So I had another week in Queenstown, I felt that as I'd had a chilled out week before with everyone from the bus I should do a few more activities this week, but I'm pretty sure this will be another quite short blog!!
Monday was a lazy day, I did a bit of shopping, I knew I shouldn't be doing it as the backpack was not accommodating for any more stuff but I did it anyway! I had some lunch in a really cosy pub with a log fire and the rugby on, then in the evening I met up with Caitlin and Rachel, two girls I did my week in Sydney with! It seemed so strange that we'd met up as it seemed like they'd had so much more time in Oz than me but it happened somehow, so it was nice to see some familiar faces. I didn't really feel like going out so just watched some films in the TV lounge and had a relatively early night.
Next day I got up to go jet boating, but it was cancelled, that was my productiveness out the window! The river was too flooded for it to run as we'd had so much rain so that ruined my plans for the day, I just rescheduled it and had a wander around the town again. The Remarkable Mountains looked beautiful, it was the first day the snow had settled so was a really crisp day surrounded with snow-capped mountains. I actually spontaneously got my ear pierced today! (at the top) I'd been planning to get it done in Queenstown but I think the cancellation of activities motivated me to do it. I had a really cool guy doing it, giving me all sorts of tips for Fiji and it didn't hurt at all I was so surprised! So that was my radical activity for travelling- not quite a tattoo :-P
Wednesday I went horse trekking, we had about a 45 minute drive through the mountains to get to the Rees Valley, it was really beautiful and it was only me and another girl who was experienced.So after we'd jumped on our horses, we had a trek down the river, taking in the scenery and then the other two went off for a gallop so the trip was pretty much individual, just me and a lovely guide called Emma. My horse had a bit of a tizzy waz when the other horses tried to overtake it running away and rearing up a bit which was pretty scary! So after some tactical manoeuvres the others got in front and galloped off. I did some trotting- elegantly bouncing all over the place! And we had about 2 hours walking in the valleys talking to each other, was a really good trip. I went out with Rachel and Caitlin that night, we went to World Bar and had the legendary teapots filled with all sorts of concoctions of shots! It was really nice to be in a big group again as I was missing everybody from the last bus who had all gone now.
Thursday, jet boating was cancelled again, so I went to a dance class in the gym next door instead which was a nice change, had hip hop, salsa and house elements so was really good.Nice to get some exercise and the gym has the mountains in the background so was a pretty nice setting to have.
On Friday I finally got to go jet boating, we had quite a long drive through to Skippers Canyon but the man was talking to us all the way and we got out for some beautiful views along the way. We had a very scary ride down Skippers road which I'm pretty sure cannot be classed as a road. I was on the outer side of the bus, I looked down out of the window and couldn't see any road just hundreds of m's of drop! Was pretty scary but we made it to the bottom feeling like that was an adrenaline activity in itself. We had a 45 minute ride out on the water, it was amazing, it's built from a Chevrolet v8 engine and went seriously fast! We went through tiny little spaces and looked like we were driving into the rocks ahead of us until the man turned it at the last minute with about 20cm to spare! It was so good but soo cold on your face, the icy winds completely numbed all our faces and hands so I had to get help to undo the buckles on my lifejacket afterwards, but it was ace, glad I got to do it in the end.
Saturday, I was back on the move, we met outside in the morning but there were too many of us for one bus so I had to go on the second, wasn't too impressed at this at first as it meant I couldn't get to know as many people but in the end it worked out quite well, could stretch out for the long journey to Christchurch.
We finally had a view of Mt Cook as every other time the weathers been too bad, this was at Lake Pukaki.We saw them draining the lakes for the hydroelectric power as there'd been too much rain aand then stopped for lunch at a cafe with thee most ridiculous portions of chips, they were in the basket load! We stopped at the Church of the Good Shepherd which was absolutely beautiful and the most photographed church in New Zealand apparently and I can see why, such beautiful scenery.
We arrived in Christchurch late afternoon and I checked into "The Penthouse" at base- just three rooms with their own kitchen, bathroom, TV, sofas and playstaion so that was a nice treat. Our bus driver had warned us girls not to go out on our own really in Christchurch at night so by the time it got dark which was pretty soon, I just stayed in and had a TV night with the other guys in the flat which was really chilled out and I'd explore Christchurch tomorrow.
I got up and it was a beautiful sunny day, I went to Starbucks for breakfast/lunch and sat outside soaking in the sun and the amazing atmosphere, I could already tell I loved Christchurch. I had a look around the Cathedral which was beautiful and then listened to a group of Maori singers outside the front for a while.Then I jumped on the tram to have a look around the city. I had a really sightseeing/cultural day. I went (down Worcester Street) to the Art Gallery and then to the Sunday Arts and Crafts market which was so beautiful, surrounded by trees, street entertainers and music playing, it was such an atmosphere.I wandered around the Arts centre which reminded me completely of Oxford and then wandered through the botanical gardens- saw the punting on the Avon river and sat in the sunshine doing some high quality people watching :-P I was so content it was beautiful, I went to the Canterbury museum to finish off the afternoon and then had a wander through the shops back to the hostel and then that evening there was no Kiwi bus coming from Queenstown so there was only 5 us of in the big penthouse so we enjoyed the space and watched about 3 films in a row somehow.Was an amazing day and definitely my favourite city in NZ, I had such a good time.