited to a BBQ with the staff and the TV crew that evening so headed off but chose an early night due to being very tired. The next morning up bright and early and off for Dive number 4! The Deep Dive. This was my favourite I felt like a mermaid descending into the blue where that is all you can see blue blue blue. It was amazing I was so happy. At the bottom the red and orange light are filtered out and everything looks brown. But never have I seen brown look so beautiful. My fave dive of the lot. Back to the boat for some fish revision before Dive number 5 and the view was pretty cool despite some on and off rain.

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Dive number 6 to look and identify fish! We had to get 3 each I think, but spent the whole dive looking at different fish and identifying them one by one. it was harder than I thought as i’m quite easily distracted but safe to say we both passed again with flying colours!! And are now qualified Advanced Open Water Divers! WAHOO! I’m so happy as been wanting to do this forever. We headed for lunch to fill out dive logs and I celebrated with not one but 2 mango shakes.

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Back to Sihanoukville after saying goodbyes to all the team that have been so helpful. So glad we chose REEF to dive with after shopping around a little bit. AMAZING team and location you are doing a spot on job guys, if anyone is interested in diving in Cambodia these are the guys check them out, http://reef-dive-resort.com/

Back in Sihanoukville and we booked a room at Smile we’d stayed there before and it was easy to haggle a few dollars off a room with Air con! $12 in the end so cheaper than a dorm. We headed out for some food and then to Jack and Daniels for the eve. we planned on having one. But… Becky has brought a puppy so we were busy having cuddles and then we got hit by a torrential downpour and no longer fancied the walk home. So we waited it out and enjoyed our last evening with some good friends.

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Thankyou once again for reading we are getting very near the end of our Asia adventure and things are exciting and scary once again as we look forward to our next leg. I have a jam packed few days panned in Bangkok, maybe with a few surprises along the way. So keep reading as always its been a pleasure, you know what to do like, share and subscribe!

Paris X

New Years Resolution update:

28.04.2017 (Week 17 of challenge) Books Read:

  1. A Dance With Dragons 1: Dreams And Dust – George R. R. Martin
  2. A Dance With Dragons 2: After The Feast – George R. R. Martin
  3. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
  4. Comfort food – Kitty Thomas
  5. Mark One – John Hindmarsh (must read sequel at some point)
  6. Girl Undone – Marla Madison
  7. The Sick House – Ambrose Ibsen
  8. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
  9. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
  10. Survivor The Triumph Of An Ordinary Man In The Khmer Rouge Genocide – Chum Mey
  11. The Little Old Lady Who Broke All The Rules – Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg
  12. Bone Pit: A Chilling Medical Suspense Thriller – Bette Golden Lamb and J. J. Lamb
  13. Sabotage – Dale Wiley
  14. Dracula – Bram Stoker
  15. First They Killed My Father – Loung Ung
  16. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy (Among others still a work in progress but I am making progress!)

Status: TWO WEEKS BEHIND

 

One last chance Sihanoukville..

We’d come into a little money this week and ummed and arred about what to do with- some of- it… One thing was quite certain we didn’t want to spend a penny of it on drink and partying!!! We agreed that we wanted to save most of it for setting ourselves up in NZ and potentially buying a camper van in time for the summer. But we needed to do a little shopping and also both really wanted to do our next level in scuba diving (the advanced qualification). So while the shopping can wait we decided to do our diving qualification in Sihanoukville before we leave.

Joe has also been playing football for the local Pub team and came back drenched in sweat after making himself sick unfortunately I do not have any photographic evidence as I stayed in bed and caught up with some admin. The rest of the week has been spent going to local pub quizzes with T and S, which we are still yet to win and just hanging out and enjoying our lovely air b n b apartment. I have taken to wearing my lucky shirt to the quizzes though so there is still time fingers crossed.

