Monday, 16 July 2018

Lull Before the Storm - Cruising New Zealand

It's been a personal battle to decide whether I should be posting this - but in the end I thought it would be best to let everyone know why I haven't posted for a few months. The lull before the storm relates to my cruise to New Zealand aboard Holland America's Noordam and the discovery the week after, that I have cancer.

At the end of March I took a wonderful trip to New Zealand, my first to this part of the world and first cruise too and it was a definite holiday. No cooking, no cleaning, no bed making, no washing up! I could laze about on the deck, go sight seeing on land or sit in one of the bars drinking cocktails. In fact I did all of the above.

From Sydney to our first stop in Hobart, Tasmania and a day spent at MONA (Museum of Old and New Art). This amazing architectural building is perched on the Berridale Peninsula.  It is owned by Australian millionaire  David WalshWhat a fabulous experience and one which could have last a few days but sadly we only had that one day to explore. Here are a few photos to show what it looks like both inside and out.

Two days later and we arrived at Milford Sound - in the mist and rain and just as I had hoped for. Milford Sound is a fiord on the southern island of NZ. There are hundreds of waterfalls that cascade off the cliffs, forests and towering peaks and the best time to see it is at this time of year.

One of the perfect days spent in the south island was in Picton. A very cute town with a pretty harbour. The highlight was a small boat trip to find Hector Dolphins, Shags and to visit an uninhabited bird sanctuary in the middle of the ocean.

Onwards to Wellington, Christchurch and Rotarua and its geothermal lakes.

Auckland was our last stop due to a storm heading our way and we were unable to stop at the Bay of Islands. To avoid 8 meter waves we headed further north before turning left to get back to Sydney, our original starting point.

So cruising? Do you love it or hate it? If you want a holiday where you unpack once and have nothing to do but relax, then I would say yes. But if being at sea for a couple of days makes you a bit edgy then I'd say give it a wide berth.

The food on the cruise was plentiful and a good variety, even for a vegetarian. Sadly there were too many desserts and ice cream which did nothing for my waistline. Alcohol was expensive, except at Happy Hour when first drink was full price and second $2. Fav part of the day.

We joined in the Trivia Nights and were lucky have have a few wins under our belt.

Overall the service was excellent, the food plentiful and the scenery fantastic.

I had a tour of the kitchens, chatted to the skinny pastry chef and over indulged in their chocolate extravaganza on the last night at sea. 

On my return to Adelaide and a scheduled colonoscopy changed my life. I've been diagnosed with bowel cancer - something that was certainly not on my radar.

So far I've been through 25 radiotherapy sessions - oral chemotherapy - which put me in hospital for a week with raging diarrhea and I am now waiting to find out the next step, which isn't going to be pretty.

Blogging has been fun, but I'm tired from the radiotherapy and I have little interest in food right now, so I am taking a break to rest, get my body fitter and better prepared for the road ahead and mentally prepare myself for what is going to be the biggest test of my entire life. Wish me luck! 

Thanks for following. Adieu!