Miffa is da # 1

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Miffa is going to Switzerland for business

Miffo and Dan with the foundee Miffa made for us today

Many of you surely don’t know that Miffa’s family is one of the richest of Hong Kong. Unfortunately she ended in an Orphanage, and she was there for some time until we decided to become their parents.

Before you make up your mind about that, think that Miffa’s grandpa put some real money in a Swiss account – about one million USD, right Miffa??-

And today she told me that she must go there – to Zurich- to invite some friends for dinner and to retrieve some funds.

Damn, Miffa I told you not to invest in those funds, now you are going to cash some of your family heritage.

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Nickie our new friend from the antipodes.

We were in Christchurch and Miffo wanted to take a picture of a sheep. After all in NZ there are more than 40 millions (far from the 80 millions there were a years ago). Incredible but that is the same that saying every New Zealander has 10.

Miffo was talking with Nickie – a nice little sheep that has the wish to travel the world – and she convinced her to come to Barcelona.

Here you can see her with Ninjin that is a bunny world authority in carrot breeding and plants.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Mr. Maldonado has left us

By: Father Bunny - The anger old bastard

Tako Tako - our weather specialist - will miss him

Mr. Maldonado, has been our best known weather man since 1986, he got his degree in Physics sciences and got a position in the Spanish agency in charge weather forecasting (I have no idea about their official name in English)

We didn’t know more details… but today it was the last in the audience. Public Tv’s are not doing well lately and they have decided to end the career of Mr. Maldonado at 64 years (you can retire in Spain at 65 with your full pay that nowadays is just enough to pay for the rent of a tiny apartment in Barcelona or Madrid)

The guy did not want to get retired, so he’s forced to. A young lady will be his successor. Most of the weather men we watched everyday in Spanish TV are ranging from freaks to show girls.

I don’t care about weather, but my grandparents and my father did. But Miffa and me decided that we definitely must show tribute to this men. His latest show almost ended up with me and Miffa crying.

Life is hard and surely it’s going to become harder but we’re very soft.

El Sr. Maldonado, quizás nuestro mejor hombre del tiempo desde 1986 nos ha dejado – ah, no os he dicho que mi forma de traducir es muy “coneja”- Licenciado en Físicas trabajo para el Instituto de Meteorología, tras aprobar las oposiciones. Desde 1986 fue el encargado de las noticias del tiempo en TVE.

No conocemos más detalles pero hoy ha sido el último día “on the air” Las televisiones públicas no están en su mejor momento y han decidido – TVE ha decidido- que el Sr. Maldonado con 64 años debía jubilarse (la edad de jubilación es 65) Eso sí la renta que te queda da para pagarte un agujero en una de las grandes ciudades de este gran país que es España (ironía)

El señor Maldonado no estaba por la labor de jubilarse, pero le obligan. Una nena (podría ser un nene, con lo cual no nos deis la vara con el tema del machismo) será su sucesor. La pena es que los hombres del tiempo que vemos van de freakis de libro a putones de verbena. (con todo el respeto a su formación – realizadores de telahinco y cagadatres, pensad más en la credibilidad que en el frenesí)

Me importa una mierda el tiempo, y siempre ha sido así, como a mi hija, pasamos de los telediarios y de las previsiones – salvo cuando navegamos- pero queríamos rendir nuestro tributo a este tipo – que en su despedida, nos ha dado ganas de llorar-

La vida es una mierda y seguramente se va a poner peor.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

How to travel wisely and for less money: a complete bunny guide

May be it wasn’t a wise decision, with a very expensive 30 days only, two entries limited to three days visa and a lot of security checks and lame questions in the airport – they asked Father Bunny what was his name –

Close to Shanghai it’s Suzhou – just 30 minutes in a fast train that makes the AVE (Spanish high speed train) look quite ridiculous (we have been waiting for more than 15 years for it). They call it the Chinese Venice and the Chinese Kyoto. Well I think that many writers must re consider seriously their jobs.

After a “great” journey in Suzhou Father Bunny took us to a big mall where – like many times- we were forced to buy more luggage because we have not enough space for all our stuff.

He was really pissed off and not in the mood to bargain and to cope with all the people who were following us offering all kind of goods – from DVD to computers and luxury watches- . We wanted just a decent nylon bag, but we ended with this super hot Gucci bag that you can see in the pictures.

