Sunday 6th May 2007
I know yet again I've been a bit slow with the journal upkeep. I keep meaning to do it so it doesn't get to long, but put it off and then it takes ages - it's a vicious circle!!!!
Well me and Hayley are now a twosome after Laura left last Sunday, I was so sad when she went, have to admit I even shed a tear!!
After my last entry we stayed for one more night in Queenstown before getting the bus through to Dunedin the next day. We drank and chatted in our?hostel room until about 11.30 and then went out. However, we didn't realise that because the next day was a bank holiday all the pubs closed at 12!! So we literally got out bought a drink and all the lights were switched on - not the great Queenstown send off we were looking for. But on the bright side while we were stood outside moaning with all the other Brits we bumped into these Welsh guys we'd met in Nelson so went back to the hostel and chilled out with them.
The next morning (Wednesday 25th) we got the bus to Dunedin. Dunedin actually means "Little Edinburgh" which is a really untrue description. In fact it was really small and really quiet and quite an ugly town, and we were assured by some Scottish guys, no where near as nice as the real thing. While we were there we did however manage a quick afternoon trip to the Cadbury's Chocolate Factory, it was quite a brief tour because it was a bank holiday in New Zealand so the factory wasn't open but we did get free chocolate which went down a treat!! The next day we were on the bus nice and early again this time to go to Lake Tekapo, it was really pretty but again was very quiet, so we just chilled out and recovered from our crazy week in Queenstown.
On Friday morning we got the bus to Christchurch - which I wasn't very happy about because it was the place where Laura was going to leave us!! - We were staying in the Base hostel and we managed to get our room upgraded which was brilliant, so we had an en-suite instead of having to use the communal showers. Christchurch is quite a small city but the atmosphere there is really good, it's quite chilled out. Our first night there we met up with the girls from our hostel in Queenstown, Katie and Charlie, and also Darryl and Mike from Wellington. They brought a few of their new friends with them as well so we had a good crowd and it was a good night.
On Saturday it was Laura's last day in New Zealand, it was strange I felt really sad and homesick. It felt like because she was leaving to go home I should be to, and it kind of hit me just how long it will be until I see you all. That evening about 12 of us went for a meal at a nice Italian restaurant to see Laura off, and a couple of others who were leaving the next day too. We went on to a few bars afterwards and then me and Lor went home. That night we had 3 english guys staying in our room, and they'd been in a big bus crash the week before (I don't know of it was reported at home one of the drivers for the other big bus company for backpackers Kiwi Experience crashed the bus really badly and a few people were injured) they had these T-shirts printed up with a picture of the crashed bus on the front and then on the back it said "I survived the Kiwi (Near Death) Experience" and people say the British don't have a sense of humour!!
Sunday morning we got up early and helped Laura to the bus that was going to take her to the airport - I was really upset that she was leaving - she's been my little travelling buddy for 10 weeks. To cheer ourselves up me and Hayley spent the afternoon sight seeing we went to the Cathedral and she actually managed to get me into an art gallery and I really enjoyed it!! It was all contemporary art and was really cool. That night we went to the cinema to watch 'Notes on a Scandal' it's such a good film, Judi Dench is amazing in it, really creepy. The cinemas in New Zealand are really cool they're not commercialised and are still small, in alot of ways New Zealand's how you'd imagine England was about 30 years ago. The next day was very quiet as I felt a bit rubbish - I think all the partying in Queenstown had definitely caught up with me.
On Tuesday we got the bus to our next stop Kaikoura, where me and a guy we met Dan had signed up to go dolphin swimming - I was so excited. I got all kitted out in my attractive wetsuit and we got out in the boat but unfortunately the dolphins weren't being playful so we couldn't do it. They're wild dolphins so they have to see if they look interested by the boat because then they'll let us swim but unfor tunately they didn't. It was still really cool though we saw a few pods of dolphins and loads of New Zealand Fur Seals as well. The same afternoon two guys on our bus had been fishing and caught absolutely loads, they came back to the hostel with ocean perch, crayfish and bluecod some of which I happily nabbed off them it was so nice. The next day we got the bus to Picton at the top of the south island and then got the ferry over to Wellington on the north island. When we got to Wellington we got the shuttle bus to the bus station and were supposed to catch a bus from there to the hostel but unfortunately the bus driver was being really awkward and wouldn't let us on. So me, Hayley, Sam, George and some other English guys we'd met on the boat had to walk for about 40 minutes through Wellingotn with our rucksacks. As you can probably imagine I moaned non-stop all the way!! That evening we went out with Sam & George and some mates of theirs. It was student night in Wellington but it was really quiet so we went to this student bar that was the only busy place there. We were having an Ok night but feeling very old when we met these two really cool kiwi firefighters, Stu and Chris. So we went on to another place with them but that was really quiet as well so we called it a night. The next morning I took Hayley, Sam and George to the Te Papa museum, I was a bit of a veteran because I'd already been there with Laura! They really enjoyed it although by th fourth floor we were feeling a bit fed up of it. I went to the gym with fireman Chris in the afternoon because he could get me in for free and had a really nice time. After a quiet night in Wellington on thursday H and I wet for a trek up Mount Victoria the next day, it's so pretty and the weather was lovely. You can see right out over Wellington and the surrounding area, I got some stunning photos. That evening Katie and Charlie (from Queenstown) arrived and so we went out into Wellington with them. We went to a bar called the Establishment because their friend worked there. Fireman Chris came out with us and his flatmate, but his flatmate decided to go home early. Chris was really sweet he came out with us four girls and took us to decent bars, he was so nice and it was nice to have a local to show us around - it also helped that he was a good looking fireman!! Yesterday after a quiet day exploring Wellington we went to watch our first New Zealand rugby match - it was brilliant, alot more subdued than football, but unfortunately our team the Wellington Hurricanes lost. You wouldn't believe it I went to watch a game of sport and understood it (after some coaching from Chris) and even drank a beer, the world's gone crazy!!
Today we arrived in Napier it's an art-deco town but there's not much to do here so tomorrow we go to Taupo, I'm planning to do that walk again, the 17km one I did before but I'll try not to hurt my knee this time!!!
Anyway love to you all and big far away hugs and kisses.
Joe - I sent a parcel a few days ago and it's got a postcard in don't worry!! Any ideas on what you want for your birthday? I'll send it back with Rachel so it'll be a bit late. Miss you lots big hugs for you and Nat.
Holly - Can't believe you're booking this month it's crazy, can't wait to see you. I'm writing down all the places we've been and hostels we've stayed in so you and Mark will have a bit of a guide when you get out here.
Lisa - Ummmm it is now four days and no email you are officially rubbish!! Tell Brian to stop giving you work emailing me is far more important!!
Karen - Glad she gave you the address, I'm having the best time. Would love to say I'm missing work but um ...... Hope you're well xx