I knew at some stage after our OE we would have to bite the bullet and do something mature with our lives like buy a house. If I knew how difficult it was going to be I would have grabbed a tent, headed for the hills and washed my hands of the whole idea of home ownership. Firstly you need to learn a new language - I thought a lim was something that got amputated if you got frostbite. Then you need to fill out multiple applications to access your own money, more applications for the bank's money and then figure out what money belongs to the house from EQC claims. It's all a bit much really. So we are currently annoying at least a dozen different agencies a day trying to get all the stars to align (I'm half expecting the insurance company will need a blood sacrifice before they give us an answer) in order to put a roof over our heads and be real grown ups.
There has been some light relief in between open homes and Trade Me, including the Spring Challenge in Hokitika the last weekend of September. My team was competing in the 9 hour (don't let the name fool you) event for the first time and I was ready to test my navigation skills on something a little more difficult than the previous year. The race included over 120km of mountain biking, running, white water rafting and canoeing. We made it 102km (15.5hrs) before unfortunately having to exit the race after canoeing the length of lake Kaniere. Not one of my prouder moments but I'll just have to go back and finish it next year.
The aforementioned open homes have kept us out of the hills just recently but we do have several trips in the pipeline for Spring - I'm holding out for getting to the top of Faerie Queene as our next climb. We did manage to sneak away to Akaroa for my birthday and soak up some much needed sun in the French inspired seaside village. The drive over from Christchurch is beautiful so long as you aren't prone to car sickness. We stopped in Little River at the end of the cycle trail for brunch and debated the merits of living out there for not the last time. We could have a little eco friendly tiny house with great coffee still only minutes away. One day maybe.
We had stunning weather in Akaroa and made short work of walking the length of the town and picking up some Banksy prints from the Lava Gallery (yes I appreciate the fact that we have nowhere to put them). Being too early to check into our accommodation we sat in the Harbar and drank cider as a little Maui's Dolphin entertained us in the bay. If you are into Marine life then you can take a cruise to either look at or get up close and personal with the dolphins. We had intended to go sea kayaking the next day but I came down with the flu and had to head back to town early. It sounds a little tragic but we actually had a great weekend just not doing anything house related and eating too much. I would highly recommend the Akaroa Cottages just out of town if you want somewhere quiet to get away from all the tourists. They may have won me over with the complimentary fudge on arrival but at least I'm honest about it.
Rachael and Jeremy