Home away from home for Christmas.
Trip Start Oct 01, 2007
99Trip End May 07, 2008
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Tent packed away for Christmas we arrived in Tauranga late afternoon after beautiful coastal drives around the Coromandal Peninsula and checked into the hostel. The town is pretty with lots of wooden American style houses and the hostel had a great view over bay right on the main strip of bars. We went to the cinema to get in a Chrimbo flick but not much on so we had to settle for the cheesetastic Mr Magoriums Magic Emporium, haha. A few drinks and bed. Next morning was a big day of Christmas Eve shopping and sunshine. Poor Lou woke up to a rash all over her arm, no harm done the shopping plans continued. A new outfit for Lou and surfer dude shorts for cons, a couple of prezzies, a blowdry and giant Toffe Nut latte starbucks in the sunshine finished off the day. However, the rash on Lou's arm slowly came all over her body so off to the pharmacist who thought they were sand fly bites. God bless google thats all we can say.. Googled bed bug bites to see if thats what the rash and bites were and sure enough poor Lou was covered in them. Conor and manager checked the room, pulled up the mattress and no less than ten of the little feckers ran across the bottom of the mattress. At this stage Lou's arm had blown up, her face was puffy and the rest of her body was covered in little bites that were slowly getting bigger and redder. Check them out yourself they aint little small things, ugly as hell and their bite is sore and itchy!
We were told to shower in the room and check our clothes and pick out one outfit to wear for the next day and nothing else was to go into the new room. Bt the time this was all done and the senior manager got involved the pubs were only serving for the next 20 mins so back up to the hostel lounge for drinks. It turned out to be the best thing. Initially when we arrived there were resident backpackers living there working short term and tended to stick to themselves but Christmas Eve we met with a few Irish lads, a Scottish couple and a couple from Argentina. We all had a great laugh and drank till the early hours, including the complimentary bottle of NZ wine we got from the manager to sooth the bed bug bites or lonely planet comments I guess!
Christmas Day we had to sort through all our clothes and send them off to get cleaned and the rucksacks sprayed. With that all done and dusted we spent the day doing what everyone does, eating chocolate, watching christmas tv, drinking (rose champagne mind you!) and having a laugh. We made a simple roast chicken din and had it at the Argentinian time of 10pm! Think we are both still on South American time! Many drinks later, we all counted down the time to Christmas day at home so we could peg it down to the internet! You guys are 13 hours behind so we had to wait till 1am our time! boooo! The manager was a bit of a fool and had left notes on the kitchen table warning the kitchen would be closed that night at 11pm coz some muppet resident didnt clean up after himself, got drunk and wrecked all the sheets on the bed so as a result he wasnt turning the internet on either! Thankfully, Cons got out his guns and your man could do nothing but beg for mercy. That or the bed bug situation was brought up not sure, I'm going with Conors fearsome guns though! We were told that we could use the internet and we dragged the Irish with us too.
A tearful mixed bag of emotions phoning home. God bless skype & MSN messenger, was great to see everyone. We had a mixture of tiredness, drunken-ness, homesickness, bedbugness and sunshineness by the time we got to talk to everyone! So to answer the question above...when your travelling around the world its not the lack of presents or the tree, the decorations or the food, the drink and the night life the rain and the shopping (all of those things are really really great tho)....the thing about Christmas away is the phone call home! You don't really need anything else, it doesn't matter about the rest coz let's face it, we've been doing most of those things nearly every day since we've been away (xcept tree & decorations of course!) so Christmas Day is just another day! A cool day but in the life of a backpacker another day all the same! As one of the lads said to us, basically we all have to sit here, be homesick and not be able to see or do anything because everything is closed....so let's drink! It's been Christmas Day everyday since we've left!
St. Stephen's day greeted us with beautiful sunshine and a trip to the surf beach just up the road in Mount Maganui. Off to Rotorua for extreme sports and volcanic smellyness...!!
Happy Christmas everyone and will hopefully talk to you all New Year's Eve or New Years Day. Enjoy the silly season as much as we have! xx