New bus today; new driver Seagull and as requested-new energy:)
90 million possums especially on the South Island-introduced by Europeans. Have destroyed trees-eat all the leaves. Out of control-government trying to control them.
Bullah (sp) gorge-largest river flows out to the west coast.
Franz Josef-11km long-1st 200 meters has separated from rest of the glacier in the past 8 months. Crevasses are 7 meters deep. Glacier constantly changing every day. Ice caves. Blue ice-can be explored tomorrow. I plan to take a helicopter tour of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman as well as Fox and Franz Josef glaciers instead:)
Find that the drivers push/sell certain excursions so I have been trying to select opposite ones....too many people otherwise.
Also find that at this point, group dynamics rule. Maybe they always did?If one person chooses something, then almost everyone else will follow. I have been trying to stake out my own place/way-value my solitude. Tough with this bus tour and as you may have noticed, my mood has soured a tad bit since National Park.
With this new bus though, I remain hopeful that the highs will resume-I have had enough lows for my liking in the past 2-3 days!
Saw a rainbow this morning-it must be a sign that good things will continue. Gotta take the rough with the smooth-even on vacation!! As Ross would say;)
Lots of stops-especially at supermarkets. I find that most of the food at cafes are boxed sandwiches pre-made (not very nutritious or tasty):(
Stopped at Cape Foulwind to
see the seal colonies. Babies and sea lions all out sunning themselves on the rocks.
Maneuka honey-sold for it's
medicinal properties. Grows in bushes with a white flower and bees produce the honey from it. Coal mining was biggest industry late 1800's, then forestry and it has taken over 90 years for plants/trees to regrow.
Paparoa national park-2nd smallest park next to Abel Tasman. Coastline reminds me of Oregon/California. Blue penguins-go fishing in the mornings and have to cross the road to get back to their nests and often get hit by cars.
Incredible pancake rocks along the coast-again, the sun came out:) Loved being off the bus even for short periods of time....too much bus, not enough outdoors these past few days! Alas I need to accept that this is what I signed up for, I need to go with it. Such is the small price for wanting to see as much of New Zealand as possible in the 4 weeks I'm here:)
Now at our hostel in a mining town called Blackball. Overnight stay, then heading to the glaciers for a couple of nights:) Daisy is getting off in Greymouth tomorrow to head to Christchurch to meet up with her friends.
Tonight, there is a dress-up contest (similar to Mr. Dress-Up) with chests of
drawers-everyone picks out and puts together whatever outfit they so choose. Most of the guys already have prom-type dresses and wigs on! Hilarious....their night has just begun! There is a fashion show later on-the winner gets a 2 for 1 skydive voucher.
Stayed up chatting with Helen from England. Very outgoing and hilarious. I find Canadians, Aussies, Brits and Kiwis are all pretty similar.
80-90% of the people I've met have are Dutch or German, then Swiss, Scandanavian. Only 1 from the US....
Get to sleep in tomorrow-yeah:) Simple pleasure. That, coffee, and a warm shower:) Content.