Feels like so much has happened since the last blog that im splitting it up into two parts so that i dont bore you all and drone on.
After the halloween party, we headed over to River Valley which is a lodge in the middle of nowhere. And with a bit of a sore head and delicate stomach, driving on a coach round and round bendy roads was not so fun. I almost christened the bus with my sick but i managed to hold the little dignity i had left together and i was ok. River Valley is very secluded and relaxing so we just chilled out that night and did nothing. We had a roast dinner for our tea which brought back fond memories of home - not quite as good as yours though mother. Then we went to bed on the biggest bed I have ever seen. It was one massive bunkbed that slept about 20 of us. All on one bed (see photos)
Next day we headed to the capital city Wellington. At all the hostels we stay at, they have their own bar and that night was quiz night so we got together a little team and although coming close to winning, the question about which country on average has the biggest male rude bits (France in case you were wondering) meant that we lost. We did not guess that the Frogs were so well hung.
The next day was spent wandering aimlessly around the city. Its not very big so was quite easily done. Very quiet boring day but was definitely needed. Had to be up early the next day to get the ferry over to the South Island. 3 hours later on the ferry and we arrived in Picton where we got ourselves a brand new driver as our original one has left for the south a day earlier. After the ferry ride we drove over to Nelson where a bit of a drama occured. For the last 22 years of my life (ie all of it) my mother has been my washer woman and i had never quite bonded with the washing machine. But as I couldnt bring my mother travelling (phew) i have had to try and learn the ways of a person who actually washes their own clothes. Big mistake coz for some unknown reason I turned my favourite bright canary yellow shorts a dirty mucky swamp water green. Bad times. So it was the bin for them.
We were having a bit of bad weather on this part of our trip and our fair share of rain. Felt just like home. On our way to Westport the next day, we stopped off at a Lake for a little walk and 12 of the guys and girls off the bus thought it would be a good idea to jump in the lake in the freezing cold and rain. Me and Jade actually had some sense about us in this case and stayed on dry land. Photos looked good though.
No fireworks for us that night coz the weather was so bad so 30 of us crammed into the TV room and watched films all night. So travelleresque of us.
Next day we went to a place called Punakaiki where they have rocks that look like stacks of pancakes (so exciting) and a pub. Just one pub. And that pub is called the Pu pub. As opposed to the Punakaiki pub. And yet another fancy dress night was upon us. This time the theme was 'Beach'. Good for the boys as they got to see lots of half naked girls but not so good for us of the fairer sex. (Our bus seems to have a 80/20 split. 80% are girls and 20% are boys...booo.) A lot of food and alcohol later, I pretty much won the prize for best drunk. And most drunk, and loudest drunk. But whats new, nothing changes. I wasnt really that bad mother, you know me. ha. And im quite sure that my fragile state the next day was absolutely nothing to do with any of that alcohol drank the previous night.
That day we went to Franz Josef where the only thing to really do is the glacier walk. So we did. An 8 hour walk on an ice glacier. One of New Zealands biggest.
Got ourselves all kitted out in our walking boots and crampons etc and was waiting for the minibus over to the glacier when we heard two familiar little Irish voices and it was the two girls that we had done the Inca trek with in Peru! Very weird. Up on the ice about an hour into the walk, the backs of my feet started to hurt....blisters. And only 7 more hours to go. Great. But i soon got my mind taken off that when i saw the little hole that they then had us squeeze through (see photos if you can work out what they are). Not good for claustrophobics or however you spell it. And as i had shorts on, yes shorts, i got slightly wet pressed up against the ice on both sides. funny though watching that slightly 'bigger boned' people getting through. Then our guide found an even smaller hole and told us that the first person that could make it through could name the hole whatever they wanted as no one had ever been through it before. Sounded like a challenge so I took him up on it and tried to squeeze myself through. Was quite wet at this point coz i was fully wedged in between two slabs of ice but after a bit of shuffling and maneuvering later, i came out the other side. And the name of the hole. 'Born again'. I can only imagine thats what it would feel like if i was. ha. A couple of painful cold wet hours later back at base, i took off my crampons, boots and two pairs of socks to find two blisters the size of china with plenty of blood on one of them (and soaked through the socks as well - that'll teach 'em for giving me bad boots!) Flip flops from now on then. Good job the weather had started getting better.
Next day we headed to Wanaka where we did absolutely nothing. Except for one small thing. Almost getting ourselves deported...again.
Its become a tradition on mine and my mothers saturday ritual trip to Tesco that whilst I trapes up and down the aisles, i kindly help myself to a treat from the bakery on behalf of Mr Tesco himself (ie its free) which i dont really see as stealing, just a thankyou for being such a valued customer. Anyway, on this particular trip to the supermarket in Wanaka, me and Jade thought we would help ourselves to some of the pick and mix we had selected and bagged up (we had every intention of paying for the rest, we just wanted a quick sample) until we got caught by the witch of a shop assistant who assisted us to the manager where we got a bit of a telling off. I of course denied it but the fact that I was chewing on the evidence didnt really back up my story. Oh well. We made it out of the supermarket alive and all was well with just me muttering 'this doesnt happen in England'. ha. that was the excitment for Wanaka. It seemed to amuse everyone else on the bus.