So me and Jacqui have had our week in the South Island - we managed to cram in loads, but didn't really have enough time!
We flew down to Christchurch last Monday - the flight was really bumpy - the minute we hit the south island, the clouds closed in and it was raining - dodgy landing, but we made it! We arrived in Christchurch to thundering rain, and set about trying to hire a car. After the first 4 companies we tried had no cars at all, we were lucky to find one at the last one at the airport! We got a Dihatsu Sirion (absolutely tiny!!!) and started driving so we could make some kilometres before we went to bed. We drove till 11.30pm, it was still chucking it down with rain, and we pulled in to a camp site. We had a tent, but the weather was so bad we ended up just sleeping in the car at the campsite - it was surprisingly comfy!!!
Got up early the next day and headed down to Te Anau. We had booked a scuba diving trip to Milford Sounds the next day. Te Anau is nice, small place with a big lake where we went for a wee swim when we got there because the sun had come out!
We wer up really early for the diving trip the next day, the weather pretty cloudy. The dives were still good though, and the boat trip in the Sounds was really good too. The first dive, we were further out towards the ocean, and there was a ledge where we went down to 20 metres. It was so cold, we had on 14mm semi dry suits and then another jacket over the top, gloves, boots and hoods! We saw lots of cool fish and coral (black coral, which is actually white....) and on the second dive as we were getting in to the water there was a seal splashing around next to us - so cool! The second dive, there was no ledge, and the bottom of the sounds are 300 metres..... kinda scary if you can't get your buoyancy right, but we both managed not to sink!! It's reallyscary when you look over the side and there is absolutely nothing there, just a big black hole..!!! Cool though!
The next day we headed up to Queenstown and spent about an hour walking around. There isn't very much there, just an expensive little town unless you're doing activities, which we weren't so we got on our way. The drive up the west was longer than expected and we stopped in Franz Joseph for the night - didn't go to the glacier but saw it from a distance! We stayed in a hostel that night instead of camping because it was really cold there!
We decided just to do the big long drive after that and headed for Kaiteriteri in the Abel Tasman national park, where the weather had got better, and we went on a sea kayaking trip. It's beautiful up there, but kayaking for a whole day is pretty tiring!! We had a 2 person kayak and Jacqui was at the back steering and i was 'navigating'. We saw seals again, and the beaches we went to were gorgeous.
We had one more day before we caught the ferry back to the north island so we headed for Nelson. We stopped at Havelock on the way (which is the mussels capitol of NZ) and had mussels for lunch! Jacqui had venison pie. We wandered around Nelson a bit when we got there, and then made our way to Picton. Picton is actually a really nice little place, i thought it would just be a ferry port town, but they've made it really nice. The ferry crossing was good - got a bit choppy when we got near to Wellington - and very windy!! We arrived in Wellington at 5.00 in the evening, and met up with a friend Jacqui had met when she was in Australia. We had some dinner and drinks and were up early the next day to get the bus back to the Mount.
When we got to the bus stop at 7.45, the driver said he was having problems with the coach - so he said to put ourbags on it, jump on the other coach and he'd meet us in Palmerston North... As you can guess, we arrived in Palmerston North and the coach didn't turn up! We were waiting there for 5 hours, whithout any word from the bus company what was going on or where our bags were. I managed to get in touch with them and they kept telling me the bus was coming. Then we were told that the bus had broken down and we'd have to get another bus home and our bags would be sent to us the next day! I wasn't pleased because i had to go back to work the next day! We ended up getting on another bus that they had arranged, that took us to Rotorua, then they paid for a taxi to get us back!! Our bags arrived at my work at 4.30 the next day - very glad to see my deoderant and toothpaste!!
So, i'm back at work now, Jack and I are both finishing work on Friday for 2 weeks and we are heading up to Auckland and then the Northland. All assuming Mr Jingles will make it, he's been a little s*** lately!! One of my friends at work's boyfriend into mechanics and he's determined to fix the problem!! We'll see.
So, had an eventful week, and got 2 more weeks ahead of us! Can't wait!