Sorry Ms Jackson oooohhhh (forever ever ever ever ever)
Mount cook, Rangitata, Wellington, Taupo baby
Long bloggage... Busy week....I'm not sorry!
Tuesday a day of national mourning across New Zealand... Well the Stray camp, with the displacement of the little family. Swiss Chris heading to topple off Asian cliffs, Irish Attenborough and Lady Finance perfecting their free fall posers with secondary skydive extrodianire.
And then there was two... BFF (best frenchie forever) and I rode the orange route, kissing a few female road builders (bus bets) munching on fresh fruit (mrs jones; Chinese?) and covering great expanses of land to reach the looming presence of Mount Cook.
Always knowing I had regal ancestry, the good captain James Cook (dad to black uncle billy I'm guessing) conquered the South Island and had a mountain (over a 1000m? Yep defiantely a mountain) named after him....
Who'd have thought a few generations later and he'd have Jked as family...
Channelling the conquering spirit not only was there a mountain to climb (daily challenge at the minute) there was a whole new bus of passengers to befriend... Unfortunately after a quick glance round it was evident the majority were not worthy.
Vegan. Cracker eating. Sad faced. Infantile's.
However adopting Brother Glynn and Danish Grylls into the crew made the family unit secure once again.
Lake Pukakiti was the first stop; apparently NZ has realised I'm chasing the sun and it's hot... And bright.... And pretty! Tranquil, turquoise, stillness. Because I'm happy.
Mountains, birds, even me were reflected in the water; by far the best Lake to date (and I've seen a hell of a lot of them) Surrounded by the mount cook range it's beauty echoed... Ok I've not a poet... But after being at Lake Pukakiti I want to be.
The Lodgings for the evening confirmed upper class status with an actual hotel... With a bath... Free wifi... Steak dinner.... It's the little things that are getting me through this painful journey ;)
Still exhausted, wolfed and generally meated out from the Queenstown effort; BFF and I had planned to slide the afternoon away on a gentle hours stroll followed by a bath (not together) however with one beckon of his tanned finger, Danish Grylls had us on a 3hr trek to the mountain.
However I was mighty glad I was led astray by this young mountaineer for
for one of the more pleasurable afternoons of my life; Lolloping along twisted footpaths, clambering over rocks, bouncing along bridges that appeared to collapse into the raging rivers with every step. A mini adventure land within the glacial beauty of the range.
Reminiscent of a Japanese animi... It had it all:- euphoria, strangers meeting, pebble dashing (romantic not poop) iceberg hopping, a blazing sun imprinting a Moari tan on us (not forgetting my Brock eyes) real animi situation!
Luckily my wanderlust normadic mood had overtaken all our little group; so when our (ever time conscious) bus driver (bird of blue I'm looking at you here) clocked our ever growing waistlines, severely underestimated our walking (and photo taking) abilities and gave us 4 hours to finish the Trek (we did it in 2.5) we weren't gonna wait around aimlessly.
Getting our serious hobbit feet on we decided to take on the wilderness and walk home dodging land mines and bear traps to get back to the hotel... And in doing so saw A real life avalanche...
It sounded like a helicopter crash
it looked like a puff of delicate white snow...
Who knew danger could be so pretty!!
Apparently I passed out after this adventure ridden day...snoring :)
Wednesday. On the bus. Again. The day was interspersed by the brilliantly cultural trips and the sole reason I came to NZ: the worlds biggest jumper... And biggest tree.... Next stop was Rangitata; the barn part two...
This was no Abel Tasman.
If your not rafting it's a pointless, desolate place to be. You could go
For a walk (yay!)... But it's rained.
The 3 bed high bunks of beds. Look quirky. Feel claustrophobic. Communal showers (with Ms France naked checks) broken DVD player, one plug socket. Left us a little bit lost for the day.
Pamper day it was: nail painting, face masks lot job.
