Dear diary last week…



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!




01-05-2017 *1.0* 

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.



01-05-2017 *2.0* 

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


Dear diary week 11 & 12…


Yup, that’s the main theme of our stay in Blenheim. Because the adults are going back to work, it is noticeably quieter in the cafe and cellar door. Therefore we have been busy throwing 10.000 litres of wine away. This is because of the recent earthquake, which damaged some bottles, but because of health and safety regulations we have to throw all the bottles of the batch away. Heartbreaking, but it gives us an opportunity to work in the sun :).


Wednesday is our day off and we decided to enjoy it by hiking near White’s Bay with a friend. We got sidetracked a bit (or shall we say a lot), which caused some roll and slide adventures, but that just made it more interesting. We had some beautiful views (as usual) and even did a small airy track. Also, we met some interesting locals (Kiwis), with whom we talked for a bit. Afterwards we cooled down by taking a dive at White’s Bay. 


After our day off, we had to go back to work. However it’s not as bad as it sounds, since we have amazing colleagues and have a lot of fun during the breaks. Today the fun existed of riddles. During the first break Dan wrote down some riddles on the board which we had to solve. Everybody got really into it, so Paul wrote down some more. Some of our favourites:

The day at (hint: common expression)

DthymesageAbasilsaltY (hint: it is a Kiwi expression and a New Zealand band) 

DrSylvesterMarten (hint: fairytale character)

No it know (it’s impossible, give up)

Answers to be found at the bottom 🙂


Another day of working in the winery. Luckily we had the evening to look forward to! We arranged to meet some of our colleagues in the bar neighbouring their hostel. We decided to walk because we were told it was about 10 minutes, these 10 minutes turned out to be 30. Luckily we had some great selfielight on the way with the setting sun. The evening was a lot of fun; meeting a lot of people, trying our first Homer, doing some games and dancing.


After working in the cafe all day, we were stuffed with all the treats we got. Saturated we went to the Western themed birthday/goodbye party of our friends. Coincidentally we got two bottles of wine at work today, so we had a proper gift to bring. We met even more new people, went to the club and crashed on the couch at their place to get as much sleep as possible, since we had to work the next day of course.


Another day full of treats at the cafe. We got apple cinnamon muffins (the chef used the wrong flour, what a shame…).


An exciting day of cleaning. We did make awesome hamburgers though.



After 8 hours of stickering we were glad to return to the hostel. Only for a short while though, because after we packed our stuff we drove to the free campsite in Nelson to meet some old friends. We arranged to go kayaking in the Abel Tasman National Park with them the next day.
We went out for a fancy dinner at the Noodle Canteen (it was surprisingly good, we loved our honey fried chicken nr.32!). In the evening we met a lot of great people and had a lot of fun with Jakob and Johannes (from Taranaki). 


The next morning we had to be in Marahau at 08.30 AM. However, after an 1 hour drive they told us the freedom kayaking was cancelled because of wind gusts of 25 knots (80 km/h)! So we decided to hike a part of the Abel Tasman Great Walk. It gave us a marvellous first impression of the park with all of its colours, smells, sounds and views! ❤ we had an amazing lunch at Apple Tree Bay, took a dive and played frisbee. However we got dispelled by the wind gusts, smashing sand against us. Later that afternoon we went to Split Apple Rock and then went to the DOC campsite in Canaan Downs. It was a gorgeous place (the starry night was genuinely flabbergasting) and also freezing.


Today was the actual kayak day. We started with an extensive introduction and some safety regulations. At 10.00 AM we were finally good to go! We kayaked along the coastline exploring some caves on the way and crossed the sea to Adele Island where the seal colony was waiting for us (along with its pups <3). Afterwards we had lunch at a beautiful golden beach while looking at the azure water. On our way back we even had an encounter with some stingrays. It jump-scared us quite a bit, since they look exactly like shadows/rocks. We felt privileged bobbing on the water, admiring the view and eating our muffins with friends. After our freedom kayaking experience was over we took a shower, chilled a little bit longer with J&J and then had to begin on our 3 hour drive back.



