Selamat Ulang Tahun!

 Selamat ulang tahun means ‘happy birthday’ in Bahasa Indonesian, and yes, it was my birthday on the weekend. I officially turned 15 on Sunday the 12th, but celebrations started before that (after all, why wait?). Rosie had  a sleepover at a friend’s house on Friday night, and didn’t come home until Saturday afternoon, so Mama, Papa and I went to Ambassador Mall in Central Jakarta. It is our favourite mall ever, because it is basically a multi-story, upper-class flea market. We first went on a batik hunt, as Rosie and I don’t have any batik clothing. I got a nice shirt, as did Rosie, and Papa got a second shirt as well. We then wandered around, scoping out the sights, and then going for a bite to eat the Rice Bowl, our old haunt. We then got a taxi back to Kemang, and went to Hypermart to do some shopping. We got home and, after a delicious supper of veggie burgers and potato salad, went upstairs to watch ‘Forrest Gump’. It was suuuuper good! really funny, but also quite sad. I loved it!

Next morning, I woke up a 15-year-old! Rosie and I went over and fed our neighbour’s cats, then came back and had Birthday Breakfast: french toast with watermelon and orange juice. Mama and Papa had put up loads of baby photos all around the downstairs area, which was super lovely. After breakfast, Mama and Papa had arranged that Ijah, the maid of one of our neighbours, would come over and give cooking lessons. We got a taxi to Pasar Minggu (Sunday Market), the biggest market in the area. It was like going straight back to Dhaka. The market was massive, with loads of fruits and veggies, and reeked of meat and fish. I remember the first time we went to a market in Dhaka. I was horrified by the meat section: chicken getting killed in front of you, massive hunks of bloody meat lying around, and fish just flopping around everywhere. I had to leave, as it was just too much. Now I am completely unfazed by it, which is cool and not cool at the same time. We spent most of the time in the vegetable section, and there was so much stuff there! Loads of familiar things, and not so familiar things. I tried this thing called snakefruit, which was quite weird. Foodies love it, but I wasn’t such a fan. But we got loads of great vegetables from this one lady, and saw some interesting things, including this machine that squeezes all the milk out of desiccated coconut. Awesome! After making our purchases, we got a taxi back home, then started on lunch: nasi goreng, fried tempe, and sayur asam (a vegetable soup). Ijah and I did most of the cooking, and it all turned out great! There were a few mishaps along the way, but everything tasted great. We all sat and ate together, and then Ijah left to get home (it was her day off), and Rosie and I went to play badminton. It was really fun, and we weren’t really playing, just goofing around. We then went for a swim in our neighbours pool, and when Papa jumped in, we played a game of baseball, with a kickboard as a bat. There was loads of making up (and breaking) of rules, and it was really fun. We then chillaxed, and then later in the evening, had Birthday Supper: pizza with mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, and CHEESE! Cheese is really expensive here, so it was such a treat to have it! After that, we had some birthday cake, which was truly awesome. It was a gooey chocolate cake with Chachas on top, which are basically Indonesian M&Ms. It was soooooo good! Another great job from Mama! After that was presents, and I got some lovely things (including a years supply of lemon tea, some great DVDs, and… my very own recipe book from Mama and Papa!).

I had such a great birthday! I look forward to being 15, and getting to know Jakarta more. Loads of love to my family, and thank you especially to Mama, Papa and Rosie for a great year of being 14! Here’s to a great year to come…

 

 

 

 

 

Oh My Aching…Everything

At JIS, there are three sports seasons in one year. Strange, yes, but good. First season is cross-country, football and volleyball, second season is rugby, swimming and tennis, and third season is track and field, golf and badminton. My friends and I decided to go “all out” and go for tryouts. Nathan and Jao Lok do badminton, and Ethan and I are doing track and field. I’ll admit, I was quite nervous going to the first session (first thing after school on Wednesday), but once things got going it was okay. There were about a hundred people there, which is apparently the biggest turnout in a long time. Everyone did a warm-up together, and then we a split up to do our separate activities, 45 mins per event. I started with long-distance running. We started by doing some drills, and talking about technique, and then the coach, Ms Richards said “Okay then, the 3kms is 8 times around the track. Off you go.” I ran with a guy called Sanghyeon from my Science class. We chatted a bit, but it was mostly just puffing and panting and “oh my cripes I’m going to die”-ing. We finished about middle of the pack, which is not a bad place to be, I think. Cripes, I was so wiped… I was probably the most tired I’ve been since the last time I did long-distance running.

