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CJ Weekly 9 - the week that got worse

If you felt like the last edition of the CJ Weekly was rather glum, maybe stop reading this one now and call it a day. Week nine was going to be amazing - sunrises and sunsets just waiting to be experienced, endless beaches to explore and beautiful waterfalls to swim in. We couldn't wait. So after what felt like an eternity of norovirus, we jumped in Vinnie and set off - pumped to finally begin exploring the North Island.

But unfortunately there were no sunrises or sunsets to watch, endless beaches to explore or waterfalls to swim in. Apart from the one that our camera took a dip in. Instead, week nine included us breaking our Nikon D850 and main lens, Vinnie breaking down and then the finale - crashing our drone into a cliff. But hey that's life right!? If you didn't have all the bad times then you would never have the good!!

So that's why we are telling ourselves the following: (in an attempt to end our pity party)

1. We are lucky we have insurance.

2. We are lucky nobody got hurt in the camera fatality.

3. We are lucky to be travelling in Vinnie - even if he loves to throw us a few mechanical issues every so often.

4. We are lucky we can afford such cool camera equipment like our drone (RIP Doug).

5. We are lucky that these are our problems.

OUR FAVOURITE PHOTOS (or should we say photo). This waterfall is where the camera fatality occurred.


  • TOTAL $7,902 (combined - weeks one to nine).

  • $2,086 for week nine only (most of the 'other' category is our excess for the camera and new drone haha).


With no camera equipment this one was a bit tricky...stay tuned for next week!? (promise we'll have some interesting content again soon!!).


  1. Having contents insurance!!! So grateful for James' adult head and his making sure we are always insured. AA were absolutely terrific in dealing with our camera situation! When it first happened, we drove all the way to Auckland and took the camera and lens to a repair shop for a quote, hoping the repairs wouldn't be too bad. Unfortunately they came out at more than $6k and a 3-4 week wait. Trying a different angle, we thought if we could find the same camera and lens for less than $6k - maybe AA would just let us buy them outright. But after calling every Nikon supplier known to man, none of them could get us the lens and camera for even close to that price. We were resigned to the fact we probably wouldn't have a camera for a few weeks and had just gone to the supermarket (to buy some rashuns and eskimo lollies to cheer up) when AA called back with news more exciting than the possibility of a Friends Reunion. (Still so bummed about that by the way). By some incredible twist of luck, AA offered us a brand new replacement camera and lens, even though it was more expensive than just going with the repairs. Seriously cannot recommend these guys any more. AA you're the best!

  2. James' adult head (again) and foresight in packing a spare clutch cable in Vinnie. Google Maps had redirected us down a gravel road one evening (side note don't you hate when Google Maps tries to be too smart for it's own good) so we were driving in the middle of nowhere when our clutch cable just snapped. Literally - just made this weird sort of pop noise and was all 'see you later guys - I'm out!'. Thankfully my mechanic hubs had it sorted in no time.

  3. Jelly tip chocolate milk. Yum.

  4. Sharing in the two minutes of silence at a local library and all the librarians wearing hijabs. Isn't it incredible how 120 seconds can be so powerful.

  5. The chats the two of us have on the road. While the week seemed to include an awful lot of waiting around and driving in circles, I did acknowledge how much I love the conversations we have in Vinnie. I couldn't tell you the half of what we talk about (mostly my bowel movements haha) - but it's those real conversations you know? We're not in a rush to get anywhere, it's just us cruising along at about 50kph and really listening and talking to each other. It's great.

FIVE THINGS WE DIDN'T LOVE (like last week we also couldn't cut these down to just five)

  1. A young kid slipping over at a waterfall and grabbing James in an attempt to balance himself. Unfortunately in doing so, he caused James to drop the camera into the water below. Confession, we did have a sneaky wee giggle at a message we got on instagram asking if we threw the boy in the water after haha. Disclaimer - we did not.

  2. Talking to a City Council Worker and hearing his frustrations with toilet paper being left everywhere. He said one day he came in to check on the public toilets and someone had pooed on top of the lid. It was just sitting there. Poo on the lid. Seriously eh. No words.

  3. Finding out the pills the hospital had prescribed me caused severe... err bowel congestion (I really despise the word constipation so I'm going to go with congestion). It's just such a yuuuuuucky word.

  4. A lady coming over and telling me I was "already too skinny" when I was working out. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we stopped commenting on what people's body's looked like and instead focused on what they can do? Ps jokes on her, as I was working out to try and get some bowel movement going that day and I DID. (Sorry for all the poo chat by the way).

  5. A giant gust of wind taking Doug the Drone straight into a cliff. Sorry I broke/destroyed/lost your birthday present James. RIP Dougie.

  6. Feeling like we lost our mojo. Nooooo.


  1. James always ordering fish and chips as "fish and chips for two please" and every single fish and chip shop replying with "Ahhh.. so how many scoops do you want". Bahahah. Bloody Aussies.

  2. James calling the insurance company and trying really hard to prove that we legitimately crashed the drone and weren't just trying to scam them. I don't think I have ever heard such a charming, charmistic Jimmy haha. But in all honesty, apparently they look for trends and if people only seem to make claims when newer technologies come out.

  3. Buying a new drone and having to use three different cards to afford it. Bring on the extra soup. And the CJ budget 2.0. Also, in respect of Doug's resting place, our new drone is called Cliff.


  1. When people say "let me know if I'm being too intrusive or in the way" does anyone ever actually say "yes - you are - please go".

  2. Are Aucklanders the most courteous drivers in New Zealand? Unlike Wellington, we received only smiles and waves here. Jafas for the win?

  3. Why doesn't Sydney include exit numbers on their highways?

  4. Where is the most expensive piece of real estate McDonalds have ever purchased?

  5. Would drone recovery be a feasible business venture?


And that's a wrap for week nine. We don't have long left for exploring the North Island so keep your fingers and toes crossed that week ten will include us getting our mojo back! Or at the very least, no more broken camera gear haha.

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