Hello all! It has been quite a while since my last post and for that I apologize. So what have I been up to then??? Well here we go…..
I stayed in Queenstown until the 5th Jan. By the time I had left I managed to walk up the gondola hill, not and easy walk I can tell you! I also managed to play a lot of card games, and we all went out a lot!
On the 5th Jan I left for Christchurch with Net. We got there rather late in the evening and just chilled out. I didn’t really fancy spending much time in Christchurch and luckily I was booked to depart on to Kiakoura the next day.
On the 6th I hopped back onto the Kiwi Experience bus and headed for Kiakoura. On the bus I bumped into Hannah and Louise, some folks I had met much earlier when I was last in Rotorua! It was really good to meet some people I knew, but I quickly made friends with others on the bus.
In Kiakoura, a nice little seaside town surrounded by mountains, I went whale watching. It was an interesting experience and it was good to see a sperm whale, although I don’t think it was really worth $110!
There was a good group of us there and we all went out together.
On the 7th we all traveled back to North Island and back to Wellington. There I went to a book swap shop and exchanged my horror novel for the ‘Fellowship of the Ring’, yes I am reading it again for the fourth time! I spent the night reading.
On the 8th I traveled to Taupo. My plan was to stay there for a couple of days and do the Tongariro crossing, but as usual the weather was rubbish and we all just chilled out. There was now a nice little group of us, namely:
Domonic aka Germany, Pieter aka Dutch, Tristan aka Swiss, Jordan aka Canada, Marie aka Irish, and Sabina aka London.
On the 10th we departed on the East As but and went to Te Kaha, where we stayed in a Maori home. There we were greeted with a traditional song and we spent the night drinking and finished it all off with a swim in the sea and then we relaxed in the hot tub that sits on the very edge of the sea.
On the 11th we journeyed to Tutara, and we stayed at a Maori farm. The weather was again poor and there was little for us to do so we again drank and played poker to pass the time.
On the 12th we traveled to Napier. On the way there we stopped off in Gisbourne for lunch. When we arrived in Napier, Pieter, Jordan and I cooked a great stir-fry which went down very well. We then met up with everyone else and went to good pub that had live bands playing. The final band was a punk band called ‘Tempo 38’. They were really good and I managed to get some free stuff off of them… great success!
On the 13th we arrived back in Taupo. The weather forecast for the following day was good so we prepared for the Tongariro crossing! The next morning we were up at 04:30am! The weather was terrible but the bus turned up anyway as the weather office said it would clear up. The Tongariro crossing is a long trek that goes through and over Tongariro national park and is supposed to take 8 – 9 hours. Well the weather didn’t get any better and it rained the whole time, coupled with 50kph winds and 30ft visibility!!! Well we did the crossing in five hours, not bad! We finished around midday, and funnily just after that the sun came out and the temperature soared!
The next couple of days we just relaxed and didn’t do much.
On the 16th we journeyed back to Rotorua. This time I actually had time to have a good look around the place. So I walked to Lake Rotorua, had a go at the golf range, and I visited the Rotorua Bowling Club.
On the 18th we arrived back in Auckland. It was quite late when we got there so we all just went out to the pub. The next day I got up early and headed to the Maori tattoo studio. There I booked in for a traditional tat for the evening. I spent the day going up the Sky Tower, and I walked to the Mount Eden Bowling Club. There I met the president of the club and heard some good stories of when my Dad played there many years ago! In the evening I had my tattoo done and it rocks! It went on until 22:30 and I missed my bus to the airport! Luckily Areota, the tattooist gave me a lift and I got to the airport around 23:30. I sat around in the airport until 05:00 when I was able to check in. And so, today being the 19th, I say goodbye to New Zealand and head for Australia… and some better weather!
The next time I post, I will be sunning myself in a better place.
Ta ta for now.
Jersey aka John.