After a short water break, I went and started the sprints, coached by none other than the head teacher of High School, Mr Clark! I think him being the principal was a bit unnerving, but he started cracking jokes and making fun of people, and I knew that he wasn’t going to be the principal for the next 45 minutes. We did some drills, then went out onto the track and talked about form and correct starting positions and acceleration, then did some more drills, including some relay drills. We finished up with a pep-talk from Mr Clark, then broke up at about 5:15 pm. I went and got changed out of The World’s Sweatiest Clothes into what would soon become The World’s Sweatiest Clothes, then walked to the bus, completely wiped. I couldn’t stop drinking, and several of my limbs were shaking uncontrollably, but I felt good! I felt really pleased that I had gone and worked up a sweat, and even if I don’t make the track team, at least I would get fitter. Let’s go!

P.S. Woke up the next morning with the stiffest limbs ever. I won’t forget to stretch ever again.

Kiwi Kronicles – Part 3

The Eastwood family have left their campsite at Lake Hawea, and are now on the road to the highest mountain in New Zealand…

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Map of distance covered in this post

Saturday 31st – Day 7 Of Camping

We drove up Highway 80 along the edge of Lake Pukaki when the mountains came into view. From a distance, they were stunning. Close up… breathtakingly-beautiful.  We arrived at White Horse Hill campsite, right at the foot of Mt. Sefton and the Mueller Glacier. We got our tent set up in a suuuuper sheltered spot (and it needed to be sheltered, as then winds there were intense). We then bundled up and went on the Kea Point trail, a 15 minute walk to a lookout over the Mueller Glacier. There was not much left of the glacier, but the icefalls coming off Mt. Sefton were absolutely amazing, as were the colours of the glacial meltwater. It was out of this world to be there, but also very humbling. None of us had ever seen mountains on this scale before, and we were immensely glad that we had come here. We then walked into Mt. Cook village, a 45 minute wander. It was very tourist-based, with a lot of hotels and gear shops, but we were glad to be camping. Papa was able to obtain some Wi-Fi at a restaurant, so we wrote to Mama and sent her a Selfie. We then went to The Hermitage, the fanciest hotel within a 50 km radius, and bought some ice cream, which we ate gazing at the mountains. We then walked back and made supper: sausages and onion, followed by hot chocolate and biscuits. The nice thing about the campsite was that there was a shelter that we could cook and hang out in, and while it was pretty crowded at times, it was great to have. We retired to the tent to play Uno, and then went to bed.

Sunday 1st 2017 – New Year’s Day / Day 8 Of camping

Woke up to a New Year! Woohoo yay 2017! We went over to the shelter and made a Special New Year’s Breakfast: pancakes. Oh yeah. They were sooooo good, super oily and spread with jam… the perfect way to start a New Year. After that, we packed my backpack for the day and set of on the Sealy Tarns Track. It was very steep, and there were 2200 steps. We got some beautiful view of the Hooker Valley, and even heard a Kea, New Zealand’s mountain parrot. It was such a stunning walk, however, it was also very exposed, and we were being battered by the wind. When we passed a group of trampers, and they said we were halfway up, we decided to turn back. But it was so stunning, with panoramic views of the entire valley. You could see for miles! We walked back down, our strategy being that if there was a massive gust of wind, we would just sit down and wait until it died down. We walked back to the campsite and made lunch: Cup-a-Soup with bread. We then drove into Mt. Cook village (we were saving our strength for another walk) and went to the Mt. Cook Visitor’s Centre. It was really interesting, with information about the discovery and mapping of Mt. Cook, the formation of the National Park, the flora and fauna of the park and the weather systems of the Mt. Cook range. You could spend ages there, learning heaps. We then went on the Hooker Valley hike, which was all on flat ground but windier than Sealy Tarns. We crossed three swingbridges over glacial rivers, and walked through the stunning valley, until we got to the Hooker Glacier. We could see it in the distance, covered in moraine, but even more stunning were the icebergs in the glacial lake. They were massive! It was soooo cool! First glacier and first icebergs! We took loads of pictures, and then walked back. We had a noodle supper, biscuits, hot chocolate and some games of Uno, before heading off to the tent. Rosie and I were getting ready for bed when Papa came running over and got us to bundle up and come. We sprinted to the Mt. Cook monument, and there it was: Mt. Cook. The clouds had lifted for the first time in our two days at the campsite, and we could see it in its full glory. It was truly so inspiring and stunning to see New Zealand’s tallest peak in the flesh. We sat there and gazed upon Mt. Cook for a while, then walked back to the tent. The trip was certainly at its climax now: there was no doubt about that.

