Hey, our time at Nelson was brill. When we arrived it was kinda like an english pub building, very new inside and with a really nice bar, restaurant and outdoor garden bit round the back. We had two nights here as we booked onto our outgoing kiwi bus on the 3rd of april, which takes us round the south island.
We got there about 4, claire went to see a relative for the evening, while me and sarah walked round the town- its so nice here, really good yet cheap shopping, really pretty town. Sarah wanted to post stuff home and we got to the post office ten mins before it shut luckily, and then we walked to the park where you can do a short, steep walk up a hill to the centre of new zealand! The views were awesome, got some fab photos of me and sarah with the deep valleys and steep hills behind us (typical of the south island, its all pretty much stunning).
We went bk to our hotel and had dinner there in the garden bit- for under 6.00 I got a massive roast meal and chocolate cake and ice cream for dessert. Im going to miss the food weve had while travelling- they eat pumpkin here all the time, it tastes amazing when roasted, and plum sauce, my favourite sauce ever!
After dinner we went online for a bit then went to bed pretty early- sometimes were in bed for like 9pm! Its all the early mornings lol.
The next day (3rd april) we travelled from Nelson to Westport, reaching the west coast. We were all up early and there are two kiwi buses travelling together this time. Me, claire and sarah hogged the back of the bus. It wasnt long before we noticed our driver, Q, for Quinton, drove a bit mad. The whole bus rocked from side to side as he sped round corners. I could never be still in my seat and even fell off a couple of times when he breaked suddenly! Ive never felt bus sick before but I started to when he drove! He also played random music, sounded like a collection from the 90's. And he plays it real loud too. Nice guy though, another Maori driver, but he did wear bright pink pants which was a bit strange!
We drove to Lake Rotoiki, a stunning deep mountain lake, got our usual screensaver photos. We did the Honeydew track walk for about an hour, loads of native birds round the lake and the sound of bellbirds around you in the Beech forest. We got some truly stunning photos of all three of us in front of the lake :-)
We had lunch by the lake, which turned out to be not so wide as about 10 ducks surround you and literally climb up you and snap at your fingers and food! Theyve gotten way too tame lol. It was quite funny though.
We got bk on the bus and drove to the town of Murchison, where we had some ice cream (Im literally having ice cream everyday- its not the proper home made stuff that we had in OZ, but its still really strong flavours- Im addicted to passion fruit, you get massive chunks of fruit in your ice cream, yum!).
We then followed the buller river, at times crossing over very narrow, old looking bridges and clinging to the cliff overlooking it- its a notorious river for being powerful and changing the roads and landscape whenever it floods. Some parts of it are green in colour and it looks beautiful.
We got to westport for about 4, ahead of the other kiwi bus as usual thanks to Q the mad driver. We stayed at a really nice hostel here too- Bazils, in which us three were in a dorm for four attached to a double room and its a self contaied flat, so we had a kitchen and bathroom. The whole hostel was nice- they had a garden and patio bit right outside our room. Our room was up some stairs aswel from the kitchen, made it seem like we were in a house.
We went for a walk round town as we had to do some costume shopping...it turns out that everyone on the kiwi bus has the famous 'Poo party'- the party at lake Mahinapua, and its always fancy dress. Our theme wasnt the easiest- your country. Claire came up with the idea of going as the british army, so we all brought some camaflage face paint and camaflage army caps (proper hunting stuff in the shops here). I also couldnt help but buy a massive camaflaged toy gun lol.
We ate back at the hostel, some tinned stuff, but were still hungry so went bk into town at night and got some cheap pizza. Something wierd about westport- the town smelled of death at night, the exact smell of something rotting. Very freaky when your walking round and its not like theres many people about!!
The next day we were up early for our kiwi bus to go to lake Mahinapua, ready for our party :-)