Kitchen wars ensued again but being the elders in our bus tribe it was a bit easier to reign control...especially when the youths in question were unable to switch on an oven or cook a steak.
BBQ for 23 then....
It could have turned b****y towards the end of the night when the future generation felt unable to wash their own dishes, however a few choice words and raised eyebrows soon made sure our little group was hated.... Children tut!
Sleep was questionable in my cosy cavern of claustrophobia but when the wine (white) kicked in I'm sure I got some shut eye....well until I received a morning gassing! the stench of cheap foreign deodorant engulfing the room first thing in a morning... Not pleasant! if your gonna spray leave the enclosed container neo nazis!
Thursday came and my official loop of the South Island was completed... Ready to head North for the summer.
BFF left to join the real world; two weeks of friendship is like two years out here (the SW me would have cried) Danish Grylls left to find himself in Picton and Brother Glynn was rerouting up to Wellington via the orange machine.
My inner snob and bad planner kicked in made slightly bad decisions (which naturally turned out for the best) as I abandoned the bus in Christchurch (where it all began) for a little sanity, personal space and to gain 3 days by flying to Wellington... I saved one day... And spent an extra $30 boo!
Arriving in Wellington I was practically moonwalking: sleep deprivation, early starts and white wine took their toll on this aged being and I actually jumped in fright at the giant eagle that swoops over arrivals there... FYI it's fake!
The North is immediately. Obviously very different to the South... Moari moari everywhere... It's dirtier... It's busier and it was snowing... Actual sleets... Hotter in the north my ass.
Booking myself into a luxury apartment: double bed, tv and fridge! WHOOOP! A holiday away from my holiday. A solid 12hrs of naked time, star fishing and sleep followed. Good times.
But by Friday I was missing my Stray companions and moved back to the povo world of the Base hostel. A slight mistake when they put me in an all female dormitory (did I mention I hate the girls on this bus).
Tourist me headed on a guided stroll around the city. Wellington is the Marvel city... All the structures, the buildings, the pretty areas come straight out a Marvel comic, all a little bit twisted, bizarre shapes, alternative but not hippy, iron, steel, attacked by evil forces. With a dark glint...
Getting my geek head on and spending a good four hours in the Te Papa museum (trip advisor no.1 free thing) rendered me scared to enter the sea (4m giant squid in formaldehyde can do that to a girl) and a little more knowledgable about the origins of NZ and the Maori tribe I was good to go and attack the north island.... It's not all about alcohol you know!
Meeting up with Brother Glynn and the bird of Blue we headed to rival (yet oh so better) hostel Nomads bar for £2.50/ free Gins... It is Friday....
Apparently is Xmas and the night of council Xmas parties.equally as debaucherous as my SW comrades... Except in togas.... Up your game CIN 2.
I met a man... I wanted to marry him... He was wearing a suit... I was in my Fred's... Dang this backpacker mentality!
A new Yankee dandy joined our crew and after moaning incessantly about the 10 hour bus ride tomorrow, she casually throws out: screw the bus- come sailing with me- in Taupo...Hell yes... Boats and Hoes!!!
She was sensible and Cinderella'd it... I was not.... joined by Nethalandic beauty we headed out to tear up Wellington...
A few more gins and ginger later we headed where any sensible coupling would go... Karaoke (yes lido without you) it took a few good turns to realise... It was a Maori Kareoke... We are not Moari... Moari all sing Whitney! Tainted love went down like a Lead balloon we left before the slaughter!
FYI Maoris love polka dots and can't dance... Maybe I should join?
The local gay bar requested Naked top half action for free sambuccas (more attributed to nethalandics assets than mine on this occasion)
Still seeking the fun (the roads were pretty quiet) we were directed by a man resembling riff raff (!!!!!) to a bar ...down a dark dark alley... On a dark dark street....Where you press a dark dark door bell.... To go up some dark dark stairs...to...