Monday 2nd

We woke up and ate some porridge. While packing up the tent, I was amazed at how quickly our week of camping had gone by. We were now beginning the third and final stage of our New Zealand trip. We drove out of White Horse Hill campsite and, after stopping to go to the Visitor’s Centre again, went to see the Tasman glacier. We drove for a few minutes up a side road, then parked and walked up a track to the glacier. It was a lot bigger than the Hooker Glacier that we had seen the day before, but judging by the time-lapse photos on an info display, it had retreated massively in the last few years. I was surprised at how dirty it was: with all the moraine on it, you wouldn’t know it was a glacier unless told. Still, it was very humbling, and the massive icebergs were really cool. Then it was back on the road again. We drove for a while, stopping for a Danish pastry on the way. After several hours of driving, we came to the outskirts of Christchurch, and from there went to May’s house. May is Papa’s sister, and she and her partner Brett live in Lyttelton, a port town in Christchurch. We were greeted by them on their front doorstep. It was lovely to see May, and properly meet Brett. The last time we saw them was during our first South Island tour that we did when we lived in New Zealand. We sat and chatted for ages, then got supper ready. It was a make-your-own pizza affair, with oodles of toppings and cheese! We also had Sodastream (for those of you that are not in the know, this is a make your own fizzy machine). We got sorted and chatted some more, then went to bed. Rosie and I were downstairs, Rosie had the double bed and I was on the floor.

Tuesday 3rd

We woke up feeling really rested, and then wandered upstairs, where we had some breakfast: muesli for me, eggs for Rosie. We then had a day of chillaxing. We sat and chatted, read from May and Brett’s large collection of books, and stroked their cats, Cupcake and Mary Jane. In the afternoon, we went for a walk around Lyttelton and had a look at the shops there. We went to a super cool local co-operative, which I loved! We also went to the shops to buy stuff for a brunch the next day. After that, we came walked back to May and Brett’s home and chillaxed some more. Brett then started to make supper: smoked salmon! He actually had a manuka smoker that he set up, and set the salmon to smoke for and hour. May made some salad, and then we were ready. The salmon was delicious! excellent food, excellent company… what more could you ask for?

Wednesday 4th

We woke up, and I went and started making pancakes for brunch. They were great, maybe because of May’s awesome non-stick pans. Papa fried up some bacon and made scrambled eggs. We had some orange juice with it, and I slathered everything in maple syrup. Yummy!Then we opened some Christmas presents from May, Brett and our English family, the Knopps. May and Brett gave us a lovely pounamu (greenstone) necklace and a gingerbread house kit! The Knopps gave Rosie a cool nail polish set, and I received a book that I had been hunting for about 3 years! So kind of all of them. We then got into the car and drove into Christchurch. Brett drove and May was the tour guide. It was a shock to see how much Christchurch had been damaged by the earthquakes that had occurred in previous years. We stopped at the new Christchurch Cathedral (the original having been knocked down in the earthquakes). It was very modern, and super beautiful, but also quite melancholy. We also saw an art piece by the side of the road. There was a chair painted white for every person that died in the earthquake. It was very poignant, and stayed in our minds for a long while. We went and wandered around a bit, then went to the Christchurch museum, which was really interesting. We went to the Antarctic section, which I loved. My favourite part was a booth that played whale calls; they are so fascinating. We then went to see the school that May teaches English at: Cathedral Grammar School. It looked really lovely, and I think that May would be a great teacher. We then drove back home, and after some chillaxing, we had some supper: May’s cauliflower and cheese. Yum yum yum! We then watched a kiwi movie called “Hunt for the Wilder-People”, about a boy (a fatty called Ricky Baker) and his father survive in the New Zealand bush, on the run from the police. It was hilarious, and made even better by mince pies and hokey-pokey ice cream.

