After the best part of 6 days at sea, I was mightily happy to set foot on solid ground.
The cook that we had, Loli, in Borneo is from Manila in the Philippines; so I was happy to visit this place that is her home. Especially since I had no idea I would be here 2 months ago.
Our welcome into the harbour area could be heard a mile away. A marching band on the seafront playing a variety of modern tunes and wearing brightly coloured clothing. As our ship navigated its way through the incredibly still waters of the Manila bay; a sea-fog slowly started to rise, giving way to an eery and yet beautiful first view of the city of Manila. Fishing boats had been surrounding us since sometime the day before we arrived. This morning they were so close to the ship! Some shouting for money, or offering to sell things to us! How on earth that would have worked I don’t know. The captain of our ship frequently sounded the ships horn through this whole period of time. I couldn’t believe how many small boats there were.
She passed away in January after having been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at the end of last year.
When I jokingly said ‘Merry Christmas and a happy new year! See you in 2014’ to Sharon as she walked out of the unicorn pub back at the beginning of September 2013; I had no idea I would be saying goodbye to her forever in this world and that seeing her in 2014 would never come to being.
Before I start blogging about my departure from New Zealand I thought it would be nice to sum up some facts and history about New Zealand. Mainly for my own reference when I look back at this blog, but hey, it may be of interest to you too. To begin I will briefly highlight the story of New Zealand from the Mauri standing. My friend dickie had relayed this story to me whilst we were walking some 4km walk downhill to a traditional Borneo wedding just south of Kota Kinabalu in Malaysian Borneo before Christmas. This was just one of many tales about New Zealand and Mauri culture that he told me. I was fascinated by the stories, not only for their content, but also because dickie has a fantastic way of storytelling that he should most definitly be complimented upon.Read More »
Leaving Palmerston North we began our journey north once more. Driving through Tongoriro national park we viewed ‘mount doom’ from The Lord of the rings series. Then eventually reached a viewpoint that overlooked lake Taupo. Biggest lake in New Zealand. We stayed in Taupo for a night before making our way to Muriwai via Matamata and a second round of hobbiton village (mum really had to see it!)