Friday 17th May
I slept well, it was nice to be in a proper bed and not a bunk bed. My alarm went off at 6am and I struggled to wake up do snoozed to 6.30am. I got up dressed and headed out. I sat in the foyer for 25mins, eating my banana and hoping it would lighten up a little, and hoping someone else would be walking. There was a handful of parents there already, I think they were up to get the kids breakfast (there was some form of school trip as there was a lot of kids around). At 7am I decided it was time to go. It was raining and dark outside but I headed off. I walked for about 10mins and then I realised I couldn't find the path and wasn't 100% sure where I was going, and due to the weather I turned around and headed back to the hotel. Once back to my room, Mark had obviously gone for his run and I got changed and headed back to bed. I watched TV and dozed until about 8.30am and Mark came back. I showered and packed my bags. Once dressed and ready I went down for breakfast (my crumpet and a cuppa) and I made my lunch. Once I was fed I went back to my room, wrote for 10mins in my diary before I headed down to checkout. The bus was already opened so I got my deposit back and loaded my things in the bus. We all hung around outside the bus until it was time to leave. The bus was a little clicky as people had been on it and in their groups for a while, but every now and then someone would speak to me, but I was on the home stretch and would only have 3 more nights before I jumped off. We got onto the bus and drove about 10mins to Tazman Glacier and we jumped off and complete a mini walk but to see the glacier end, the lake and the icebergs in the lake. It was a steep walk but was only 25mins return, although I was in flip flops which made it a little more tricky. The views were stunning a ever, which the snow covered mountains. The icebergs were massive, they seemed small up the hill from our lookout but when you compared them to the boat on the lake they towered over the boats. The walk back was a lot easier than the walk up even if a little tricky in flip flops.
Back on the bus we continued to drive. I slept for the majority of the next hour as we made our way to Tekapo. We had a quick toilet stop and then we were driven around to the lake and a little church by the lake. We took some photos before heading back on the bus.
We drove on toward Fairly where we would stop for lunch. I started on my lunch although I wasn't overly hungry. On this leg Rob got us to get into groups and we played the Tuli Quiz (the questions were from the beer bottle caps). It was good fun and was a good way to pass the time. I was in a group with Mark, a German man and an American girl. We didn't do too well in the first round, but picked it up in round 2.
After round two we had arrived at our lunch stop. Rob had said they did the best pies here. I decided to go for a apple and blueberry pie, sausage roll and a cup of tea. I'm not sure why I got 2 things, my healthy eating would never happen. However both were very good. Once everyone was pied up we were back on the bus for round 3 and 4 of the quiz. Going into the last round we were first. Once we had handed in our sheets for the last time we had arrived in Geraldine, where we had a supermarket stop. Rob was doing a group dinner and the hostel supplied a self saucing pudding and breakfast, but I got a few bits to get me through to Wellington. Geraldine was also the home the the worlds largest Jersey in the world. It was pretty impressive as it hung on the wall.
Once we were all shopped and back on the bus we discovered we had won the quiz...the prize was to choose the DVD of the night. We then had a 45min drive to Rangitata and our hostel. It was in the middle of nowhere in a lodge. They normally do rafting here in the summer but that had closed in the winter. We were now on the Canterbury plains, an area if flat ground. I slept most of the way to the lodge. We arrived just after 4pm. We soon checked in and were allocated our rooms. The rooms had 3 level double deckers beds, they were a sight in themselves. I grabbed my bags, found my bed and made a cup of tea. There was a walk we could do to the river but it was a 2 hour trip and it was now nearing 5pm so it would be getting dark and I had started to rain.
I sat with my tea in the lodge and wrote my diary and managed to catch up on some days. Dinner was ready just after 6pm and it was so nice to eat some proper food that reminded me of home, it was bangers and mash with peas and gravy. I sat at the table to eat and there was a group of us sat chatting about maternity (one of the girls was a midwife) and hospitals. It was nice to be in a group chatting. Once I was fed and avoided the temptations of seconds I washed my plate and we continued to chat for a while. Some were playing 'ring of fire' so we went to sit in the sofas. I chatted to an English girl Olivia before I got my book to read. Then pudding was ready, it was a self saucing chocolate pudding. It was nice although it wasn't overly tasty, although my portion seemed rather large when I sat down. Not long after finishing pudding some girls put on a film. At first we watched an episode of 'The Flight of the Concorde' and then we ended up watching 'Austin Powers' (number 1). During the latter film people slowly left the sitting room with some outside playing drinking games. After the film around 10.30pm I headed for bed and got everything ready for the morning, so it would be quick and easy to pack. Once in bed I spoke to Hilda, William and Scottish for a while before the drink few came into the room (we were a little concerned that the very drink German was on the top bunk). I think I fell asleep just before midnight.