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The one night I didn’t play they came first but I did manage to get a free glass of beer. I managed to squeeze in a bit of shopping and a local showed us to a shop where everything is $2.50 so we each got a hoody and I got some leggings and tracksuit bottoms! Getting a bit more organised now. I also treated myself to a $30 gorgeous silver ring with a moonstone in it, and i’ve put it underneath my Nanas wedding ring! I’m pretty chuffed with it. Joe wasn’t too impressed but I think he’s over it now! Sorry theres a toilet in the picture it was the best lighting. 

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The food here has been amazing I have loved cooking cheese on toast almost every single day and Joe has enjoyed his salami sandwiches. Its nice even just having a fridge. I did try and save myself some money by making my own mango shake it was a bitch to peel… took the best part of an hour, tasted shit, and saved me 20cent so I don’t think i’ll be repeating the situation.

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One night we had a power cut which is very common in Cambodia as i’m sure you can manage. So we headed to the nearest place with wifi mainly so that we could inform T and S that the power was out. We stumbled upon a little gem called missing monkey and headed back later for food. The steak here was $15 each but we’d had a heads up to share one and we couldn’t even finish that is was delicious, came with a lovely salad that even I tried and was cooked to perfection. The place has a random lone monkey chilling in a cage but it hates girls so I didn’t brave going near him he was however trying to groom Joe through the bars of the cage. Poor monkey I think he’s a bit lonely. If you love steak def check out Missing Monkey if you are ever in town though. 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Missing-Monkey/292021074341799

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Other things we’ve been enjoying is of course the local beer and the lovely company of everyone at Jack and Daniels. Celia, Ricci, Sophie, Sophie, Massi, A, Vut, Haydon, Natalie, Danny and of course Jack We love you all and you have made the last week hilarious! We’ve had some finny times. Its been nice for me to have a little bit of a girl tribe going on again and i’ll miss you all. PS. Celia you have to get your arse over to NZ and see us soon! Hanging out at the pool one day we met a couple who have been living in NZ Bianca is going to be in Queenstown which is now our intended destination we’ve swapped contact details and will hopefully meet up when we get there getting really excited now and we’ve got loads of tips from people who have traveled  NZ before so should almost know what we’re doing.  

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One day started really well and I got my legs and armpits waxed, we also found a western hairdresser and Joe treated himself to a beard trim and a haircut! Just a trim though as he’s still going for the long locks. That evening went from good to worse as some idiot pulled out in front of us on our way back from dinner and joe went straight into the back of him. Before I finish the story… no-one was hurt bar a few minor grazes that have been well and truly patched up! I could immediately see it was going to kick of as obviously it was a local we’d crashed into and before long there seemed to be a lot of local people around the place all getting involved. I ran to Jacks bar leaving Joe there and asked Jack if he’d go help. He rushed of on his bed but was soon back saying that the police were there and that he’d better take the khmer boys from the pub with him. So Jack plus Massi and Vut headed off again leaving A to run the bar, Jack at this point told me that I should probably go and empty my bank account as there really is only one thing the police want here. $100 dollars later and the whole thing was sorted, apart from now we need to get the bike fixed before taking it back to the rental. I’ve got a bit of a grazed knee and Joes got the same on his shoulder but we’ll both live to tell the tale and I think thats enough motorbikes for one trip! Poor Jack as the night before one of the British girls we know who works for him got punched in the face by a Korean man, its a very long very random story. But basically Jacks spent two nights in a row trying to sort out the police. We owe ya one Jack thanks a bunch. If we didn’t know locals I think the price would have probably been double so it comes in quite handy being friends with everyone. My main concern was that after my leg wax and finally feeling like a girl I now have grazed knees and feel like a 4 yr old boy. Oh well we live to tell the tale and we’re off to Koh Rong now for a break and a some more Scuba Diving before one more night here saying our goodbyes. I’ll leave you with a picture of how bad my armpit hair was (you can’t really tell from the picture but you will have to take my word for it). Love you all. 

