The past week in New Zealand has been pretty hectic which I cant understand as I sware we havent done much!Â After meeting Al from his jet boating experience last Saturday we wandered around Queenstown and Al spent the time debating whether or not to do a bungy. We then met up with Steve late in the afternoon and got some food with him after he booked his next day skydive.Â We got a pretty nice sleep in 'serial killer' camp grounds again, before getting up early to meet Steve by his hostel to get some breakfast with him. Unfortunately Steve was not yet awake so it took some ringing before he realised that he had slept in and came out to meet us. We had a pretty awesome breakfast - got some bacon and eggs and cooked on ourÂ little gas stove by the lake in Queenstown before letting him head off for his skydive and we took the road to Wanaka. We decided to stop off on the drive to Wanaka at a bungy site where Al decided he did not wish to have detached retinas so backed out of jumping off a bridge. It only tok an hour and a half to get to Wanaka and there wasntt really that much to do there. We decided to be 5 again and do this puzzle world.Â Unfortunately thanks to the Psychlogy degree half of the puzzles i was already aware how they worked. There was a maze too though which would have been pretty cool but Im not very good at having patience and decided to just jump over the walls because i got so frustrated. So basically Al won that one.Â We camped at some holiday park and spent the whole night catching up on TV - well actually Anchorman was on so we watched that!
Â Monday we headed out pretty early up to Franz Josef.Â Unfortunately the rain was pretty hard so it took a fair bit longer than we would wish for! And as Al didnt have a raincoat he got drenched at every stop. We made a brief stop at Haast for lunch but due to the rain we couldnt actually see anything. We got to Foz Glacier later in the afternoon and went to walk around Lake Matherson (cant actually remember its name atm but that sounds about right).Â By this point, Al was tired of getting drenched so made himself a bin bag raincoatÂ and we walked a bit around the lake before deciding we had blatantly seen enough of it to calssify as having done something today and went back to the car and got our drive on to Franz Josef where we booked in on our 3/4 day hike on the Glacier for the next day then settled in at a holiday park and slept.
Tuesday was the hike of the Franz Josef Glacier and it was amazing! The first hour was just walking over the land to the Glacier.Â We then had a short wait for our guide to switch over.Â During this break we got to witness Global warming firsthand when a massive chunk of the glacier broke off it right infront of us.Â Pretty crazy but not really nice to see happening!Â We then had a hour hike/literal climb up some man made steps (made for giants not for people with short legs) up the side of the glacier. This was pretty intense and Im not particularly fit and the asthma was bothering me and I wasnt loving the hike AT ALL. All was ok though, after a stop for lunch we started the cool bit of the hikeÂ - - pretty much just walking over the glacier as it is with our guide hacking at the ice with a pick axe.Â Got to go through loads of crevasses filled with the most insane blue ice and through this cave also.Â Was awesome! However, one should always remember that if the ice looks like glass it probably feels like glass too.Â Â I learnt this lesson when i decided to cut my knuckle open on it....and it hurt. OW. On the hike down we saw some himalayan goats (cant remember what they are called!) on the mountain side - to me they looked like brown blobs as i didnt have my glasses on and finding them would mean rumaging through my rucksack which i could not be bothered to do! Finally, when we had nearly finished the glacier hike, on our last step off the glacier, i decided to slip over and fall on my butt meaniung that i now had a hurt bum and knuckle. and im a baby so this is a big deal to me.Â Also, I have insanely narrow feet and they gave us walking boots with ice claw things to put on the bottom. However as my feet were so narrow I was put in a size 4 with 3 extra pairs of socks on. which meant that my foot was basically rubbing against the back of the boot the entire time and when I took the shoe off I found out that a fair bit of skin was missing from my right heel. I just shrugged iut off though and put a plaster on it!
