It has been a wish of Mirte’s since the beginning to see dolphins, so when we arrived in Picton she decided to sign up for dolphin swimming! Although she wasn’t able to swim with them (all the big ones were out in the ocean), she was very lucky to sea several pods of Hector Dolphins! The rare, small and protected species of the dolphins. They are supposed to be very shy, however they were tumbling in and above the water, came really close to the boat and curiously tried to make eye contact with the passengers. A truly amazing experience. We enjoyed the amazing weather in Picton by reading alongside the Marlborough Sounds and friends.
When we visited Hunter’s, we missed our colleague Helen. And of course we couldn’t leave New Zealand without seeing her, so she invited us to her home. Seeing her and her husband Clarry (worked at Hunter’s as an artist) was even nicer than we expected it to be and it was great catching up and hearing her enthusiastic exclamations while scrolling through the pictures. Afterwards we went back to Nelson, our final destination. The weather was still beautiful and we played some volleyball with Julian and Max from hostel Paradiso. For dinner we went to Masa’s. An Asian restaurant, where we could eat our long awaited sushi! It was super delicious and a lot of fun struggling with those stupid sticks (well… Mirte was struggling, Miriam had skills). We ended our last evening together with friends, chatting in the hostel.
Yesterday we met the Dutch Lisa and of course we had to get a coffee together. While eating our cheesecake and chocolate quinoa cake, we completely lost track of time. All of a sudden it was 3 o’clock already. After quickly going to the city centre, we said goodbye and went to Aad and Hilde.
Our last day… We had been working towards this moment for a while now and although it felt super weird, we were a little bit prepared. Firstly we visited our last Kiwi farmer’s market (ever?), then we put a banana cake in the oven and sorted out our stuff. We cleaned the car for 1.5h, because after 6 months and one quick wash she was quite disgusting. Of course we did a photoshoot with Koni (short for Konichiwa; the greeting we get every time we start the car). We packed our bags and after dinner and our Dutch-Kiwi desert (apple pie and hokey pokey ice-cream), we were completely ready for our last evening. As a surprise we took Aad and Hilde to the movies. They chose the feel-good movie ‘A street cat named Bob’, based on a true story. It was a great last night.
A delay of 1 hour made sure we could stroll on the beach with the dogs one more time. Then it was time for our goodbye. Waving at Aad and Hilde, we stepped in the small aircraft of Air New Zealand which would bring us to Auckland. After a short flight of 1.5h, we arrived, stored our bags, got some information about the flight details and took the bus and train to the city centre. Over there we wandered through Queen Street and watched some free runners, while sitting in the sun. The moment we were heading back to the airport, it started raining. We joked about New Zealand weeping because we were leaving. The rain and the early dusk caused a gloomy atmosphere. Back everything went quite smoothly and soon we were folded up in our seats. Ready to go!
The flight was bearable due to the wide range of movies and our exhaustion making it able for us to sleep in the plane. At 5:30 AM, we set foot on Pudong Airport. This time we were determined to not get trapped in the gate again. After being sent to numerous desks, we got our temporary visa and we were able to stay out of the gate. We spent our time here having fun watching the weird Chinese products in shops and writing this. The flight with KLM was long but comfortable.
When the pilot announced we were almost in Amsterdam, we felt a bit odd and peculiar. The thought of almost being home after 6 months was hard to grasp. We used our time at the baggage claim area to prepare ourself for the big reunion with our family and friends. We rushed through the gates after the alarm went off and at the sight of us, our sisters sprinted towards us. Then we got the chance to see the beautiful self made banners and of course hug our family and friends tight! We grabbed a drink together and had a really quick catch up before we separated and had dinner with both of our families later that evening. Then our ways separated after 6 months of amazingness! KA PAI GURL ❤
Love Miriam & Mirte