Nov 22, 2014

Row after row

Hey! How is it going? Everything is fine here, weather is sunny and very very windy! Last week's Monday we started working at new vineyard. We made wire-lifting for the whole day and it was quick because there was just two wires to lift. Rows were very long but by walking fast or running it didn't take long time to finish them. Every block is usually 100-200 rows, shortest rows are 10 meters and longest are 900 meters maybe..? We have usually 15 people group working and sometimes there are more people helping us.

Tuesday afternoon we finished nine blocks of really long rows (everyone can count how much we walked..) and started other wire-lifting where we had to release one wire and put two in their places. We did that for two days and on Thursday we started sweaping. That is really boring! We need to bring shoots of plants "arms" in front of wires and take other shoots behind the wires. I almost fell asleep while doing that! 

My gloves after few days of wire-lifting

On Sunday we had more people working. There were altogether five cars full of people, mostly Indonesians. We have been sweaping since Sunday. Indonesians are really funny! They speak mostly in Indonesian and they tell hilarious jokes while working. Of course I don't understand Indonesian but they are giggling like little girls so I guess someone is telling nice jokes! I also get lot of attention because I am one of only three girls. Everyone wants to help me and they are really curious about my family and if I'm married or not..

Few friends have said that they wouldn't expect me to work in the farm. I just wonder why? Have I become too city girl? I have lived 15 years middle of fields in countryside. 10 of those years I hanged out at horse stables and things and in nature! But maybe people change, if course I feel like I'm bit different now than six years ago.

On Friday we had day off so we took some beers on Thursday evening. Friday morning I had somehow small headache..but lot of new friends! And in my arm was reading good rule from work: "No crossing!". I had promised to go hiking with Czech guys and Japanese and German roommates in the morning and it was so hard to get up! But I did it! 

Half of our house gang! Miyuki, Imke, Chris, Toni, me, Jeong and Park. 
Flo, Lee, Daniel and Vojta are missing from the picture.

So on Sundy morning Daniel (guy from Czech) drove us few minutes out of town and we found what we were looking for: Wairau Lagoons walk. It was three hour walk and while walking we saw a wreck of an old coastal trader, the S.S. Waverley. I had to climb in and see it inside! Walk was nice and views were beautiful. 

I also visited beach one evening. Whites Bay is the nearest beach to Blenheim, maybe 20 minutes driving from town. Views were awesome! You have to drive up to the mountain and then back down to get to the beach so you can see whole Blenheim and sea view from mountain. Unfortunately I left my iPad to home so I had only my phone to take photos with.

I have been missing home and family few times. I guess some people thinks that it's a bad thing. I think it's healthy. I'm not missing that much that I would cry every night or I would go home earlier. But feeling of the missing doesn't disappear either with speaking in Skype or writing messages. It's still there and it's the mark that I love my family and home so much that I miss them while being here. 

Few things I miss a little or maybe more:

My apartment and own kitchen. It's been great to share kitchen and I've become more relaxed about sharing stuff. Of course I'm bit pissed off because someone stole my sausages (I still blame the cat, others don't believe that the cat would eat them from the fridge) but otherwise it's been ok. I miss my bed and sofa! Bunk beds aren't so comfortable but I sleep like a baby everywhere!

My family. Calling to my mum in the middle of the day and asking something important or less important. Joking and laughing about stupid things with my sister. My brother and his family. Of course I can't see how my cute nephew Juho is growing so fast and older nephew Niilo learning new words all the time. Funny stories which my little brother Lauri tells to me every time we meet. Playing board games with family and gathering to the kitchen and talking all night. 

Friends and workmates. Actually it was funny that the first dream of Finland I saw in New Zealand was about my workmates gathered together from every place I've been working. I miss our movie nights with friends and going out to the bar and of course the short way back to the home after bar! ;) I also miss speaking Finnish already and long talks with close friends..

Anyway, I wouldn't change one moment in this experience. It have been great time really and I've enjoyed every moment so much! Of course I miss other things also but these are the things which I have been missing the most. I want to wish Happy Birthday for my sister Annamari and my mother who have their birthdays this week! I wish I could be there celebrating with you. I miss you! And thank you for the package I got from you! I love it! 