Thursday 5th – Last day in New Zealand

We got up, and had some breakfast. After that, we just chillaxed for a while, then May got a phone call saying that the adventure that she had planned for today had to be cancelled! We were supposed to go sailing around Lytellton Harbour, but it was too windy, so the owner of the boat sailed it off. However, we planned an alternative adventure. We hopped in the car and drove around on the Banks Peninsula a bit. We went along the coast, hopping through these small towns: beautiful. We stopped at the end of the road. There was a tree with a rope swing, which we all spent a long while on. Suuuuuper fun. It was a lovely little town, with just a handful of houses, a marae, and this beautiful bay, perfect for canoeing around. We drove back, and stopped in at another town on the way to have a wander around and take some pictures. You could see Lyttelton right across the bay. The wind had dropped, and the sky was so clear and beautiful. We then drove back to Lyttelton. Papa, Rosie and I walked to the chippie and got five fish and chips. We ate them with Sodastream. There was so much, so I ended up finishing several people’s chips. We then sat and chatted, did some last-minute packing, and then went to bed.

Friday 6th

We woke up at 3:30 am, and started getting ready. May and Brett came downstairs, and we said our goodbyes. We are so lucky to know the two of them, and they are truly so kind to take us, especially after they had visitors only a few days before. Such generous people. We drove to Christchurch airport and dropped the car off, and then got a shuttle to the airport. We jumped on the plane to Sydney. We had breakfast, and I watched sections of loads of movies (I just can’t watch movies on the plane). We arrived in Sydney, and found that we had a 6 hour wait until we boarded, so we found a comfy spot and just relaxed. Rosie and I both slept at various times, and we played Uno. Then we hopped onto the Sydney-Jakarta plane, and flew home.

Our New Zealand holiday was truly amazing, and I loved every second of it. However, there were so many people involved which we have to thank, so here they are in no particular order.

Everyone who helped us along the way, whether it be finding meths, hunting out a tent spot or many other things.

All the DoC Rangers that helped us through our travels. Without you, where would we camp and tramp?

The Cockerill-Ghanems, for having us at their home for a week. You were so kind to us, and devoted so much of your time to be with us. Such great friends.

Richard, Diana, Kirk, Tui, Ben and Annie, for being friends with us now and when we lived in New Zealand and Fiji, and for the lovely food and company you gave us.

Otto, for still remembering me, and remaining my friend for all these years.

All the Sisters at the Home Of Compassion, for accommodating Papa for a week, and for all the love.

Sr. Cabrini, for being such a great friend to us, and for being such a lovely person. We loved spending time with you, both during the trip and when we lived there.

May and Brett, for having us and for the presents, fun and love over the four days we spent with you.

Mama, for planning the trip for us, and writing to us. Your planning was invaluable, and your moral support along the way was deeply appreciated by all. We love you very much.

Rosie, for being the ultimate travel companion, being someone for me to goof around with, and helping me with the tent every time. You made the trip super fun, and your thoughtful and loving heart will never be forgotten.

Finally, the biggest thanks go to Papa, for making the trip happen. You drove us some 1,250 kilometres, did most of the thinking and organising, planned things to do, and put up with Rosie and when we were dinks. We were so lucky to be able to do that trip, and it’s thanks to you that we were able to. Thank you sooooo very much for an amazing holiday!