We recovered from those two overwhelming eventful days by working and relaxing with series afterwards.
Here is a beautiful picture of the vineyards of Hunter’s wines!


We got a surprise day off! So we decided to sleep in, take it slow and go to a recommended swimming spot. The first hour we had a private resort. We used this time to make selfies with the camera, but as you can see from the pictures; making a picture with a 10 sec limit can be hard :’). We spent our day sunbathing (tan is getting real now :P), reading, writing, swimming and generally just relaxing. We were planning on writing this blogpost, but it got delayed. The moment we got back we played frisbee with some friends of the hostel and then we got invited to the party mansion of the Swedish guys. However, work started early the next day, so we left the booming party quite early.



We both had a good and busy day of working. This morning we got the contact details of the landlord of the party mansion, since we’re looking to move in there. We are really looking forward to living in an apartment with Erik, Anton and Basti! We also can’t wait to have a clean kitchen with working oven and stove, our own bedroom and a clean bathroom! :’)


Woooork. However we moved up the ladder and did label-scraping and working on the bottle-line today. In the breaks we cuddled with Ricky (cutest dog you’ve ever seen). He is VERY enthusiastic (check out the movement in the picture), but he also really likes to be pet. Furthermore we ate the plums one of our colleagues brought (also couldn’t resist to take a dozen home). In the evening we visited the landlord on the tennis court, where we made the deal to move in around Sunday the 5th!


Love Miriam & Mirte
*Answers of the riddles:

At the end of the day

Four seasons in one day

Puss in boots

No two ways about it

Dear diary week 7…



We immediately took care of all the pictures this morning, went for a swim in the afternoon and made dinner.


Our challenge of today was to find a waitressing job in Nelson. That was a pretty difficult task… There were some restaurants who welcomed us happily, but everyone had the same message; we don’t have any vacancy now, but maybe in a week. Meanwhile we enjoyed ourselves in the lively city and with the beautiful weather.


We felt like hiking for a while again. So when we get the recommendation to go and do a short walk at the Grampians, we packed our stuff and went. The weather wasn’t cooperating but it was a nice hike and we enjoyed ourselves. When we got back, there were already some Christmas treats and some Dutch treats awaiting us!


Today we decided we both wanted to go our own way.

Mirte: I wanted to do another hike and because the weather was beautiful, I decided to do the Cable Bay trail. Hilde dropped me off at the start in Glenduan and surely I made my way up to the top and it’s amazing view! The hike was mesmerising and I was all by myself (well, with the sheep and cows). I was faster than expected and in an attempt to not get eaten by the sandflies I decided to hitchhike back. My first real hitchhike experience, it was a lot of fun and an adventurous day! 🙂

Miriam: I had some catching up to do with friends and family, so I spent the whole morning FaceTiming and chatting away. Afterwards I did get to soak up some sun on the sunny terrace while I read my book. So a nice relaxation day for me!


Since Saturday morning is equal to a Farmers market, we visited the one in Nelson. It was huge, Mirte tried Māori Fried Bread (tastes just like Oliebollen!) and we had our first encounter with Santa! Back home we begin with the preparations for our Christmas Dinner. That was a smart move because we could definitely not do it in 30 minutes like Jamie Oliver does. We made the crème brûlée dessert the day before. After dinner we played a long game of The Settlers of Catan and Mirte’s parents send us two gifts 🙂 A perfect way to end Christmas Eve!


We prepared ourselves for our Christmas hike at Dunn Mt. The moment we arrived, we were immediately welcomed with a jolly ‘Merry Christmas!’. The hike was really funny because the map was really vague and the tracks didn’t cohere. Because of that, we ended up being surrounded by bees, doing an impossible steep track and walking a track the wrong way around. We had to laugh a lot. Back home we got an amazing Christmas Dinner and played a game of ‘Fuck the neighbour’.


We both spent our morning Skyping with our families again. Of course very nice but it also evoked some emotions. After that, we continued our job hunt and went to the DOC to buy hut tickets, because we wanted to go tramping the following two days! We spent the rest of the day on the beach.

Love Miriam & Mirte