Kia Ora Y'all!
Loads and loads and loads of stuff catch up on. The past couple of weeks have been pretty busy so not to much time to keep you updated. Carrying on from where I left off last time.....the east side of the north island was great fun. Just when you think a country can't be anymore laid back you go to the east side. Everything about the east just oozed with chillness. We travelled to Gisbourne (the first city to see the sun), Rangitukia and Te Kaha. It was great to go off the beaten track a bit and also the group size dropped dramatically from over fifty to just six. That was great and I so much prefer that. I got up to loads whilst on the east side including rock sliding (that was mad) and making my own pendant from shell. On our first night we all had a BBQ and me and another lad went halves on a three litre box of wine that was intended to last the three days........we demolished it in one and I kind of crashed out in the toilet for a few hours. From then on in I was known as Toilet Dan...oh yeah!!. We also visited the maori community and saw where the film 'Whale Rider' was filmed. On the way back round to the mainland we stopped off at East Cape lighthouse and walked up the 765 steps to the top. Our last night in Te Kaha with Chay mi'ol Choy (crazy dude) was SO chilled out. He had a hot tub at the bottom of the garden that backed on to the sea. We watched the sunset and stars come out....so chilled out.
After a night back in Taupo we headed further down south to River Valley Adventure Lodge and this was where my trip took a turn for the worse. For reasons still unknown, I put my name down for a horse trek with a couple of the girls that I'd met on the East section. They were all experienced riders and our instructor was aware of this. Anyway half way round she tell's us all that we're going to gallop for a bit......as the saying back in Oz goes " Wot de fook". I told her I was not ready for such craziness several times but once my horse saw the other horses gallop off into the distance she was off. I was hanging on for dear life but obviously not tight enough as a fell off. I've never been winded like that before it bloody hurt big time. I ended up getting quad biked back to the stables and checked over by their first aider who confirmed I hadn't broken anything so I risked the journey on to Wellington. It wasn't the most of comfortable journey I've ever had but upon arrival at Wellington I took myself down to l'hopital and the confirmed I'd fractured my 12th rib and I had pheumatic something or other ( a small air pocket in my lung). It's stopped me from doing loads of stuff I had planned including the skydive and a glacier walk but hey ho that's just the way it goes sometimes. It's been checked out since and the docs are happy to sign me off so just got to wait for the rib to heal.
A couple of days later we headed over to the south island to Picton and the small journey onto Nelson. I spent a couple of days here and myself and a couple of others hired a car to explore parts of the Abel Tasman National Park. It was great to just stop at places that looked cool, obviously something that you can't do whilst you're on the bus. We also checked out the beautiful Marlborough Sounds and drove up Queen Charlotte Highway. I had such a good time and we were all on the same wave length so it was such a good laugh....laughing with a fractured rib is not recommended. We also stopped at a car museum and I was blessed with seeing a real Delorean!!!! I guess some of you guys aren't ready for that yet......but you're kids are gonna love it!
From Nelson we headed onto Westport.....Westport makes Whittlesey look good!.....place!!!
However on the way to Westport we stopped off at Lake Rotoiti and some of the fully fit nutters decided to jump into this ffffreezing lake. What make this lake special is the landscape of snow capped mountains. I don't recall ever seeing mountains with snow on before so I was pretty gob smacked...I'm easily amused I guess.
From Westport we moved onto Lake Mahinapua. This is just a small little place with a nice lake and decent views of the sea. Again though the journey to get there was great. We stopped off at Punakaiki to see the pancake rocks and blow holes. The tide was against us so we didn't get to see the blowholes but the pancake rocks were pretty cool. Check out the pics.....
That night we met Les, a crazy old dude who cooks a mean bbq and then we had the Kiwi Experience Poo Party. What a mental night that was. The theme was Tight and Bright so that basically meant a lot of the lads cross dressing. You would've loved it Franco!!!
From here we headed onto Franz Josef. This place I will never forget. The glacier here is 12km long and it descends from the southern alps to less than 300 meters above sea level amidst the temperate rainforest. If I was fully fit I would've gone on the day hike but sadly I had to make do with a 40 minute helicopter ride over all the glaciers and a small stop at the top for some pics and to have a moment to yourself.....absolutely awesome.
From Franz Josef we moved onto Wanaka for the night. Would've been great to stop longer here but sadly I'm running out of time in NZ but nonetheless it was great. Took some great pics of Lake Wanaka and had an awesome bbq in the evening.
From Wanaka we have arrived safely in Queenstown via Puzzle World. A small quirky place that DJ Lolly Pop would've loved. So far in Queenstown I have mostly been going on a gondala, walking around botanical gardens, going to the hospital and going to the cinema.
I leave Queenstown tomorrow morning for Dunedin. Dunedin is gaelic for Edinburgh and is considered the most scottish city outside of Scotland. It won't be the same without Team Scotland but I'll just have to imagine that they are. Will let you know how that section goes in a week or so.
Hope this blog finds everyone in goodshape!
Cheers for reading this to the end
Love you all