Utrecht.

So much for trying to write twice a week…… work and play seem to have got in the way.

We made it to Utrecht as Peter was able to drop us off directly at our hostel. thank you Peter for the ride and we will see you again in the future.

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But first…. A quick hostel review of “The Student hostel B&B Utrecht City Center.”

cost  $127 Euro for 3 nights plus linen.

Breakfast : free, pancakes , sausages , eggs , bread and chocolate croissants plus cereal

Dorms : 14 to a room , very hot , no ventilation , small window , no elevator in building.

Staff : good staff friendly and helpful but only one on at a time

Environment: great common room, tv and free wifi, no bar though, 5 minutes walk to the city

Cleanliness: poor, showers where filthy, toilets  very average. All round was pretty dirty aside from the linen which was clean and fresh. No bed bugs.

Overall: average, you get what you pay for. If you don’t mind a bit of grottieness its a good place to chill and walk to town from.

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So The city… Utrecht is a small city in Holland 20 minutes bus from Amsterdam. Lots of little pubs and bars=, a great market 3 days a week in the shadow of the local cathedral. food and flowers, clothes and knickknacks.

 

 

On day two Courtney’s brother Merlin, (the reason for the visit to Utrecht) met us in town for the day, his fiance and her family joined them. They showed us around the city for the day, showing us the sites and places to be in the cbd. Also they took us to IKEA, having never been we did not know what to expect but its just basically a flash Wharehouse that show rooms most of its products. DSCF3418.JPG

AftDSCF3423.JPGAfter having a great day with Merlin and his family we headed home for a rest before heading out to dinner for an impromptu, and late anniversary date night. Ended up eating at an Spanish restaurant because the sign said unlimited spare ribs for 19 euro. So we had a karaf of wine and ordered our meals, ribs for me and a three course meal special for Courtney. 5 minutes later the waiter come out and said “unfortunately sir there where no more ribs.” 😦 was super bummed, so i started to order a new meal when a runner from the restaurant that had been sent to their sister restaurant across town arrived with news that more ribs where on their way. So i was getting my ribs after all 🙂 YAY for Spare ribs. The ribs arrived and they had given me EVERY THING THEY HAD!!. 9 whole slices of spare ribs…. it was amazing!! after ribs and wine and a single desert that ended up being more than enough for the two of us, shows what happens when your nice to wait staff. so in total an nice dinner out for 72 Euro.

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Amsterdam central station

After three nights in Utrecht we headed off to Amsterdam by train.  Arriving at Central Station, we collected our I Amsterdam cards and headed off to our hotel. Trams and busses are your best friend in Europe and Amsterdam included. Hotel was very small and basic but clean and quiet.

Spent the next few days exploring Amsterdam and the red-light district. No marijuana was consumed… just the smell tends to give Courtney a headache, any takers for a boys trip…. the I Amsterdam card got us into lots of the tourist attractions free of charge, although the card itself is quite expensive, once you have done a few sites it pays for itself.

 

Moved hotels on the last night to be closer to the airport. This hotel was much flasher and was the same price. 15 minutes to the airport by taxi. Onto the plane and off to England!!

Arriving on English soil.. through customs, i had one job lol and that was to make sure we had an address for the customs officer…. so i was in the bad books for a few hours lol, got through eventually. Found our bags and a much needed coffee and snack. Then caught a bus then train to a tiny town called Manea (mainee) for our next helpx.  Picked up from the station by Adam, the son of our hosts. Roger and Marilyn a elderly couple living at Rosemary house, a small holding in the country side just out of Manea.

 

 

Marilyn has advanced Multiple sclerosis and is paralysed from the neck down. Her full time caretaker Sam lives in and is on call 24/7.  The house and the live-in was purpose built for Marilyn by Rodger as her condition deteriorated. Three stories with a access lift in the centre. Mobility chair access everywhere.  We stayed here for just over two weeks . Cleaning up around the place and seeing a little of the country side. Ran the local Park Run with Rodger on a Saturday. I completed 5km in 24:30 minutes, not bad for a unfit farmer 🙂

Unfortunately Marilyn ended up in hospital with pneumonia and has been in and out for the last couple of weeks. We are thinking of you and hoping your improving Marilyn, we wish you a speedy recovery.

So since we arrived in the UK we had been looking for work, using the farming pages on fb mainly. A job came up on the Isle Of Wight, a large island in the south of the England, in the English channel. After a phone interview we decided it was necessary to travel down and have a look around the place. So off we went down through London, on the way spent a few hours exploring with Sam and the two other helpers, Anna and Anna….

A twist of chance that only happens when you travel is I ended up meeting my aunt from New Zealand in Southampton UK. Had coffee and guinness with her and husband. arriving on the the Isle we had a look around with our prospective boss Andrew and his wife Claudia. The island is 380km2 with a resident population of 140,000, this swells to almost 2500,000 during the summer.

So we got the job, for both of us temporarily until November when a permanent couple are coming in. We are here to fill the gap and try and organise his flock a little, lots of room to improve and lots of repairs and maintenance to do.

Started work on the Isle, working for Andrew Hodgson, an arable, sheep and beef farmer. Courtney is looking after the sheep and I am sorting repairs and building things.   finally up to date. Sorry about rushing through the info. I have been slack about writing so please forgive me. I will try my best to write twice a week from now on.

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view from the top of Limerston downs 

 

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great mum that one.

 

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my first deck

 

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all finished.

 

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a local doing a bike of down hill on the farm mountain bike track

 

 

 

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