We woke up early and headed to the new bus to go to the South Island. We met the new bus but all stuck together at the back as the new bus were all already a group. They seemed nice though so we were relieved about that. The ferry over involved a lot of waiting and queuing, you had to queue to put your bag in a hold, just like a plane, then queue to check in, then queue to get on, etc etc. After a tedious few hours we were on the ferry at last. There wasn't much of a view so most of us just napped for the few hours until we got off the other end. The weather had taken a turn and was rainy and foggy for the entire drive to our first stop on the south island, Kaiteriteri.
There isn't much to do in Kaiteriteri except for walks but the weather was so miserable that we just stayed in and had some fish and chips in the hostels pub. The next morning however I woke up early and the weather was beautiful so I went for a run. I ran around an estuary and then up a nearby cliff to a really secluded beach which was gorgeous, the sand was quite brown but it made for a beautiful setting against the bright blue water and green foliage around the area. On my way back into the hostel there was a group going to swim in the sea so I joined in, it was freezing but very refreshing after my run!
Unfortunately the fog set back in by mid morning so the water taxi to a national park was cancelled by the organisers, this left us with no activity to do which was a shame as what I had seen of Kaiteriteri it was a really beautiful place.
Our next stop was Westport down near the east coast of the southern island. Here we stayed in a great hostel with a fireplace in the room which was much appreciated as it was still very much winter. At this stop there was a choice of activity; either horse riding or jet boating. I didn't really want to do the jet boat so i put my name down for horse trekking even though i was the only one! Luckily Amie noticed i had chosen the horse-trek and then also opted for it as she hadn't wanted to do it alone. The horse trek was really good fun and we got to take the horses across a river which was deep enough that you felt the horse loose touch with the ground and actually start swimming across. We then were allowed to try a canter as we had both ridden horses before, although neither of us had gone past a trot. The guide was in front, i was behind and Amie was at the back. We got up to a canter which was amazing, it's so fast and you have to really trust the horse and get into it's rhythm in order to stay on. After about 20 seconds we heard a scream and the guide stopped her horse dead, my horse nearly raan into hers but i managed to pull the reigns sideways and go into a bush a bit instead. We looked behind us and Amie's horse was trotting down the path without Amie on!! As we tried to get hold of the horse Amie crawled out from a bush looking a bit bewildered. Once i'd established that she was okay and not injured i couldn't stop laughing as the view of her lonely little horse trotting along and then her literally crawling our of a big bush was hilarious. Luckily she was fine and a real trooper as she got straight back on the horse and did another canter straight after!
It was a really lovely day and we had a nice hot chocolate as we waited for the bus to pick us up.
Next stop Franz Joseph!