Bali | Tanah Lot & Butterfly garden

The day began with going to the Minimart to get something to drink. The Minimart also had an ATM machine, this came in handy. After one and two transactions, we wanted to do a third (we could only pin a minimal amount at the time). My card went in, I pressed ‘confirm’, my card came out… And powercut. The whole neighbourhood experienced a powercut. My online banking said the transaction had gone through; meaning we had lost the money. Arif was working hard to get the back-up generator started, while three people were begging us for money (please, please…). Arif and I ended up going to the bank in all the chaos, they told us they could not help me and that I had to call my NZ bank. We had to wait 45 minutes for nothing. Calling NZ would be more expensive than the money we’ve lost, so we decided to ‘let it be’. A bit frustrated, we went to the Butterfly park. There all our worries dissapeared when the money was put back in my account and we were surrounded by the most beautiful butterflies. We had the pleasure of letting different animals climb all over us; this included a rhinoceros beetle and a stick insect of 30 cm big!!!! After that we were decorated with the most stunning butterflies.

After this marvelous experience, we went on to Tanah Lot. Tanah Lot is beautiful, but packed (and I mean properly packed) with tourists. I know we are part of that group; but it spoiled the view tremendously. In the mean time, the sun was burning our skin and we decided to go back to the apartment. There we packed our suitcases and I just about managed to get mine below 30 kg. Living out of a suitcase is hard and I am fully adapted to the ‘Marie Kondo’ method; the life-changing magic of tidying. Everything that ‘does not make me happy’ goes in the discard-pile. Thusfar I’ve been categorizing everything from ‘decorating’, ‘basics’, ‘special’ to the ‘replaceable’, ‘cheap’, ‘unimportant’. I am looking forward to being home again, to be able to tidy up because I want to; instead of have to every f- day.

Today we flew to Yogyakarta with Garuda. If you are ever in Indonesia and need to fly somewhere, I highly recommend them. In the 1,5 hour it took to fly from Denpasar to Yogya, we got two drinks and a lunch box. That is as much as we got for our 12 hour flight from Christchurch to Denpasar (thanks Virgin Australia). We had the most comfy seats and an in-flight movie system that worked. I did not watch movies, instead I spent my time reading the book Wild Pork and Watercress, where ‘The Hunt for the Wilderpeople’; the best New Zealand movie is based on. It is an amazing book that one. Four pages to go and I will be on to reading ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’.

Rhinoceros beetle
Stick insect; HUGE.
My mom decorated with butterflies


Tanah Lot
Tanah Lot
Tanah Lot

Day 180 | An end to an era

Wow. I have spent six months minus one day in the stunning New Zealand and now it is time for me to go to a new destination. Leaving for Indonesia tomorrow and starting with a week of sitting in the pool and doing nothing, nothing at all. It has been a hectic month, cramming in as many life-changing experiences as possible. It was a good month and lovely spending that time with my mom.

These six months have changed the way I look at everything; nature, travelling, love and life. I have learnt a tonne and done a sh-tload. My [former :(] car has taken me over 11.000 km and is now in the good hands of a young father and I have walked over 800 kilometers (this sounds really impressive but is actually only 4.5 km a day…) These six months have taught me that I am capable of climbing physical and mental mountains. I am capable of só much more than I thought I was. My project at GNS Science was -amazing- and was the best thing ever. I have also learnt that New Zealand is not paradise; although its nature is. Many of my loved ones were semi-scared of me falling in love with New Zealand and never coming back (or emigrating); this has partly happened. The first few months were the bést thing; everyone was kind and the sun was shining. Then autumn & winter came and you feel stuck. However; I will go back to do the Great Walks (and more), but more importantly: to see my lovely family. The family I got to know here has been the absolute best. I love them to bits and I wish there was no ocean between us (or I’d pop in for a cup of tea EVERY week!).

The distance is quite simply much too far for me to row; it seems farther than ever before.    — Death Cab For Cutie (& it was awesome going there with you Anna!)

I had the most amazing thing happen to me too. The man who I fell in love with so deeply two months before I left actually got on a plane to see me. We had the best time and I hope the next travels will be our adventures. I love you. 

As most of you know; I love making lists. So here several lists of things I have done & learnt in the last six months.

Walks & Mountains conquered:

  • Mountains and Peaks
    • ▲ Mt Tauhara (↑ 550 m, 6 km)
    • ▲ Mt Maunganui (x2)  (↑ 232 m, ± 6 km)
    • ▲ Rainbow Mountain  (↑ 743 m, ± 5.5 km)
    • ▲ Te Mata Peak  (↑ 399 m, ± 5 km)
    • ▲ Mt John (↑ 1031 m, 8 km)
  • Walks
    • Karangahake Gorge (→ ± 8 km)
    • Taranaki Falls walk (→ 7 km)
    • Rainbow Mountain (→ ?)
    • ▲ Mt Cook (Sadly not climable) (12 km)
    • Kaikoura Peninsula (→ 8 km)
    • Waipoua Forest (→ 4 km)
  • Geothermal areas
    • Hell’s Gate (-)
    • Orakei Korako (→ ± 5 km)
    • Waimangu (→ ± 8 km)
    • Wai-O-Tapu (→ ± 3 km)
    • Whakarewarewa (-)

Animals spotted:

  • Birds
    • Bellbird Anthornis melanura
    • Black Billed Gull Chroicocephalus bulleri
    • Black Stilt Himantopus novaezelandiae
    • Blue Duck
    • Fantail
    • Fernbird
    • Kaka
    • Kokako
    • New Zealand Falcon
    • Paradise Duck
    • Pukeko Porphyrio porphyrio melanotus
    • Saddleback
    • Silvereye
    • Spotted Shag
    • Takahe
    • Tui
    • Oystercatcher
    • Weka
    • White Heron
    • Yellowhead
    • ♥ Little Blue Penguin Eudyptula minor
    • ♥ Yellow-Eyed Penguin Megadyptes antipodes
  • (Sea) Mammals
    • Blue Whale Balaenoptera musculus
    • Fur Seal Arctoephaalinae forsteri
    • Sea Lion Phocarctos hookeri
    • Sperm Whale Physeter macrocephalus

Now. I would like to write many more pages on my life in New Zealand, things I’ve learnt, people I have met etc. However, our flight for Bali leaves in a few hours and I still need to get some sleep and get my suitcase weight down to 23 kg. Much love to all.

