Good afternoon and welcome to the latest installment of our blog.
We left off at Franz josef and the next stop we had was Wanaka so we had another lovely bus tour to there. The stop for the day was lake Matheson where we could get a shot of Mt Cooke which if you spin around and then look at it you can't tell which way up the picture is supposed to be because the reflection is so good. We got a nice few shots and a pie for breakfast and headed off towards Wanaka. We arrived into Wanaka fairly late into the afternoon and headed straight for the Wanaka Hotel which was rather a posh name for what was basically the same as most of the other hostels we stayed in. It did however have a bath which I made full use of and also a TV showing 2 spidermans and Con Air. It was like our own personal cinema. We decided that to save some energy for Queenstown and just because we really couldnt be bothered to go out in the cold we would stay in have a delicious meal of spaghetti on toast and watch the films.
Suitably revitalised we got up the next morning to head out to a place called Puzzling world which has to be one of the most pointless and annoying places in the world if you are in the wrong frame of mind which, by the time we were at the end of this massive maze we were. The rooms of puzzle were a bit more exciting and a little less annoying than the actual maze but not a huge amount more. They did have a room where all these heads follow you and another where you looked in and everyone on one side looked massive but everyone on the other looked tiny (apparently how they did some lord of the rings stuff). It was ok. After our brains being quite definitley bamboozled we got onto the bus and headed off to Queenstown, supposedly the party and action capital of the southern hemisphere.
As soon as we got to Queenstown it seemed that this may be true as we received a few invitations to the different bars and met our friends from the North Island who backed up the party idea. Not much happened until the evening when we went out with our old kiwi friends to the altitude bar where our driver Dan had told us he would give our bus some free shots. This was partly the reason why we came here and partly cos its so cold and altitude is connected onto our hostel. Our night progressed onto the world bar and we had some of the world renowned teapot cocktails. Basically a normal cocktail but someone decided that it would be a good idea to serve them in a teapot (possibly this guy called dough-boy who we met with our old bus driver Jono, in Taupo). Theyre ok. A tiny bit of dancing and then bed.
We had booked into do our Bungy jump today and so we had to be up at the Station (a meeting place in town) by about 12 to get weighed/scared etc. Then this little rickety bus took us out of town and up a very steap hill to the cable car that we would be happily throwing ourselves out of for the afternoon. Fortunately for me but not so for Mr Lamming, he had the opportunity to show us all how it was done and go first. This he sure did. He went across very bravely and stepped up to the plate. At this point the second group including me were being transported across the canyon to the central stationery car. Our guide was telling us how much she hoped the first jump could be a perfect demo for the rest of us to follow and this it was, if we wanted to look like a bird learning how to fly! (Lamming here) I might just interject that you try standing looking over a 134metre drop and think about how you were looking. I thought the whole windmill, w*** i'm falling made the dvd a bit better actually. Anyway, Lamming jumped and so she said that at least that was the part that we could follow. We all stepped into the glass bottomed Bungy car and looked at the ravine dropping about 150m away from us. It was not the best sight tbh. Lamming was buzzing though and so I knew it should be good. At last the wait was over, and it was my turn to show everyone else what I was made of. They put me in the chair which does somehow remind you of being institutionalised in someway, and strapped me up. Then it was onto the gangplank. I think there can only be one thought in your mind when you are about to throw yourself off of something as big as this and it is simply this: "why the hell am I doing this?!?!". Luckily the instructors know how you feel and so dont give you any time to think. 3-2-1 and I was off with a perfect straight armed dive. The rest is almost totally a blur of ground-rush but all I know is that when I was being winched back up I wanted them to just drop me straight back off! Amazing! Anyone who hasnt done one simply has to! We went out to Altitude in the evening celebrate our achievement (or stupidity, depends how you look at it). Karaoke was the flavour of tonights entertainment and so the hymn books were handed round and after trying to persuade someone to sing with me we headed out of the bar before the screeching could begin. To the buffalo Cafe which was quite nice. We had a few drinks and a chat with the friends previously mentioned and then to bed for about 1? 2? We had to get up to go skiing.
Despite the ridiculously early time we had to catch the bus: 8.20! we were dressed and showered in time and headed out with high spirits up to the slopes got out ski's in good time and made it onto the slopes by around 10. Starting out on the nursery slopes to get our bearings we were soon up onto the greens at the top of the hill. The gradings are slightly different here, they only have green, blue and black and so to have gotten down a rather difficult blue by the end of the day, we were pretty pleased with ourselves. It was most of our Kiwi bus friends' last night in QT tonight and so it was out to Fergburger (a local delicacy- put everything in one burger and its bound to taste nice!) and then onto the Cinema to see Shrek the Third before having a few drinks back at buffalo, saying goodbye to our friends and then off to bed for another hard days skiing.
I wanted to switch to snowboarding today and so that is what i did. I thought I would probably have more fun doing it and now that I had brushed up on my skiing skills I would maybe be able to go a bit fasted with just one but of fibreglass strapped to my feet. By the end of the day this was pretty much true. The start of the day had a few mishaps with me believing that I had picked it up slightly quicker than I actually had, hurtling down the mountain and then trying to stop hitting some ice and falling straight over. O well. The last Kiwi bus friend to leave was Jens and so we had a few drinks and a few games of pool with him before the tiredness catching up with us. So I think we may have been in bed by about 11 last night.
Today was our last skiing day and so we were determined ot make the most of it. The weather did seem to have its own mind up that it would try and stop us however. We started off ok even though it was slightly cloudier than it had been. Then it started to snow and my goodness did it snow!!!! We both decided that it would probably have been a better idea for us to have goggles but we tried to persevere with sunglasses for the rest of the day. It was not going too well as we both were getting ice on our face and snow in our eyes still so we called it a day at about 12.15. We still got a good day on the snow but I'm afraid to say the weather had well and truly beaten us. It was ridiculous! We caught the first bus back which was at 1 and when we started going we were very very glad that we had got this one back. The snow had been causing havoc all over the place and so when we got down the hill after and hour we found numerous cars scattered all over the place. The bus was driven by a very safe but slightly crazy cockney-Frenchman and so we arrived back in town by about 3. A journey which should usually take around half an hour had taken us a grand total of about 2 which was rather annoying! We made it back tho and all was well.
That is our trip up to date. We have had a bit of an issue finding accomodation but after a good couple of hours trekking around QT yesterday we managed to get some until Sunday night and that is all we need, luckily. So now we are about to head off to our new hostel which we will be staying in for one night and then to another hostel the other side of town for the remainder. At least we are sorted. Only about another week in NZ and then we're off to Oz! Gonna miss NZ but I'm sure Oz will be just as much fun.
Hope you are all doing well
Lots of Love
P.s. Does anyone know what has happened to my finger? I have a small burn sort of thing on it which I got when we were skiing with what can only be described as innappropriate gloves on the first day. Its fine now but it was rather numb for a couple of days. Just out of interest. Aunty shirl?
p.p.s Will upload photos as soon as we get to Sydney as my camera lead has probably beaten us there. Got some amazing shots though so all look forward to them! Speak to you soon Lammingxxx