This blog maybe a little rusty as I'm writing it 7 weeks after the actual event, never the less I'll do my best.
Memories of the South Island….. Well firstly it was freezing (So cold in fact one night Nics iphone and the campervan taps froze over).
Secondly there are more sheep than people.
Thirdly and probably most importantly, it was beautiful. Stunning. The Lord of The Rings without that dickhead, Elijah Bloom. (Nic wrote this part I happen to love Legolas)
Quite unnervingly within minutes of us landing there was an Earthquake and aftershocks continued throughout our entire trip, poor old Christchurch.
We thought Sydney had prepared us for cooler climates but we didn't know what had hit us when we stepped off that plane. As soon as we'd collected our camper we headed for the nearest mall to buy jumpers, gloves and all things thermal.
Although it was cold we were very lucky with the weather. It never rained. Everyday brought sunshine. The crisp, clean mountian air made you feel fresh and alive and the bright blue sky reflected perfectly in cyrstal clear lakes.
We didn't really have much of a plan, hence our first night being spent in a KFC carpark.
19 days and two islands.
Opting for a slightly more luxurious camper was a good shout. 'Apollo Creed' as we called him, was top of the range. Sporting all the mod-cons including a fridge freezer, TV with DVD, toilet, shower and microwave… Some may say we were 'glamping'! The only thing was none of this worked without staying in a powered campsite (which is very expensive) so it couldn't often be utilised… rubbish.
The days were mainly spent driving from one spellbinding lake to another, winding up and down mountains and through snowy valleys. We went for long walks, relaxed in outdoor hot pools and enjoyed all the breath taking sights the south island had to offer. We even found time for a spot of ice skating and a hot chocolate on the side of Mount Tekapo.
I decided to really immerse myself in New Zeland culture and watch the Lord of the Rings Trilogy….. Nic decided not to….
We tucked into the infamous FERG burger in Queenstown which was bigger than my head. Nic ended up eating his body weight in meat.
We hiked the Franz Joseph glaciers, which was incedible. Exploring ice caves and pretending to be Bear Grylls entertained us as we waited for the slowest tour group to ever catch up. Put a group of Asians with cameras on an ice glacier, and you're asking for trouble…
Our budget didn't stretch to bungee jumps and skydives, but we made the most of the cheap slash free things the Island had to offer.
Something I know we won't forget is how beautiful the sky is at night. Its so clear you can see millions of stars. Its easy to get lost in the mesmerising magic of it all.
After 10 days we reached Picton and embarked on a journey across seas on the overnight ferry. The ticket price was almost the same as what we paid for our around the world ticket, and the on-board facilities were quite average. Included were 5 screaming children who kept the whole boat awake all night, while the parents made the most of the outdoor smoking areas.
Next stop Wellington.
Peace and anti-freeze
Sam and Frodo