Day 176 | Yellow-Eyed Penguins

Second blog for today! We drove back to Dunedin today and saw the yellow-eyed penguins. They are very rare and we were very lucky to see seven in total, whereof two up close. They are really cool. They are very to themselves and ‘highly independent’. We were allowed to take pictures and we also saw some Little Blue Penguins. Enjoy the pictures! X

Yellow Eyed Penguin in the ‘Penguin Hospital’
Little Blue Penguin
Fur Seal
Fur Seal
Little Blue Penguin
The view
Yellow Eyed Penguin


Day 171 | Oamaru &picture update

Today, after a very long drive, we arrived in Oamaru. We saw the lovely little blue penguins at the Oamaru colony. They were as cute as they were in June when I was here with Bas. My mom and I are staying at a motel with functioning internet (yay!). So here are the photo’s we took the last few days. Starting with Picton, Nelson and Abel Tasman Park, leading up to World of Wearable Art and ending with Kaikoura.




Abel Tasman National Park – Split Apple Rock
Abel Tasman National Park – A young male seal


Kaikoura from air
Blue Whale (rare)
Sperm Whale
The walk I did was around this peninsula (10 km)
Sleepy seal
Mini sea snails
More sleepy seals


And the view

Day 161 – 167 | All over the place

Day 161
We went to the Waitomo Caves. Mauro joined us, which was great! We had lunch with the four of us and then went onto the Glowworm Cave, followed by the Aranui Cave. It was very pretty, especially the Glowworm Cave with the pretty lights, created by nature.






Day 162
My mom and I went to Orakei Korako, a geothermal wonderland. We had a lovely time walking around. We picked up Bas at GNS and I said goodbye to Mauro and Lucek. They are great and I will miss them so much! My mom took Bas and I out for lovely dinner and we had a great time, my last night in Taupo (for a while at least). Then, in the evening, Bas & I watched the last Game of Thrones episode and I cried because I did not want to leave.







And here a picture of me with the lovely Lucek and Mauro

Day 163
With pain in my heart, Bas and I said goodbye. Now we won’t see each other for 40 days (and yes, we’re counting). After spending 24/7 together for over two months, it takes a lot of getting used to not see him. My mom and I drove to Phyl, Paul’s mother, in Whanganui. As she is a lovely woman, I really enjoyed being able to see her again. She cooked us a lovely meal and we had a great evening.





Day 164 – 165
We walked around Whanganui and then went on our way to Wellington. We stayed at a lovely hotel in the middle of town, sadly with awful internet. We enjoyed the shopping in Wellington. It was quite a relief to finally find some pretty clothes. Europeans love their shopping and their fashion, in contrast to New Zealand where no one really bothers. Okay, if you go to restaurants, you are expected to wear shoes. (This has to be mentioned, as its a daily occurence of seeing people barefeet). Wellington is different from the rest of New Zealand in that aspect, there are people seen in high heels or even fancy dresses. My mom finally met Paul, Bridgette, Anna and Pepsi. We spent the last few days slowly saying goodbye. They are the most lovely people and I am so greatful to have such a great family living here. Family made my stay in New Zealand more lovely and more difficult to leave.

Out for lunch with Anna

Day 166
After a great lunch with Paul, Bridgette and Anna; and a sad goodbye, we left for the ferry to Picton. We are now located in the North of the South Island and will begin our trip exploring here tomorrow. First we’ll be off to Nelson. Love from here to the lovely people reading my blog.


Day 158 – 160 | Taupo & Wai-o-Tapu

The last few days we’ve been staying at a hotel with crappy internet, thus the slight delay in blog-posting. I have been showing my mum around Taupo. Showing her GNS, Huka Falls and we even went to Napier. As I took loads of pictures last time in Napier, I did not bother this time, however, it was a really nice atmosphere this time around. The Art Deco winter festival was on and a lot of people were dressed to the occasion. We tried to do some shopping in Napier as well, but as I’ve learnt by now, New Zealand is not a country known for its fashion and we did not find anything that was our ‘thing’. It was a good day with lovely weather. Today Bas, my mom and I went to Wai-o-Tapu, a geothermal beauty. Some of these pools, including Champagne Pool, are elaboratly researched by GNS, because even though the temperatures rise high, life thrives.








Champagne Pool





Sulphur crystal
Devil’s Bath

Day 150 | Time flies

Five months flew by like it was a short week. Having an internship at GNS here in New Zealand has been the best thing that could have happened. Not only have I done proper research (which will get published), I’ve made friends for life. My lovely mum is now on her way to Auckland, and I’m staying with my lovely family. Bas has been here for the last two months, which made life fly by even faster. Now I’m off to explore with the two people I love and I will update you all on how the travels go!
PS. It’s been so busy, but I’ll update the pictures of the last few weeks soon! Continue reading