Wow, what a splendid last few days! The last few blogs were filled with good old english chat about the weather - well this one ain't going to be any more different. But instead of rain IT IS SUNNYYYYYY, and plenty of sunshine in that (don't worry we aren't going to complain there's too much of it!). It's still pretty nippy and rarely reaches 6 degrees, but it's just like one of those beautiful winter days with bright blue cloudless skies.
When Vick and I arrived we had in mind that we would go out for a bit of a boogy, but after starting dinner at 10.30pm and having driven 11 hours that day, neither of us were feeling up to it and we hit the hay deciding to save our energy for another night.
Every shower we have here is possibly the BEST SHOWER EVER. If all you're used to is leaning over a tap where the water is freezing glacial water to wash yourself and your hair, then you can imagine what a HOT power shower is like. Heaven. Yes, heaven. So after one of these beauties we headed to a hostel that my trusty lonely planet guide had recommended, and it also has a place that we can park Hugo. Bumbles Hostel let's us use their tv room, kitchen, toilets and (hot) showers but we just sleep in Hugo just behind the building. Pretty perfect if you ask me because we meet people our age or doing pretty much the same thing, who also want to meet new people too, and we don't have to pay ridiculous campsite fees (the one we stayed in the first night was 50 dollars for the two of us, whereas Bumbles is just 18 dollars each a night).
On Sunday morning Vick and I splashed out and booked all of our activities...being a total adrenalin freak, the first thing on my list was the biggest bungee in Australasia - The Ben Nevis (134m freefall from a cable car across a revine). Much to Vikki's nerves the prime time through ourselves into the sky was that afternoon! WAHOO! We hopped on the bus that took us 40 minutes to Nevis and got strapped into our harnesses. Vick was a tad worried when the guy putting on her harness was a first timer and didn't know which leg went through which leg hole! Us two were the last to go - talk about holding the suspense! Vikki was called first as I got as close to the edge as I could (it was all barriered off) so I could take some snappys. After a little bit of persuasion Vick through herself off into the air and came back beaming! I was next and unfortunatly wasn't allowed to go off backwards because I could have got whiplash. So I did the good old swan dive into nothing and bounced back up again. Vick and i did have a bit of a chuckle, because there is a tag you have to pull when you have finished bouncing to pull you into a sitting position - otherwise they pull you up upside down and blue in the face. We had laughed at the guys who couldn't pull themselves up, only to not be able to do it ourselves and learning the effects of Karma.
Vick purchased some cracking piccys and I bought myself a hoodie as some memorabilia from one of the funnest things I think I have ever done! Ooo and we also got a T-shirt saying we've been there and done it (literally been there and got the t-shirt as the saying goes!). We found ourselves a well earned pub, with an enormous plate of chippys and a couple of beersies. Vick even moved onto the mulled wine that fitted the scene perfectly - frosty outside and tucked inside a pub with an open fire and the rugby on. My life couldn't get more perfect.
We even stayed there for dinner we got so cosy! Then, even better a live band started up! Vick and I were much amused by a group of Maori rugby lads part of one of NZ national teams who were by now very tiddly and dancing to the band. Honestly, I have never seen better dancing in my life! These guys could move! Vick and I decided to join in the merriments and a wonderful day ended with a fab night (and a rather sore head in the morning).
It doesn't help getting in at 2am and waking up to an alarm at 6.55am. But Vick and I had booked our trip to Milford Sound - yet more spectacular scenery - and we made it in perfect time for our 5 hour coach journey there. Milford Sound is a valley cut through the mountains by glaciers and then filled with a river that goes down to the sea. For the last 5 days the road had actually been closed due to the storm (the one we were in further north) and so many avalanches had fallen down over the road. But we were in luck, especially as yet again it was crystal blue skies, and take note this place rains 200 days out of the year!
We boarded the ferry at the bottom that took us round this paradise for 1.45 minutes. The place is pretty serial to be honest. In fact everywhere we go is! But Milford certainly does top it all. Snowy capped mountains just sticking out of the sea. Pretty cool no? It's also said to be the 8th natural wonder of the world, which makes sense!
When Vick and I got back from our long trip we were pretty exhausted! And there was not a better time to give Vick her 21st birthday pressy - the infamous Fergburger. Now, the Houston family love their burgers, in fact Daddy Houston will usually have a burger out and proceed to mark it out of ten. Ten is a very rare occasion. In fact I don't believe I know more than two locations; the first was on holiday in Mauritius where it is hard to not have one per day. The second is the fergburger. Both my brother and sister have also sworn by this place, and after looking it up on the internet, a lot (more than thousands) have also said it too. So it must be pretty good after all of this hype!
And, oh boy. Ferg. NOM. Seriously good meat + seriously good bread + seriously good filling = a seriously good burger. And HUGE too! My brother told me to try for the Big Al. This contraption I couldn't quite handle, it has; a double serving of 1/2lb beef, lashings of bacon, a whole lotta cheese, 2 eggs, beetroot, lettuce, tomatoe, relish, and a wad of aioli. Jeeze. The thought of it made me full, so I was boring and went for a plain one whilst Vick was a bit more adventurous and added bacon. I'm currently trying to persuade her to go their again before we leave tomorrow - it is the only thing we would need to eat all day! The slow cooked pork looks very tempted. Oh, stop it I'm making myself hungry!
An early night was followed by another early start. This time it was slightly easier to get up! I left Vick sleeping and went off horse riding for 3 hours in Glenorchy about 45 minutes out of Queenstown. Again, another breathtaking experience. The girl who was taking me around on my steed Frodo, an appaloosa (a spotty horse) they had bred themselves, pointed out lord of the rings locations. The mountains we have been surrounded by for weeks are actually the misty mountains. I also rode past Rhohan, the battle of isengard, and the battle they fight at gondor. Pretty funky, after all, I admit I was a massive lord of the rings dweeb. Aragon was my first crush, I even dressed as him on world book day....
OK enough of the embarrassment. Well that's it up till now, I say that's it, we have done one hell of a lot. But we still have lot's more to come! We have a speed boat tomorrow afternoon and are out for a pub crawl tonight (who knows ferg might even be a midnight munchy!). Then after the boat we are travelling north to Lake Wanaka, one of the sights we missed by not coming down from Arthurs Pass. We are staying their the night then we are making our way back up the middle, where we will stay another night as it's a 'dark reserve' so there is no light pollution to shadow the stars. Then we are onto Rotorua for whale watching, dolphin swimming, and a little treat that we have been told to do. But you'll have to wait till next time to find out exactly what that is!
Until then! Bubbi!