"Don’t you cry for the lost

Smile for the living
Get what you need and give what you’re given
Life’s for the living so live it
Or you’re better off dead"
Passenger - Life's For The Living



Nov 10, 2014

Kia Ora!

I'm now in Blenheim! I left from Auckland on Tuesday evening. I traveled by bus to Wellington. May and Dario took me to SkyCity where the bus left. Bus ride was 11 hours with one half an hour break. Bus was really full and we had a real bad ass lady hosting us. People were of course sleeping so she was taking care that everyone left the bus in the right place. The way she did that was quite strict but I liked it. No one will mess with that lady! The bus was one hour late but luckily I had time in Wellington before ferry left. 

May and Dario waving me goodbyes.

The views I saw from bus window when I opened my eyes first in the morning.

I took a ferry from Wellington to Picton. It took about 3,5 hours. In terminal I met a young kiwi guy from Auckland who was going to Picton for sailing course. It was his first time to go by ferry also and he was really excited about the course! Unfortunately we didn't share our contact information so if you recognize yourself from the picture, comment or something! :D
Weather was REALLY windy as you can see from the pictures!

I arrived to Picton and took a bus to Blenheim. It took 25 minutes and I walked from railway station to my backpackers. I checked in to my room and met my roommates, all girls, Florine from France, Imke from Germany and Miyuki from Japan. We were supposed to start work earlier but due the bad weather we started on Thursday. Others arrived earlier and I arrived later because of my leg. Rest of Tuesday I spent walking in the city and searching for hat and other supplies I need at work and during my stay. In afternoon I walked back to hostel and met other guys who were going to start working with me.

I found a hat!

There are 15 people who p started work for the same company. 7 Germans, 3 Koreans, 2 guys from Czech Republic, 1 French, 1 Japanese and me as only Finnish! Everyone are nice people and we get along really well. In the evening we split up in two groups because half of group was needed in other vineyard and rest of us in other. 

In the morning we woke up at 6 and 7am we were waiting for the van to pick us up. Me and Miyuki went by the van and others went by own car. Our boss drove the van and picked up 5 guys from other hostel, 3 English and 2 French. We arrived to vineyards at 7.45 and our boss Adi told us some basic things about working.

Our work is basically just wire-lifting and shoot thinning. Wire-lifting is easy, you just lift the wires to their places so the plant stays between two or four wires and continue growing while wires are supporting it. Shoot thinning was bit harder for the first. We need to thin shoots from the plant so grapes have enough space in the future. We thin the double shoots and sometimes bit more if needed. Every block have different grapes and different point of growing so every day thinning is bit different. Our boss is from Indonesia and his explanations aren't so clear every time.

Flo, Miyuki and I

Few rows..

Miyuki, Florine, Edward, Dirk, Esko and Charly

My daily schedule:

6.00 Wake up! Breakfast, shower and packing lunch, water and sunscreen.

7.00 getting ready, jumping in my gum boots and going to neighbor houses yard where we get in the car. After that mostly waiting for our boss in the car.

8.00 starting to work, usually every day in different vineyard.

10.45 "Smoko". 20 minutes break of working. Eating a bit and drinking lots of water..


1.30 Lunch break. I usually have few sandwiches, apple, banana and muesli bar with me.

4.00 or 6.00 or when ever we are finished time to go home. Sometimes we stop in Pak'n Save for shopping, 

Rest of the day going to the supermarket, wandering around, hanging out at the hostel, packing next days lunch, making dinner, taking shower.. I'm usually so tired that I don't really want to do anything..

Weather have been warm but quite windy! I wear longer pants and jacket in the morning but 10 a'clock I have only shorts and shirt anymore. There was one place in Seddon where we worked which was so windy and cold that it felt like Finnish weather.

We have been working from 8am to 6pm every day except on Sunday when we finished at 1pm. Rest of the day I went to the city to take some pictures, eat ice cream and just to enjoy of sun and warm weather. 

