Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Helping Out

Please help Pindi Pindi SS get a staffroom, currently its a corner in the office. Just register via this link and cast your apples, takes a minute each day. Last year we came top 20, this year we can win it with your help


New Zealand - Greymouth

Everytime we visit Greymouth, it lives up to its name and reputation for being bleak and gray.  However after being here a few times, I have begun to see the beauty in this landscape.
Greymouth, a bit wild and windy but very spectacular.  Look at those waves roll in!

The amazing rock formations that jut out of the sea.

The way the road hugs the coastline and winds its way south.
(Nice driving btw JB)

Single lane- shared bridges, best make sure no one is coming!

I have no idea how long this would have taken to carve this replica of the Americas Cup out of greenstone.  It is worth a fortune


Sunday, 18 August 2013

New Zealand - Trans Alpine

Trans Alpine
One of those bucket list things for us was to do some of the great train journeys.  It will be a little while before we can do the big (read expensive) ones like the Trans Siberian or the Blue Train but a jaunt on the Trans Alpine, thank you very much think we will.   

I love the trip out from Christchurch, it really is stunning and the first glimpses of the Alps is always so exciting.  The Canterbury Plains are so lush and green, its a different kind of green to home.  The Trans Alpine goes from Christchurch on the eastern side to Greymouth on the Westcoast.  The great thing, or one of the great things, about trains is, someone else is driving and we can both look at the scenery zipping past. 

The rivers always amaze me, the way the braid their way across the landscape, the volume of water as the snow melts must be huge.  The fine rock particles in the water give the distinct icy blue colour.  Which I cant seem to get a good photo of!

There was an open observation car, which was really popular but a tad chilly!  Everyone had their cameras out.

It was drizzling by the time we got to Arthurs Pass so it was a quick jump off, grab a few pics and jump back on. 


Its a 4 and a half hour trip which didn't seem to take that long.  I would love to do this again and a few of the other New Zealand train journeys with Rhys, he would love them!


Next stop.....Greymouth.

New Zealand - Milford Sound

It was an amazing drive from Te Anau through the Homer Tunnel, with an unbelievable 1 in 10 gradient, no that's steep!
The boat we were to go on.

A misty kind of day which is actually a good day weather wise here, they have something like 6m of rain a year.  Look a waterfall!!!

Look more waterfalls, they were everywhere and all were just so pretty.  Bit of a photo overload day!

The mouth of the Sound. 

Don't know who this pair are but it did make a good photo.  I wondered if they were going to do a titanic scene!!!!!!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

The Road to Walvis Bay and Flamingos

Quite often on a weekend -usually a Sunday afternoon we would jump in the car and go for a drive to see the flamingos.  They are such a strange bird and pink! 

It was a beautiful drive along the coast, where we passed the quad bikes and sand boarding areas

Oil rigs in for work... and more sand

and finally get to see the magnificent pink birds.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Planning a Family Trip - Travel Insurance

This is really important, hopefully you never ever need to use it.  Not only are you covering yourself and your family for things like lost luggage but also medical treatment, emergencies, travel delays etc.

There are heaps of providers and it is important to read the policy to ensure you are covered for what you need.  Compare apples and apples. 

Some are:

The activities you will be doing can also carry a surcharge, things like snow sports, you are going to pay extra as they carry greater risks!

Some things are not covered eg acts of terrorism, some countries.  Look into things like natural disasters, a few years ago when the volcano in Iceland (with the name that drove news presenters crazy, Eyjafjallaj√∂kull) decided to spew ash for weeks over Europe. 


There are even websites that will do comparisons for you but it is up to you to read the details and remember they may not have access to all the market.


Pre existing conditions, if you have one search around.  Some companies will not cover you, others will charge extra, some might ask for a medical.  As someone with a medical condition I always am upfront and provide as much detail as I can including last specialist appointment, current treatment, status of the disease, any ongoing treatment and any monitoring or regular checks.  It helps to define the risk. 

But most importantly don't lie or omit to tell them about a problem. 

Finally take out your insurance as soon as you make your first booking, that way you will be covered for cancelling your trip.