Kiwi Kronicles – Part 2

Over the past week, the Eastwood family have been in their old home town of Island Bay, visiting friends and touring the city. It was a lovely week, full of kind people and fun times. But now the time has come to begin the 2nd part of the adventure: car camping on the South Island.When we last saw the Eastwood family, they were on the plane to Dunedin…

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Map of distance covered in this post

Sunday 25th – Christmas Day / Day 1 Of Camping

So we were on the plane to Dunedin from Wellington, having said goodbye to all the Kind Kiwis we met on our trip. It was great to be back in Wellington, but at the same time it felt right to be moving on. We saw some beautiful views from the plane, like Marlborough Region and the Southern Alps! It was sooooo cool to see the mountains poking through the clouds! At Dunedin, we got our luggage and our rental car! After filling out some forms, we were off! Papa driving (obviously!), me navigating in the front seat, and Rosie being Rosie in the back row. It was all super smooth, except for the fact that it was Christmas Day and all the shops were closed. We needed methylated spirits (meths) and matches for the camping stove (Trangia). Without them, we were scuppered, and would have to throw out our sausage supper! Luckily, after several tries, Papa found a convenience store that sold both items, and we were on our way. After an hour or so of driving, we stopped in Balclutha, the biggest town between Dunedin and our first campsite, Purakaunui. We had lunch sitting on the banks of the River Clutha: cheese, crackers, apples and crisps. Good times. After that, Rosie and I went and had a play at the playground! It had one of those mouse wheel things, that was really hard and scary, and the most insane zipwire ever! It wasn’t a seat, it was just a hold-onto-the-bar-and-jump-off-the-ledge type. And it would skim so low to the ground… creepy but cooool! And then we were back on the road again. After driving for a while, we turned off onto a gravel road, and drove for a bit, and after a while we arrived at Purakaunui Campsite! It was right on the seashore, and super beautiful. We scouted around for a spot, then found a good one away from the main campsite. We went for a walk on the lovely beach, which was pretty long, and then we started making supper: sausages and onions in a wrap with garlic ketchup: yuuuuuuummy! We washed up in the stream that ran between the campsite and the beach, and it was freezing. And when I say freezing, I don’t mean shivery freezing, I mean if-you-stay-in-too-long-your-feet-will-go-numb freezing. After that, we chucked the frisbee around and went for another wander, but the sun started going doing, and then it began to get pretty cold, so we went back to the tent to make hot chocolate. Since there was just a tap which pumped water from the stream (I think), we had to boil all the water that we used, which made things slower but even more camping-like. After reading, chatting and drinking hot choc for a while, we got changed and went to bed for the first night in the tent!!!

Monday 26th – Day 2 Of Camping

I woke up with really runny eyes: fallout from hay fever. I went and washed them in the stream, which really woke me up! When I returned, Papa was making porridge, which we ate with raisins and jam. After washing up, I sat with my feet in the river and read my book (and it wasn’t actually too bad, once you got used to it). We then went  for a walk. We first went along the beach, and saw several seals. One of them, a huge male, came out of the water grunting and waddling, and started making a beeline for us, so we hoofed it! After getting some pictures, we continued up a hill on the other side of the beach. At the top (or where we stopped) we were treated with some fantastic panoramic views of the campsite, sea and surrounding area. We headed back down and returned to the tent. After some chillaxing, some lunch and some more chillaxing, we went out for a scramble around the headland. the rocks were super cool, and there were some massive waves. We sat and chatted for a while, then headed back to the tent. After playing frisbee, we made supper: noodles! We washed up, then had another headlands walk, but shorter. We got to watch the sun start to set, and with the sea and the colours, it was so beautiful. We walked back and had some hot chocolate. After cleaning up, we went to bed.

