And it begins…

On Friday 25 November 2016 we awoke at 4:15am to an eerily quiet Auckland and the beginning of our trip.

4:15 AM is a horrendous time of the morning and should be eradicated from the planet earth, luckily our friend-o Leighton volunteered to endure this time of day and dropped us off at the airport. (We’re pretty sure he’s accruing brownie points to be cashed in at a later date for some nefarious purpose).

Of course we took a classic pre-trip selfie for your viewing pleasure:

Andy and Brittany about to start Project Overland

Not bad for 6am, although I failed to actually get our plane in the shot

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Auckland and the Coast to Coast

Auckland is hot. Too hot.

We have done lots of activities in the past few days catching up with various friends and family. I have also had the joy of going to the dentist to get a filling.

Today for our last day in NZ we decided to undertake the Coast to Coast Walkway, traversing the entire width of New Zealand. This is the (slightly) less intense version of the South Island Coast to Coast. One is a 16km walkway and the other is a 243km multisport race.

The Auckland Council website is not great, for example it doesn’t even include an estimate of how long the walkway will take and the map is a bit marginal at times. However we managed to find the official start of the track without incident.

Brittany at the start of the Coast to Coast walkway

Time to start urban tramping

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Making pasta in the apocalypse

After Palmy we headed back to Waikanae to see my mum. On Sunday night we were hit with a magnitude 7.8 earthquake (in Kaikoura) fortunately we were all ok. Then on Tuesday a heavy storm caused flooding and slips which closed the main highways in and out of Wellington. Finally on Wednesday there was apparently a small tornado in Waikanae.

In the midst of all of this chaos, we made pasta.

I’m hoping that when we get to Italy in many months time we’ll be able to go on a cooking course and make pasta again. So I have posted a few photos below to aid in future comparisons. This pasta was made with the help of my brother Julian and his pasta maker.

pasta-making-1

Making fettuccine

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The Palmerston North food coma

We have spent the last three days eating. All the time.

We have been staying with Andy’s parents in Palmerston North and it has been great catching up with his family. Before coming, Andy ordered all of the different meals that he wanted to eat so since Friday we have eaten:

  1. Hainanese chicken rice
  2. Wonton noodle soup
  3. Yatai – the local Japanese restaurant that has been the location of all of Andy’s family celebrations
  4. Digby’s hamburgers – Andy’s dad has spent months perfecting the best hamburger recipe. The latest model is an 80% chuck steak and 20% beef fat patty in a ciabatta bun
  5. Roast lamb à la Audrey
  6. Waffles with bacon and strawberries

We are well on track to developing a thick layer of insulating fat for Siberia. Om nom nom.

Check out Andy's gorgeous mane (Status: 50% Asian Beatles)

Check out Andy’s gorgeous mane (Status: 50% Asian Beatle)

See ya South Island

The drive to Nelson was in the pouring rain, an inauspicious start to the trip. We had a great time catching up with friends, visiting an open home, eating freshly killed venison and checking out The Freehouse (a pub). Andy would like to make a special mention of the urinal at The Freehouse which was made of coloursteel – an experience that many have described as “slippery, yet satisfying”. Thanks Claire and Ben for having us and Nicola and Richard for waking up to see us! Nelson is definitely on our list of future possible places to live.

After a grueling 5am start to catch the ferry from Picton it was time to farewell the South Island. Bye bye South Island! It has been a fun eight years, stay classy.

Andy on the ferry

Andy’s having a ferry nice time

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All packed up!

We’ve done it! All of our worldly possessions have somehow been neatly packed into a Honda Jazz. It’s not even that full – look!

Everything fits in the Jazz

Everything we own, packed into a Honda Jazz

So now it’s time to say goodbye to our flat and head off on our road trip. We have about three weeks before we fly out of Auckland so we’ll be jazzing up the North Island visiting friends and family on the way. First stop: Nelson.

Introducing… Project Overland

Wooh we’re going on holiday!!

We are going to travel overland (no flights) from Singapore to Scotland. For our trip we (well, mainly I) have proposed the following rules:

  1. All travel is to be overland once we start in Singapore – bus, train, car, bike, boat, foot, camel, moped, tuk tuk, mongolian pony etc
  2. Flights are acceptable as long as it is a return flight back to the same location. No net progress can be made by flying.

Here is the original plan of our route: