I am aware that it has been two weeks since I last updated - but just so you all know, that is my plan! I'm not planning to update much more often than that, simply because it takes a lot of time and I am so very busy! So don't be alarmed if it is a couple of weeks before you hear from me!
So, last you all heard I was in Wellington. I moved on after a couple of nights there to Nelson, where Gill Gallacher picked me up and very nicely let me stay with her and David in Motueka (which is nearby) for a few nights. We spent a day sightseeing all around Golden Bay, and then I spent a day just relaxing, sitting by the pool, going to the beach and reading a book. Was nice to get away from the craziness of the bus for a few days and recoup!
After that, it was back on the bus to Westport, which didn't really have a lot there so not a lot to say on that. Then to Lake Mahinapua, which basically has nothing but the pub we stay in, and they organise a fancy dress party. Our theme was "famous faces" and so I dressed up as Madonna from the 80s. The girl who won was dressed as the Queen, and I must say that the likeness was uncanny!
So it was just one night there, and then moving on again to Franz Josef, where we stayed for a couple of nights. I did an 8 hour glacier hike on my day there, which was absolutely amazing. Not as cold as you'd think, and really amazing to see the guides just cut steps out of the ice as they went, and we got to go through crevices and caves, and some amazing views. Well recommended I must say. Although physically very tiring, even though it is a bit stop-start as they have to cut the steps out, which made it a bit easier!
From Franz Josef we moved on to Wanaka, which is a lovely little town. Didn't get to see too much of it, but we did go to the Paradiso cinema, which is a lovely little quaint cinema with sofas etc to sit in, and even an old Morris Minor, so you can pretend you're at the drive in if you want to! The next morning we went to Puzzling World which is amazing, a few rooms of illusions and a maze, which was really good fun. Got some great pictures from there that I'll put up when I get to the end of the Kiwi Experience in Christchurch.
Then it was on to Queenstown, where there isn't a lot to do, other than sit in the sun and party at night! Although I haven't partied every night - I stayed in last night and read a book, as I needed a night off! It's the place for high adrenaline activities, but to be honest you can do most of them elsewhere and for cheaper, so there isn't really anything along those lines that I want to do here. But it's been nice to be based in one place for a few nights to just relax, rather than the constant moving on! I am hoping to move to Christchurch tomorrow, but am currently on standby for the bus, so need to give them a call to see if there is a place for me or not. If not, I should hopefully have a place on the bus for Monday, so that will be fine.
Then Christchurch will be the end of the Kiwi Experience for me! I can't believe that on Wednesday I will have been here for 4 weeks, and will already be moving on to Australia!
I don't think that there is a lot else to fill you in on really - afraid I can't think of any funny anecdotes or stories off the top of my head, so I think I shall be signing off here! Am planning to put the pics of the second half of the Kiwi Experience up when I am in Christchurch, so expect some pictures relatively shortly.
Hope all is well back in the good ol' UK...I haven't heard of any reports of snow in a while! xxx