Christchurch to Melbourne: 4 hours flight + check in + formalities
Melbourne to Pudong Shanghai: 12 hours flight + formalities + waiting
One day and a half in Shanghai + hotel room + taxis + food + some boughts
Pudong Shanghai to Amsterdam + formalities+ check in + arguments + bad mood
Amsterdam to Barcelona + formalities + changing terminal + more formalities + delays
Barcelona to home + waiting for luggage + taxi + food in the supermarket 10 minute before they closed it.

Ahhh!!! Traveling is beautiful.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Flying back home

In a few moments I will be queing for checking in my flight that will take me from Shanghai to Amsterdam. I am flying back home. And for the first time I had the feeling that i want to return home.

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

While at Nelson (NZ)

Father Bunny has gone to the Countdown supermarket to buy some food for today’s dinner – I did not remember of any of my travel with FB cooking everyday, but this is New Zealand and surely you will do the same-

Yes 9j! You will get shocked about the flavour combination this people like. At least in Auckland and big cities there are quite decent Japanese restaurants. Ah! Nijntje, How we are missing the good stuff we had everyday in Hokkaido and in Tokyo.

So while waiting for him I left you with some scenes from the past days.

A friend of Father Bunny established here secretly a few year ago and now he is an Egg's Tycoon.

Have you seen this carrot? awesome, and it tasted even better, sweet and soft.

Boys need to step in every single water and mud spot they found, so my father does all the time

Lupita at Karangahake gorge discovered a landscape that is very familiar to her

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Stuck, by bad weather.

A snow rabbit, what more we could do...

Yes, no matter how bad the people from Avis treated us, after so many years trusting them. I will explain that to you in a near future, but now, we are really stuck. Bad weather – some people said the worst in several years- with heavy snow has stopped us, all the passes are closed and we needed a good shelter.

We have found one. But tomorrow’s journey can be epic.

One Bunny ring to rules all!

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Mount Tongariro

In our way from Rotorua to Lake Taipo we conquered Mount Tongariro (well almost conquered it).

Hope you enjoy the pictures.

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Rotoura day 2

We decided to have breakfast in our room, provided that we have a full kitchen for us.
A nice, but limited, full continental breakfast with ingredients Father Bunny bought the day before in Park’n’save.

First stop, Waitopa, according to our travel guides and the advice from local the best places to get an idea of this zone geothermal power – Rotorua is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire-

You pay an entrance fee of about 25 NZ$ (13 EUR) and you access to a three loops circuit with an extra 20 metres high geyser eruption at 10:15 am.

I will say you just enjoy the pictures and decide by yourself.

The Geyser that -with some help- wakes up at 10:15 everyday

Champagne pool - nice colours

Hot mud pool - great for your skin -

Next stop – Buried city- I know that I should write about this place’s story, but again will let you to decide – link-. After some 25 NZ$ each we entered in something that I have no words to describe and I am still hearing father bunny yelling nasty words.

A year ago we were in Hokkaido – Japan- and we visited an earthquake destroyed city – no entry fee- where you could really feel and fear the danger and anger of Mother Earth.

No more words.

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Rotorua, day one.

We just arrived here, to one of the oldest and most touristic places of New Zealand. We booked a room in Princess Gate – the oldest hotel in town- where they were so nice as to upgrade up twice from a regular room to a bungalow with kitchen and living room.

Unfortunately the carpet and the hot atmosphere in the interior caused some problems to my old father – he suffers from asthma – and our first night it was a little nightmare with him complaining about the room and his poor running – he went for a run with this cold weather-

We managed to half watch the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics – it was on air here at 00:30 – quite nice but too much for us that get up at 5:00 everyday, suffering from the worst jet lag we have experienced ever.

We ended our Olympic day after watching the Spanish team – awful uniforms- entering the stadium. The NZ one sport Channel was looking for Mr Nadal and so did the Chinese TV, and finally they found him.

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Rotoura – where earth shows her power.

Miffa and Miffo at Ohinemutu

This region is the home to the Arawa people, whose origin trace to the Arawa canoe in which the Polynesian warriors came here in the fourteenth century.

According to Maori oral tradition, the priest (Tohunga) Ngatoroirangi tried to climb the summit of Mount Tongariro but he feared dying from the extreme cold and so he prayed to the god of Hawaiki (Polynesian home land). The gods sent fire to the priest from inside the Earth that revealed as several volcanoes around the area.

