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  • Writer's pictureThe Old Farmyard Forceleap Farm

NZ - South Island

A total change of pace, vibe, culture of our experience, not to mention cost! We had a tearful goodbye to Doug and Donna and the girls in Zambia after a fab goodbye party on our last evening. This was at their lodge, where Doug has created an amazing slide down a huge ant hill, which the boys loved (but was pretty cool all round if you ask me!) alongside a full-blown assault course with a cool zip line!

This was followed by swimming in the dam and then a BBQ and we sat around the fire chatting into the night as the kids fell asleep at our feet, my idea of heaven! But it was soon time to go and after a tearful good by to Donna, Doug and the girls, we set off to the airport and had a sleep over in Johannesburg. This we spent in the weirdest and most surreal place I think I have ever been to! We stayed at Montecasino which is a fake Italian town with a casino in the middle of it. We went to the cinema and had the whole place to ourselves before wandering back to our hotel down the fake streets with a fake sky and fake trees and shop fronts, even the guards were dressed as fake Carabinieri.

Bizarre but quite cool. The next day we flew on to Australia. We only had a few days in Sydney, and this was some what overshadowed by some quite serious jet lag. But, while we were in town we did manage to do some exploring. We took the water taxi to the centre of town and walked around the botanical gardens and opera house before we went to the aquarium and zoo. We also visited the really cute Koala sanctuary, so that was all very popular.


A few days later, we flew on to Queenstown in New Zealand and pitched up at our great family friends Libby and JJ. They were great both hosting us for a few weeks and they had, rather brilliantly, managed to find a car for me to buy! We have got about 8 weeks to get from there to Auckland in time to pick Dad up from the airport. This is our travelling time in NZ, so it is back to home schooling on the move, lots of trips, activities, museums, packing, driving, café, ice cream and repeat! We have had about 4 and a half weeks of it so far and it has been great fun. We have been in the South Island but tomorrow we head over to the North Island.

We arrived in Queenstown and did a few trips from there, to Stewart Island, the Fiordland, Catlins, Otago up to Cromwell. Once we left Queenstown for good, we made our way up to Wanaka and then on to Mount Cook and Twizel. Then it was on to Christchurch and then across the Southern Alps at Arthur Pass to Greymouth. Then it was a bit of an explore of the Westcoast ending at Westport and then down the Buller river to Murchison. Finally, we went across to Kiakora, finishing with the Marlborough sounds, where we are now. Within that we have manged to do a lot of activities from jet boating to white water rafting, gold panning to whale watching. The high points for the boys has been tubing behind the speed boat with JJ in Queenstown and fishing in the Marlborough Sounds and they really enjoyed going to the heritage gold rush town and gold panning. But I have noticed they also really rate a good playground and love just mucking about on the amazing and empty beaches or by the rivers collecting or making some complicated thing out of shells and driftwood. They can spend hours doing that, which is brilliant!


The boys have had to put up with a lot of driving and changes in scene and are doing well with it so far, although they miss their friends and cousins. We are however all being somewhat driven mad on these long car journeys, by the fact that the car has only got a CD player and we have only got one CD! This is compilation of Disney classics. Mikey is partial to a bit of Lion King and Toby loves the music to the Pirates of the Caribbean. Me, I like a little Elsa from Frozen! I know naff…but I think the words are very apt for being on a sabbatical, so it is rapidly becoming my theme tune!! Full blast, accompanied by my 2 backing singers, it is great! :-)


“It’s funny how some distance, makes everything seem small,

and the fears that once controlled me, can’t get to me at all.

It’s time to see what I can do, to test the limits and break through,

no lines, no rules for me, I’m free!!!”

 

Back to reality, tomorrow we are moving on to the North Island. Toby, Mikey and me, accompanied of course by Elsa, Simba, Moana, Pocahontas and the rest of those other pesky Disney characters… until we can find a charity shop which sells old CDs for kids! So, the travellers keep travelling and all goes well, even if we have gone a bit Disneyfied in our music choices!!




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