I told you, it’s in the air.
Taupo is the town of active extroverts, and when I arrived I had this suspicion that it might be in the air, cause I could see the signs on me, and I’m not an active person, nor an extrovert. But here I have been caught in the wave, really.
This weekend we went rafting with my colleagues. I was slightly worried about it. It was a Grade 4 one (the highest is Grade 5, when you are falling off waterfalls and stuff like that), which is already pretty high, and here this is available only twice a year. They said for Grade 4 you can’t bring anything with yourself, not even waterproof cameras, and you have to be able to swim (for 1-3 you don’t have to). I didn’t plan to bring my camera, and I can swim, but this notice made me worried.
Well, it wasn’t half as scary, and was quite enjoyable. We had two guards per boats for safety, I have been sitting next to both (I am the greenie next to the blue and the red really smiling and obviously enjoying the entire situation), and they were pretty cautious, nothing scary happened. We had 4 boats, and about 4 kayaking guards additionally to the two per boats. So they really made the entire trip as safe as possible. No one ended up in the water in none of the boats. It was amazing. I got super soaked, it was cold too, the water was 9C, but I didn’t feel it, they dressed us up well. The company I went with was the Rafting New Zealand, in Turangi (raftingnewzealand.com), anyone looking for a safe company, they are them. : )
Fun fact, I made their new rackcard design too, haha. : D Almost, kind of, they have a combo card with another company in Taupo, and their common card, the new version of that was made by me. : )
Taupo (no, this is not the same river):
And these are from the time I hiked up the mountain here to get a nice view on the area:
(Taupo, me, and the wind):
When I woke up on day of my birthday, back in the beginning of February, the first I reached for my phone to read my e-mails (as usually), and that day a special one was waiting for me there. I got a job! That was my first present that day, so I was extremely happy whole day, and week, I started doing my working visa, running around for papers, health checks, and moved here to Taupo.
I got my visa in the beginning of March, on a Thursday, at 2.30pm (I know this because after the happy phone call I dropped everything and run to deal with my tax number before the post office closes). After half a year of hanging in the air, and almost, aaaalmost getting on a plane in December, I finally got my working visa, and could begin to work. And begin to calm the f down.
I started immediately. The next day, on Friday, 9am, as Intermediate Designer (Visual Architect, as they like to call it) at a Creative Agency. It’s a small cozy one, in a small cozy town, nothing harsh, no big pressure, lukewarm. Just exactly what I was looking for.
My March was about that. Working, and being really quite happy about it.
I don’t have a car, and it’s a small town they have a bus, but it goes about 3 times a day.. So I walk. To shop and to work. The distances are quite big, and the town has hills, we are in New Zealand after all, hills everywhere. I walk 12 km-s a day, 2 hours, not a bad exercise. It’s getting cold in the morning though, I’m freezing through the 1st km, then it gets okay. By now I’m convinced that I am the only one in this town who is walking, endless lines of cars are passing by, and I’m the only one walking, except 3-4 school kids whose parents didn’t took them to school. In couple of months I’m pretty sure I’m going to be “The Girl Who Walks”, it’s really that rare. Anyway, I could feel it in my muscles in the first days, now I barely notice it, and it actually feels nice after sitting whole day. I started listening to audio books while walking – I feel I’m using my time super efficiently.
The first one was the Big Magic, I wanted to read it for quite a while, so I bought it on Audible. I really suggest you to read it too, I loved it, really – quite – much.
I might actually buy a car later (the grocery shopping part of the story is rather inconvenient) (especially today) (the shop is 3 km-s away, 3 there, 3 back), but now I’m okay with walking, I took the photo below yesterday morning on my way. I think we can agree, when you walk through places like this it’s not that bad. : )
Earlier in February I moved to Taupo. I was traveling back and forth between here and Auckland, it took me two rounds to get all my stuff here (how did everything fit into one luggage 6 months ago?). I took the bus, it is a 5 hrs long journey to one direction. Though they are only like 200km-s apart. That’s because NZ doesn’t have highways between towns, so you pretty much have to climb through everything to get from A to B.
It was worth every minute of bus seat, it’s a beautiful little town, I’m happy to be here.
Taupo is like The Town of Active Extroverts. It’s quite a sportsy place, with the average age around 25-35 years old, plus the tourists. I’m not a sportsy person, nor an extrovert, but it is probably in the air, because even I went hiking on the mountains already while being here. Taupo has the biggest lake of the North Island, so if you check the map, you see a lake in the middle of the North Island, that’s where I am now. I have a lake view studio apartment too, so I’m super satisfied! I was really lucky with finding this place for rent.
It’s colder than Auckland, that is expected. It was already cold in this last month of Summer, I was wearing sweater most of the time, but today Autumn has started here, so I don’t have misconceptions about how cold it will be in the winter, it won’t catch me off guard!
By the way – if I didn’t mention it enough: New Zealand is a cold country. I have been whining about it when I arrived in Spring, and everyone said that “yes, yes, but the summer will be really hot, just wait, you will see”. No, summer was just as cold. I left off my sweater and double blanket, but it was really far from being shorts-bikini-mojito. I don’t know how the palms and tropic forests manage to survive here, it’s cold here! I like it though, I got some warm clothes and hot packs (which ones I actually received for Christmas and Birthday from friends and family – I was probably complaining too much about how super cold I feel 😀 ), now I can enjoy the chilly weather, perfect.
I hope I will stay here in Taupo for long, and won’t be moving again anytime soon. : )
Rather impressive clouds I saw at the lake in Queenstown. I was staring at the scene for a long time before I realized I have a camera and I can take a photo of it. Took these photos and a video (which I have used in my last process film, in the beginning), then went back to staring. I couldn’t figure out how the light should fall onto the clouds to create shadows and tones like this. As if the middle of the cloud is glowing, and the edges and the curves are dark, make a pattern from this, and now figure out where is the light. They moved fast too. It was so interesting, and so beautiful.
I have visited Rotorua too, earlier. When I googled Rotorua there were some photos of this pink steamy lake, then I was trying to find out where it is exactly. I have found all kind of directions to it, it took us 2 hours to find it, which was not further than 15 mins away from the town. So I’m saving you the time, if you are looking for this colorful place look for the place: Wai-o-Tapu.
These are like thermal – chemical – mud pools, I’m not much of a geologist, smells with strong sulfur. I was however mesmerized by the colors! Beautiful, so beautiful.