Tuesday 27th – Day 3 Of Camping

We woke and, after a breakfast of porridge, cleaned up and packed everything up. After brushing teeth and paying, we left. Purakaunui was a great campsite: super beautiful and a great way to start the trip. We drove a while to Purakaunui Falls, where Papa dried out the tent, and Rosie and I went to  see the Falls. They were really lovely, and to get there you had to go through a forest that could have been straight out of a fairy tale. After an hour of driving we stopped to  gaze upon the Southern Ocean. It was amazing, water as far as the eye could see. It was also the most Southern point of our trip. From there on, Northward bound. We drove to Invercargill and went to New World, where we stocked up on food for the next campsite. We also went to a hardware store to buy more fuel, and then we were on the road again. After stopping at a playground to have some lunch, we arrived at the turnoff to our next campsite. However, we were sceptical. The DoC guide described as having 6 spots, and being some 20 kms down a gravel road. We decided against staying there, so drove on to our second option: Manapouri, a town not far north. After arriving in Manapouri, we went to the Manapouri Holiday  Home and signed ourselves up for a pitch. We set the tent up in a nice sunny, sheltered spot, and then went on a walk. We went down to Lake Manapouri, and wandered around there for a while. It was soooo huge and beautiful, and the shores were lined with massive snow-topped peaks. Truly magnificent. We headed back to the campsite and started on supper: sausages. The holiday park had great facilities, so we cooked the sausages and the onions on a barbecue, then took then back to our pitch to eat. Delicious, as always! Afterwards, Papa and I went for a walk back to Lake Manapouri, and chatted while wandering. We were treated with a view of the sun setting over the mountains, and at that moment realised how privileged we were to be on the South Island of New Zealand, in our third day of a week of camping. We walked back to the campsite and had a shower. Yessss! First one in three days, it was so nice! Well… I had a bit of sunburn, and no matter how  cold the water was, it would just scald my sunburn… and I had to squat to wash my hair… but I wash clean! Yay, no more smelly boy! I went to bed that night a new person.

Wednesday 28th – 4th Day Of Camping

We woke and had some porridge, then packed up my backpack for the day, for today was the day that we would walk a section of the Kepler Track, one of New Zealand’s 9 Great Walks. The Great Walks are the nine most beautiful walks in the whole of New Zealand, and people come from all over the world to tramp them. I was so excited, as I thought that the Great Walks were something you only read about, not actually walk part of one of them! We drove to the start of the track, and started walking. It was so beautiful, walking through this stunning forest with these magnificent views of a meandering river… absolutely amazing. We walked for 1½ hours, until we reached a different shore of Lake Manapouri. We wandered into the forest and found a sheltered spot, where we ate Cup-a-Soup and bread. Rosie and I played around for a while, and we checked out the hut there (and almost got lost!). We then walked the 1½ hours back, and what a 1½ hours. Truly, that forest was so beautiful, with the only sign of humans being the track. It was so special to walk the Kepler, and we were so glad we did! We drove back to Manapouri, and, after some chillaxing, made supper: couscous with vegetables. We had shower and then went to bed.

Thursday 29th – Day 5 Of Camping

We woke and had porridge, the started packing up. By then, Rosie and I could get the tent down and the sleeping bags and air mats sorted in a heartbeat, so that was no problem. The last job: fetch the leftover couscous from the fridge. Guess who dropped it? Me! However, it was soon forgotten (and the unofficial motto of the trip became “don’t cry over spilled couscous”). The drive was beautiful, with these stunning mountains, and picturesque Lake Wakatipu. We drove up to Queenstown (the Adventure Capital of the South Island) and it was busy! There were queues just to get into town! We went to a shopping centre just outside of town, and went to the New World, where we did the shopping for the next few days. We payed and scarpered: Queenstown was not the place for us. We stopped for lunch at Lake Hayes, just outside Quenstown, which was lovely. We ate Cup-a-Soup, bread and cinnamon doughnuts right on the riverbank. We had decided to take the “alternative route” to Wanaka, so we went off the highway and drove up and mountain, stopping at a viewpoint on the way. From there, it was a drive through a mountain pass, which was super beautiful.  We drove into Wanaka, which was just as packed as Queenstown. Lake Wanaka, however, was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen. Crystal clear water, sunlight bouncing off the surface, tiny islands scattered around… amazing. We stopped at the DoC centre, and Papa chatted with one of the rangers about campsites. After that, we started our drive up the gorgeous Lake Hawea. It was suuuuuper long and beautiful, and we stopped to take pictures. After ½ hour of driving, we took a turn-off onto a unsignposted gravel road. We drove for 6 kms to Kidds Bush Campsite, which was PACKED!!! There were so many people who had been there since Christmas, all with their boats and jet-skis and massive campervans. We struggled to find a spot, but eventually found a pitch in the least crowded area of the campsite. We made supper: sausages and onions. We played Uno after eating, but there were so many sandflies that we abandoned ship and sat in the car. Papa thought we should stay up late to watch the stars come out, but we got too tired, so we went to bed.