Rotoura’s origin has firmly roots in tourism, in the last decades of the nineteenth century. One of the main attractions of that time it was the
pink and the white terraces where people from all over the world travelled to take baths. After the destruction of the terraces by the eruption of Tarawera Volcano the government built the Government Sanatorium Complex to administer different spa treatments.

By far Rotoura has the bigger amount of tourist attraction per square meter of New Zealand. No matter what you like or dislike, surely you will find it here. Kiwi farms, sheep farms, 4wd driving, quads, the Zorb (you go downhill inside a big plastic ball), Maori experience, and of course spas.

Nothing to say except that prepare about 20 NZ$ average for every “attraction” whose quality range from fair to tourist trap rip off.

So if you are coming here, you have been warned.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

We are leaving the North Island

Today we will take a Ferry and we will left our XR6 here, we are moving south where more ice and cold is waiting us.

I have a lot of nice pictures and things to share with you but unfortunately little time and no Internet access most of the times. (We drove yesterday more than 7 hours)

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Russel, Bay of Islands.

We headed North to an area called Bay of Islands where we booked an old cottage style hotel called The Duke of Marlborough. There we had the only dinner that really paid for it, let’s say that NZ’s cuisine is far from our first thoughts and very similar to UK. They use to ruin everything adding all kind of sauces and spices – like in Britain- but despite them here you can find really good meat, fish and vegetables.

The lamb shank we had was superb! But after that day we have been cooking our dinners almost every day

Parking and saving money for dinner

Miffo is just in from the Hotel, in Russels' Bay

Look the slippers Mother Bunny bought me. Pure merino wool.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

An Australian Interceptor Car

Yeah, I am in New Zealand but most of the cars here come from Asia or Australia. In my previous travel I discovered that Australian cars have more in common with American ones than to European models. Our Holden Commodore looked like an Opel Omega but the powerplant and the transmission were the type you can expect in USA.

Holden – A GM owned company – developed the new Commodore from scratch with a new platform, new engines and new interiors. That was the car FB was expecting, and that the car he booked with AVIS.

This is not a Commodore, it's a Falcon XR6 that flied over NZ's windy roads

The guys from AVIS try harder but unfortunately this is not enough. We got a Ford Falcon Mark II SR6 because they can only guarantee the car class and not the model.

So we got a 2007 bright red Falcon with rear and front spoilers, side skirts, sport tuned suspension and just 4.0 litre, 195 kw, 6 speed sequential transmission. Almost 5 meters of car fitted with 235/45 ZR 17 tyres.

Just the family car we were expected.

The childs, Miffo was unsure about her seating options,
but finally she decided to buckled up on the left side

Yumm, this car is fast and superbly tuned up for the NZ roads.
Even in non sealed roads.

The interior is crappy, we must admit that, the materials are the cheapest one
and the finish is something you won't find in the cheapest Dacia car.
Note the Tom Tom is our own unit bought in Spain.

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Monday, August 04, 2008

Miffa landed in Auckland

Alter a 12-hour flight, Miffa landed at Auckland´s airport, a quite tiny airport with an old fashioned look. Miffa was quite disappointed about the airport as well as the AVIS´ service, which did not have prepared the requested car. The guy at Avis has a pin, which says “We try harder “. Miffa thinks that they should try much harder, if they want to get her back as a loyal customer. Definitely, it was very disappointed.

After a short stay at the hotel, just to take a shower and drink a carrot juice, Miffa went downtown. First of all, she strolled around Queen Street , the main street, till the harbour. At the harbour she had a look at nice sailing boats. Auckland is the country with the highest per capita number of boats. Quite interesting!!

After looking at the last Cup America´s boat, she had a second carrot juice at the harbour and she headed to Auckland´s Soho. Super boutiques, nice clothes, cosy modern bars …. a quite cool area.

Father Bunny did not agree with her and he was the whole time saying that the city looks old-fashioned, as a small province town in Spain, and completely dull.

At 17.00 Miffa decided to take Father Bunny back to the hotel for a short deserved snap. We fell slept till next day.

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Sunday, August 03, 2008

From Shanghai to Auckland: what you pay for your previous good star.

You know that we – the members of The Supreme Council – think that in every aspect that is inside the universe exists a delicate balance, and to maintain it the sum will end in zero.