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Paris X

New Years Resolution update:

25.04.2017 (Week 17 of challenge) Books Read:

  1. A Dance With Dragons 1: Dreams And Dust – George R. R. Martin
  2. A Dance With Dragons 2: After The Feast – George R. R. Martin
  3. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
  4. Comfort food – Kitty Thomas
  5. Mark One – John Hindmarsh (must read sequel at some point)
  6. Girl Undone – Marla Madison
  7. The Sick House – Ambrose Ibsen
  8. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
  9. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
  10. Survivor The Triumph Of An Ordinary Man In The Khmer Rouge Genocide – Chum Mey
  11. The Little Old Lady Who Broke All The Rules – Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg
  12. Bone Pit: A Chilling Medical Suspense Thriller – Bette Golden Lamb and J. J. Lamb
  13. Sabotage – Dale Wiley
  14. Dracula – Bram Stoker
  15. First They Killed My Father – Loung Ung
  16. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy (Among others still a work in progress but I am making progress!)

Status: TWO WEEKS BEHIND

Right back at ya… Sihanoukville

So we arrived back after an uneventful night bus journey from Siem Reap. We found somewhere to stay and slept all morning as we arrived at about 6am. Everywhere was expensive because its khmer new year celebrations tomorrow and that lasts for few days. So the detox is officially on hold. First thing we did was pop into Jack and Daniels bar and meet up with Jack and few other people we know who work there. 2nd thing we did was go get some marmite on toast as it is my favourite! YUMMY!

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We moved hostels 3 times in the first 3 days and ended up back at the faithful Monkey Republic where the food is good and they have a pool. However the room was very hot so we looked around for other options initially to no avail! We had loads of fun for new year squirting all the children with water pistols and drinking way too much beer.

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Joe has now developed a kebab addiction and I have to say I feel it might be the way forward we have been enjoying the nightly intake of 2 or 3 kebabs each!

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We had a really nice day at Otres with Rikki and Celia who both work at Jacks and hired mopeds so we could get around!

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Joe felt ill for a few days and one night I decided to head out alone. I ended up at a pub quiz and randomly joined a team of strangers, here I met Tim and Seravin. We didn’t win the quiz but got chatting. Tim mentioned that they had just opened an air b n b and that we could stay for a bit of a discount as its low season! It has air con and a kitchen and I was very excited. So off we went the next morning. Joe was a tad concerned about all this as i was very drunk and he was convinced we were going to be moving in with some weirdos but everything went swimmingly and they are really lovely people. We’ve spent a bit of time hanging out with them and its been nice to unpack all my clothes and get a bit of order!!

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That same night I met T and S I was on my way home trying to be sensible and bumped into the girls from the night of the night boat catastrophe (read about it here! If you have no idea what i’m on about)  They’d just got into town and wanted to know where to go so I took them down to Jack and Daniels and managed to get myself a free drink for my promoting work. Lets just say I had a few too many! Joe wasn’t too impressed with the state of me.

This is the start of what I think is going to be a good week so look out for Sihanoukville take 2 coming soon.

Paris X

New Years Resolution update:

22.04.2017 (Week 16 of challenge) Books Read:

  1. A Dance With Dragons 1: Dreams And Dust – George R. R. Martin
  2. A Dance With Dragons 2: After The Feast – George R. R. Martin
  3. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
  4. Comfort food – Kitty Thomas
  5. Mark One – John Hindmarsh (must read sequel at some point)
  6. Girl Undone – Marla Madison
  7. The Sick House – Ambrose Ibsen
  8. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
  9. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
  10. Survivor The Triumph Of An Ordinary Man In The Khmer Rouge Genocide – Chum Mey
  11. The Little Old Lady Who Broke All The Rules – Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg
  12. Bone Pit: A Chilling Medical Suspense Thriller – Bette Golden Lamb and J. J. Lamb
  13. Sabotage – Dale Wiley
  14. Dracula – Bram Stoker
  15. First They Killed My Father – Loung Ung
  16. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy (Among others still a work in progress i’ll keep at it)

Status: STILL ONE WEEK BEHIND