The next day we drove up to the pancake rocks.Â This would be a nice easy drive except we got 5 minutes before Hokitika and out windscreen wipers decided to stop working. As it was raining we couldnt really drive so had to call roadside assistance and they tried to help us over the phone. This did nothing so we had to wait for the rain to stop (it wasnt long) and get to a mechanics in Hokitika. Luckily we found one pretty soon and they sorted it. So we drove on.Â We got to the pancake rocks and unfortunately the tide was out so they werent as awesome as the could have been. They are basically loads of rocks that look like pancakes sitting on top of each other thanks to erosion and everything. They have loads of blowholes and apparantly when waves come in the water spurts out of the top of them, making for some awesome sights. This didnt happen when we were there though :( It was still pretty cool though.Â So we left Pankcake rocks and carried on towards Westport. 20 mins before Westport we pulled over, turned off the car and then when we went to turn it back on again nothing happened. We tried push starting it - nothing. So we tried to ring roadside assistance againÂ -however we were in a valley so there was no signal....and it was getting dark. Luckily we managed to flag a car down on the highway and LUCKILY they were a mechanic and had a look and told us our battery was pretty flat and as it wasnt screwed in properly it wasnt able to charge. Thanks to the camper rental company. They were really nice and tightened the battery for us and all was fine - they wouldnt even take any money - Im loving the New Zealanders atm!Â So after that debacle we left and got to Westport then realised we were not gonna get up to Nelson today so decided to change our plans and instead of heading north to Nelson and doing the Abel Tasman, we would head East instead. So we carried on driving an hour and a half east and got to this little town of Reefton (i would just like to say that it was a windy road and i may have run over a bunny rabbit! mum - i think they need bunny crossings in New Zealand!) So we arrived and decided it was blatantly dinner and camping time and we would stay here. When Al went to find directions to a campsite, my beady eye saw a pub so we decied to get food there. After looking at the menu we both decided on a steak and drink. we each spent $20 (about 7 pounds) in total for the steak and drink.Â We got our steak and - no joke - there was half a cow on my plate. MASSIVE steak - i was so impressed i felt the need to tell my dad straight away then photo it etc! I managed about a third of the animal.Â Al actually got through the entirety of it. Was pretty crazy!
So the next morning we woke up and I realised my foot hurt a lot.Â I peeled off my plaster on my heel and found that the skin had decided to swell and go white. and it was impossible to walk. bit of a issue. after texting my dad and being ordered to go to hospital immediately i realised it had calmed down a bit and was blatantly just an angry blister (i like to be a drama queen sometimes!). all was fine though! So we drove on and got to Hamner Springs (yes mum - via Lake Sumner - and yes I do have a photo of the sign!) So in Hamner Springs we pretty much just sat in pretty hot spa pools the entire day.Â Well about 2 hours. And amazingly - my cold pretty much went! After this we got the worst lunch Ive ever had in my life - the vegetable soup and garlic bread at the log roll cafe was not right i tell you!Â so we decided to go play more crazy golf - just so I could beat Al once more, then carried on down the road and got to Kaikoura.
So we got up Friday morning with good intentions of going whale watching.Â However, we looked at our watches and realised we had blatantly slept in and missed the first boat.Â So we took our time getting ready and got to the whale watching place ready to book places on the next trip to find they were all booked out.Â Al was just getting food and I was driving round the corner to meet him when guess what drives up next to me - a stray bus - and guess who is in the front seat? STEVE! so i pulled round the corner to park the car and steve drove past. I sat for a bit and went to restart the car to go meet Al and the car made a funny noise. So there I was - blatnatly angry that our car had decided to stop working again and called Al to tell him he would have to walk over to me and we would have a look at the car - problem was - Al was a 25 minute walk away. So anyway, he got here and i showed him the issueÂ - to which he responded with 'whats the problem?'.Â Apparantly the 'funny noise' was pretty normal and the car was still working fine. im such a complete idiot. Anyway, we got in our van and went round the coast a bit to see some seals. however, they were snoozing and didnt look too happy to be photographed by us! So we drove up the coast to meet steve at some random surf spot he was surfing in. we drove for ages and could not find it. and it basically tuirned out it was right infront of us the entire time! so we caught up with him for a bit and then got on the road again and drove up to Picton last night.Â And that is where we are now.Â We have to be at the Harbour pretty soon as we are catching the ferry accross to Wellington at 2pm and have to be there an hour before hand. Will keep you all updated though.
p.s. appologies for not uploading anymore photos.Â basically my camera is being a pain atm and has decided to stop letting the flash work and has recently decided to have little ? where there should be pictures on some of my photos. so in the interest of not loosing all my photos, im not gonna be uploading until i find out the issue! hopefully it wont be too long though!