Blenheim (Waiharakeke in Maori) is the sunniest city in New Zealand. It's most popular town in Marlborough area, located in the north east of the South Island. Population is about 30,200. It's really well known as a centre of New Zealand's wine industry. Yesterday I noticed that many famous wineyards are right next to me! I hope I can visit many of them or at least visit in Marlborough wine and food festival which is held on February. I will make post about wineyards and wines later, maybe also in Finnish so all my workmates from Alko can read it also! I know you're waiting excitedly there! :)

This is for all squirrels and beavers who are eating ice cream. And for you Patrick! :)

Look all the great names! Just nearby! So excited! :D

Otherwise everything is fine. I have tanned little bit which means I'm as white as everyone else before tanning. Blenheim have been really great place, weather is nice and views are awesome. I'm going to stay here until 22nd of December at least. I don't know yet what I'm going to do on Christmas, hopefully not going to spend it alone! 

Take care! And try to survive with snow in Finland!


"Nobody said it was easy,
It's such a shame for us to part.
Nobody said it was easy.
No one ever said it would be be this hard
Oh, take me back to the start."

Coldplay - The Scientist

Nov 4, 2014

New start?

Yay! Pain in my teeth is gone! But there is new pain instead.. 

Few things have happened during last weeks. I took care of the hostel for one weekend when manager was traveling. For the first everything went ok but in the first night pipes started to leak in second floor. The whole weekend somehow changed to nightmare. It was waiting and waiting and waiting time after time.. Following the leak during the next night and calling to plumber so many times. But I survived! 

Anyway that weekend made me to think about staying in Auckland. I decided to leave and started to look for jobs in other places. I applied few winery-jobs and got an answer from few places. I got accepted for seasonal work in Malborough area, South Island. I booked everything, a transfer car which I was going to drive down to South, buses and started to pack. I was really excited about leaving. I said goodbyes to everyone and I was ready to leave on Saturday morning but my body didn't agree with that.

I had a small wound or cut in my thigh which was ok first few days but on Saturday morning it was really painful. I was going to pick up my car and leaving as soon as possible, but the pain in my thigh was so awful I couldn't even sit properly. Driving down to South is a long trip, about 12 hours plus ferry so I had to cancel the car and go to see doctor instead. 

I was kind of worried to go to see the doctor because I knew it's going to be expensive. Of course I have an insurance which covers it but for the first I need to pay it myself. Beside of that I had no idea where to go and what to do. So without knowing what to do I limped to hospital and asked advice from there. In the hospital they said that seeing a doctor there costs 420 dollars but they can give me a cheaper option which is going to private doctor and costs about 140 dollars. That sounded better for my budget and I took a bus to Ponsonby to see the cheaper doctor. I had to wait about 30 minutes to see the doctor. He checked my thigh and gave a prescription for antibiotics. He also said I shouldn't travel for next five days. 

I went back to hostel. I had checked out in the morning so I didn't have any room left. Luckily my neighbor Sergio gave me his bed for the afternoon while he went to work so I took my medicine and went to bed. Luckily later I got my old room back and now I have a room again. These three days were mostly like a hell. My thigh was very painful and I couldn't really sit or walk. So I was stuck at the hostel. Also I have some kind of flu virus so I'm coughing all the time. This sucks. 

Luckily something nice have happened also. During my duty manager job I got heaps of new friends! Also here were three Estonians staying at the hostel for few nights so I spoke some Finnish with them. They were leaving to Australia because their visa was expiring so they left all the food and unused clothes for me. They were awesome people and we had so much fun with them! Their visit really cheered me up during all this shit. 

So what's the plan now? I didn't have any idea last night but tonight I decided that I really need to leave from Auckland. I booked a overnight bus to Wellington and ferry to Picton. After that I continue to Blenheim by bus. I'm quite excited but also scared to leave so far away without knowing anything! I leave on Tuesday evening and arrive on Wednesday around midday. We'll see how's my leg after all that sitting! 

Here are some pictures from last few weeks!

One day I was going to visit museum again but instead of that I found myself from Wintergarden and museum park.

Our friend Jeremy left from hostel! :( Have a great travel!

Halloween party in carpark! 

Thank you Auckland and everyone who I've met there! You made my month! :)