When we arrived to Pudong International Airport the sun was “shinning” but just an hour before our flight departure a sudden thunderstorm has poured litres and litres of water. We got onto the plane but, the airport closed and we have spent 2 hours prior to take off.

Well, our first experience with Air New Zealand has not been the best one. We were just behind the curtain that separates the stupid Pacific Economy from Plain Vanilla Economy and the stewardess pretended Father Bunny to put me inside the luggage compartment saying that it was an emergency exit.

Of course he has said that there were no exit sign on the left or right side and a baby in a cot was travelling in our right. He has sat me and Miffo in her knees and one lady has asked him if we were their teddy bears. He has said “yes of course” and from this very first moment to now (6 hours flying) the situation is as tense as in the beginning with him bullshiting upon the airline and those around him.

No so much space and besides the stewardess is chasing us like criminals

In one thing he is completely right; the food is the crappiest one we have ever had on a plane.

Not everything is negative and the new – they said this in their magazine- OES (on board entertainment system) is quite impressive with a lot of movies, TV programs, music, etc.

From Globe Trekker, with our beloved Megan McCormick [videos] – the girls who eats fried scorpions or is sexually harassed by Turkish men while smiling- to a guy called Louis Theroux, that looks like a Champagne name but is, indeed, a great BBC reporter. [the video we watched]. In the middle more travel and adventure but now I just wanted to be the columnist myself.

I must admit that I create more expectation than Megan when in a Hutong when filming our Travel & Adventure episodes, but still the BBC is not paying us what they worth.

Finally Auckland, a middle size airport that shines on rainy days

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Saturday, August 02, 2008

Shanghai: a nice stop to visit the Oriental Pearl

We did not take pictures, so the picture here is one we took in 2006

In Shanghai we were in an excellent hotel, the best I’ve been in Mainland China – only 70 euros with the most extensive breakfast buffet I’ve ever seen include in the price– in all our travels.

May be all the tourists are in Beijing and the overcapacity of Shanghai is now ten times more than usual. I don’t know but Shanghai is becoming a city monster that makes it a real nasty place to live in – I did not like it in my first visit but now it’s getting worse.

From our hotel (city center) to Pudong International airport it took more than an hour in a Taxi (you can take a Taxi, go to the Magnetic Train’s station that moves at 430 km/h and arrive to the airport in less time but you have to unload your stuff and go through different security checks that ruin your patience).

We are so self confident in our travellers’ fifth sense that we arrived to Terminal 1 and our plane was departing from 2.

Tighter security measures than ever but still more reasonable treatment that in Paris or Barcelona where everyone is carrying a bomb in their shoes.

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First leg of our trip: Barcelona – Amsterdam –Shanghai.

Leaving home on August the first looked a bad idea if you consider how many people travel, how many flights are cancelled and how many delayed. But, dear friends if one wants to pay less for air tickets you must be prepared to assume some risks.

We arrived to the airport an hour and a half before departure time, checked our stuff without problems and we got different seats at the very last moment.

Overbooking? I don’t know nobody explained to us. We flight in Business class (I knew that travelling with laptop is a good idea) from BCN to Amsterdam and we were assigned row 1 of our plane that was a Jumbo 747. It was my first time in a 747 but not my father’s that began swearing about the bad luck we have had (They’re rather old planes and besides ours was a mixed cargo and people plane).

And guess what, I have no idea but they put us in Business class again from Amsterdam to Shanghai. The food was probably the worst I’ve ever had in a plane and may be the smallest portions ever… but a seat that can recline 180 degrees bedlike I would say it’s just a great recipe for a great smile and a nice arrival to you middle destination.

Ah, my hotel is also wonderful, cheap and it has a gym for the old man. Superb start

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Friday, August 01, 2008

A clue about our destiny, happy summer holidays for everyone.

Miffo and Lupita getting some C Vitamine

In a few hours we will flying from Barcelona to the Netherlands, from there to China where we will stay for a few days – you can’t imagine how difficult is travelling to China during this weeks- and then our final destination.

A wise or unwise way to travel, if you consider time or if you consider money, but still a way to travel long distances.

FB and me have the aim to conquer Mt. Cook, but may be the weather won’t be the right one or may be I will decide to change our plans. Anyways another territory explored by your orange cap preferred bunny.

PS: I am carrying my computer with me for the very first time, in this worldwide crisis scenario I would like to know –at least- if they are counting with me when returning home or if they will just fire me.

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