Five months have already passed since we slung on your rucksacks and headed out of London in search of adventure! Time certainly does fly when you are having fun.
Month five was slightly different to the previous two months as we had left Africa and headed East to the Philippines. Our first stop in The Philippines was paradise on earth on a budget – Modessa Island Resort.
We spent 6 glorious nights on Modessa Island and it was nothing short of amazing. Our friends Sam and Emma who we met in Africa joined us for this part of the trip and it was so awesome to see them again. Modessa is a place where you can literally do nothing and that’s exactly what I wanted after being on the overland truck in Africa for 11 weeks.
I swam, snorkelled, ate, drank, slept, got massaged, read books and did lots of writing. It was absolute bliss.
Dan did lots of diving, he would do at least one dive a day and also did a few night dives on the island which we raved about.
After leaving Modessa Island we headed north on the island of Palawan, we shared a mini van with one of the most disgraceful men I’ve ever met. I had to listen to him talk incessantly for 4 hours! Without wishing to go into detail he was Australian, older and had a 19 year old girl hanging off his every word (and limb) and he projected an heir of ‘I know everything”. I couldn’t wait to escape to our destination of El Nido!
El Nido wasn’t quite what I was expecting but then again I’ve not travelled through South East Asia for 9 years so it was all a bit of a shock. It was quite smelly, dirty, the infrastructure was non existent and everyone is wanting your money money money. Obviously once you get out of El Nido and on to a boat it was stunning, just like all the instagram photos I’d seen but I certainly wouldn’t rush back to El Nido.
I was also very much looking forward to getting home to New Zealand and I began to wish my time away in the Philippines which is bad I know but it’s been almost 3 years since I was back and it was so close!
We began the very long journey home by getting a bus for 4 hours, airport wait 4 hours, flight 1 hour and straight to our hotel in Manila for a night before we got on our flight to NZ the next day. Manila was extremely busy, hot, fast paced and more modern than I had imagined it would be. We spent some time at the mall, watched some boxing and watched the sunset.
FINALLY….It was time to go to New Zealand, we spent the first week catching up with friends and family. We went to the beach, ate some classic kiwi food, saw some Christmas lights and celebrated Christmas day the kiwi way.
The highlight of this month was going north of Auckland for a week with friends for New Year. It is a kiwi tradition to get out of the city for this time of the year and head anywhere where there is a beach. We went to Opito Bay and rented a bach (kiwi holiday home) with 12 friends.
We did a few day trips to nearby beaches, cooked delicious food, marvelled at the incredible view and just had a cracking time with our friends.
This month has been great as Dan and I have had total freedom over where we are, what we are doing, eating, seeing etc. Being on the tour in Africa was amazing because we saw so much but it is nice to not be led at the moment and just enjoy.
Plans for next month:
Pauanui in the Coromandel
Fat Freddy’s Drop gig at Villa Maria