Hello once again!
I can't believe how rubbish I am with blogging! I'm nearly at the end of my New Zealand adventures so have a lot to catch you up on...
I joined the bus in Picton and made the way to Nelson where I booked myself on a full day kyaking in the Abel Tasman. I climbed the steep, but rewarding path to the 'Centre of New Zealand' which apparently is the geographical centre and looked out over Nelson with a 360degree view. Back at the hostel I bumped into a friend, Eric, which was great as we had a good chat and treated ourselves to cheap Pizza Hut that lasted me two dinners :) The next day was kyaking day and I rose at 6.30am for the pleasure! The drive to the National Park was stunning as the sun rose over the sea and beautiful surrounding bushlands. The kyak itself was great fun and once again, such amazing surroundings with spectaular weather - with blue skies all around. Our little group stopped for a tasty packed lunch on one of the bays having seen seals up close and personal and even a teeny, tiny penguin floating on it's back in the sea...!
Having travelled back to Nelson, I was pretty exhausted, but bumped into a few more people I had met briefly in the North Island and discoverd I would be on the same bus as them departing the following day...another early start. From Nelson we travel through Nelson National Park with our final stop of the day being Westport where the group of five girls I was part of managed to get a little 2 storey apartment - so great! It was like a home away from home and while two of the girls went jet boating the remaining 3 of us maed a tasty chilli in a great kitchen (such a rare thing!). We then got dressed up to go to the local to meet the locals. After a few drinks I challenged some to a game of pool and actually made a valiant effort...but lost by less than an inch...! A good night all in all and I decided to change my plans so I could stick with the little Kiwi Family (comprising of Emma, Jonna, Anka and Jen).
The 'Poo Party' in Lake Mahinapua was the following night so we found out the theme (Imagination - rubbish!) and shopped for costumes in Greymouth. We went as agroup and decided on 'Rainbow Killers'...no idea...don't ask! I managed to call Dave for the first time, which was great, but I was a little drunk at that point...sorry Dave! ANyway, the rest of night was good fun and I even drank a jug of snakebite...! As you can imagine the following morning I felt a little fragile so had a pretty relaxing evening when we arrived into Franz Joseph. Having said that I relaxed in another kyak on one of the lakes in Franz Joseph and watched the sun set from the water. It was beautiful, as everything seems to be around here!
My birthday arrived and I was surprised by Emma and Anka coming out of the shower singing happy birthday with balloons! It was so sweet! The rest of the day was amazing as we went on a full day glacier hike, clambering our way through caves, tunnels and the narrowest crevace. One guy got stuck and started to panic so it was a little scary as I wedged my way through sideways, occasionally getting stuck myself. We made it through though, and the group sang happy birthday at the higest point we reached...another highlight of the day :) Feeling exhausted back at the hostel, I was banished to the dorm room as the girls worked in the kitchen. I was allowed down with my eyes closed to open them and find a yummy cooked meal, balloons and a cake with candles - it was so lovely! We then went to the hostel bar where I had wine, snakebite and spirits...! (What's happening to me?!) I then realised it was Mother's Day so made a quick dash for the phone and managed to speak to every member of my family - Yay! It was so great to hear them and find out what they're up to especially on my birthday. The best birthday present :)
We left Franz Joseph the following day with me nursing a sore head (!) and made our way to Wanaka via Lake Matheson where we saw the 'Mirror Lake' catching climpses of Mount Cook between the clouds in the reflection. It was pretty amzing and we stayed there for a good 30mins taking it all in. Wanaka was a relaxing town and having checked in I was called back to reception to find a big bouquet of flowers from Dave. The cheeky man arranged for the hostel to buy flowers for my birthday...I must admit it was pretty great :) I'm still travelling around with them as they seem to not die! The rest of the afternoon was spent by the lake and muching good, cheap food.
Queenstown...blimey where do I start?! It's a pretty crazy place involving drinking and extreme sports of which I have done both...! Our first full day began at 7.30am to make the long drive to Milford SOund. The drive there was sublime and the boat cruise was unbelievable. I had to pinch myself a few times to check I was relly there. We saw more selas and visited an underwater marine reserve, which was pretty cool. That night was St Patricks Day so we all went out and I met up with some old friends from previous buses. A great night out and lots of silly Irish hats involved :)
Despite, another sore head the next day, I booked myself to do a canyon swing...! I was petrified, but a guy in the same group made me feel a little better and even gave me a much needed "3, 2, 1...!" when I was hesitating on my first jump...that's right...I did two! No idea why as i was petrified! I honestly though I was falling to my death the first time when I jumped backwards and fell 60m before the rope tightens and I swung across the canyon. The second jump I rose to do upside down, which was superb! I felt I was flying at the same time as trying not to throw up...weird sensation but glad I did two jumps :)
Having had a massive adrenaline rush I boarded a bus to Dunedin to reach the Otago Penisular and sea Royal Albatrosses, fur seals, sealions and the endangerd Yellow-Eyed penguins. It was great to see so much wildlife and the peninsular was gorgeous.
I'm now back in Queenstown and taking a much needed day to chill out and relax with a book and cup of tea :) I'm off to Mount Cook tomorrow to hopefully complete a two day walk, weather permitting. Then off to Christchurch to meet some uni friends and eventually Dave...! I'm not excited at all...!
That's all for now, love as always and keep the messages coming :)