Friday 30th – Day 6 Of Camping

I woke up feeling quite drowsy, so I went and stood in Lake Hawea to wake up. It did the job. I ate my porridge down by the lake, and then we packed my backpack for the day and started the Sawyer Burn Track. It was quite steep, but the views were fabulous, especially once we got above the treeline. It did start getting dodgy though, with ridges and scrambly bits, and we got to a REALLY dodgy bit, the decision was made to turn back. We walked back down a tiny bit to get back into the trees and some shade. We stopped and made some lunch sitting on the track: Cup-a-Soup with bread and apples. We took some photos and then started to head back down. We were passed by several people on the way up (including a couple with a baby) who we assume all bailed out at the same place that we did. They all overtook us on the way down, even the baby couple! We then returned to the campsite via the Nature Walk: it was super lovely with loads of birds and flowers. I was quite hot from carrying the pack up and down the mountain, so I decided to take a dip in Lake Hawea. Papa didn’t come in, Rosie did but reluctantly, and I sprinted in. And it was FREEEEEZING!!!!!! It was about 7°C (I checked online) but felt colder. Truly, if the temperature was any lower, people would be ice skating rather that jet-skiing! But I did go under several times. Rosie only went waist-deep and wimped out. We sat in the shallows and warmed up, and then sat on the beach and watched the activity. I read in the shade for a few hours, and then went and had supper: noodles followed by hot chocolate. I went to bed with aching calves and a happy heart.

Saturday 31st – Day 7 Of Camping

We got up and packed, and then drove out of Kidds Bush. We drove for a while along backroads, and then got to Twizel. We couldn’t find a New World, so we went to 4 Square (a smaller store), and it was packed! The waiting time for the line was about 10 minutes, and the store was overflowing with people. We got out as soon as possible, and drove off after checking out the town and filling up water bottles. We stopped a couple of times at picnic spots, but there were just too many sandflies, so we moved on. We drove for a few minutes, and it wasn’t long before we turned onto Highway 80, the road to Mt. Cook…

Stay tuned for the third and final installment in this series of posts, in which the Eastwood family continues their journey around the South Island, meeting awesome people and seeing some amazing things…

Lemon curd!!!

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Oh yeah

I had an urge to make something this weekend after the success of Saturday night’s mie goreng (which Rosie and I made all by ourselves, with tasty results). So I decided on lemon curd! I cycled over to Hypermart to buy ingredients… with a twist. I bought some strange butter thingy which wasn’t really butter, and one of my packs of lemons got cancelled because it was missing a barcode! But that was fine, all fine. I cycled home and started on the cooking. Looooads of juicing, and frustration over zesting, but I got there in the end. I had everything perfectly measured out (my butter came to an exact 12 tablespoons) and mixed together as the recipe dictated. However, I didn’t read the instructions properly, so, having heated up the saucepan, I poured the egg and sugar mix in and promptly scrambled the eggs. Undaunted, I scraped the egg mix of the bottom, cooled down the saucepan, and started again. This time, I mixed all the ingredients in the (cold) saucepan before putting it on the heat. The butter melted nicely, and it smelled great, so happy days there, but it wasn’t thickening, so not so happy days. I whisked and whisked and whisked until I thought my arm would fall off (I still have a blister from holding the whisk), and then after 15 minutes of strenuous beating, the curd thickened! Yay!!!! It smelled great, and I strained it into some jam jars. It made just over two jars, and tastes great! I am super happy, and will add it to my repertoire now. As with the baking of the cinnamon buns, it was a super fun experience, with a few hiccups, but a great end product. Yum yum!

P.S. You may have noticed that the floral shirt I am wearing also features in the cinnamon bun post. Perhaps it has become my Official Baking Shirt…