The most wonderful cocktail lounge I have ever encountered. A bartender who knew how to shake his thang and a cocktail list of French classics.... It was all a rather classy affair.... And I was still in my pumps. Motel is wellingtons biggest secret... Until I went there!
As the cost of each cocktail exceeded the cost of my bed for the night we decided to return to original club bar to shake our thang... Stalk my future husband and fail to get more free sambuccas; damn Toga wearing council staff.
A few more ginger gins, a piece of chicken, £70 lighter, 3:30am boats and hoes beckoned.
Saturday dawned, 2 hours of sleep... delayed hangover inevitable... A five hour bus journey ahead...but worth it for sailing.... Taupo baby! Boats and hoes!!!! Most of the bus journey was spent reclined on the back sitting assuming the if I'm asleep I'm not sick stance. By the time we reached national park I was 3/4 back on form and ready for some boat action.
Waiting in the carpark for a stranger who would be taking me to his home for the night, piling me with alcohol and encouraging me to get naked ;) (safest place in the world), myself and Yankee were joined by hairy maclary who was off to do some vegan woofing.
A giant of a man pulled up in a Nissan of Del Boy standard.The bullying, bruising and banter was flowing within ten seconds and requests to get naked followed suit. Seriously questioning what I had gotten into; I was all for flinging myself out of the front seat... Kidding!!
Hairy maclary was only supposed to be coming for the ride... But gentle persuasion and a refusal to stop encouraged (forced) her to change her plans and spend the weekend with us.Stopping at an off licence... At 2pm... Yankee bought a beer... I bought a 6 pack... Of gin just to top up.
Hushy (an officer and a gentleman) I.e stranger with car and supposed boat and bed for the night, pulled up half way along the route 'to shake things up' with a cliff dive! Hairy maclary was naked before you could say Veet! Running down the side of the motorway semi naked we plunged off a place called titch's point. Rudely interrupting a group of Maori locals taking part in the cliff dive. it was a boiling hot day it was an icy cold lake. Hangover cured!
In one of the more surreal afternoons of my life we then had a 2hr drive to Taupo... Where people may or may not have been naked in the car... Drinking gin...Hairy maclarys clothes took a nose dive when we drove off with them on the Roof. It was national crate day in NZ, requiring each individual to buy a crate, 750ml beers and drink them. Easy. Not after gin. Seriously let the Sheffield LAD status down.
The ole Nissan not being used to such female company frequently broke down adding to the humour, Hushy being a man, wouldn't take any coolant advice from me... Until it worked...I took over the driving at this point.
Propaganda and false advertisement led me to my random weekend in Taupo. Said sailing boat was out of action'being painted' free accommodation at Hushys was a no go (damn crate day and his underage daughters party) but it was possibly the most fun I've had since coming to NZ.
The afternoon was spent sunbathing on the cliffs, clambering around the piers and bottle graveyard. The occasional dip in the lake, swinging by Hushys friends, more burgers and then an evening in the Hottub. By 8pm we were all pretty beered out (with 4 bottles left).
Sunday was pretty much perfection as impulse choices go. Following a cliff top (lake view) BBQ breakfast at Hushys besties mansion.. Yes Mansion. Hairy maclary eventually reached her woofing and myself and the yank took the remaining gin to the natural spa pools....
Yep that's right just your regular Taupo Sunday... Joining the locals as they skip through the woods, don their bikinis and laze in hot steaming pools next to the magnificent lakes.
This free commodity is heated by volcanic mountains around and by heated at the source it's boiling: scalding, requiring frequent dips in the big lake to keep it cool. a rather luxurious experience especially with the gin!
Hushty the loveable guy that he is, then came to collect us and drive me two hours (just down the road) to meet a friend in Matamata, proceeding then to take
a rather drunk Yankee to Auckland...only Opposite end of the island...
Genuinely very nice people!! cynicism is waning!
Next week appears to be equally random, following an impromptu friday message I shall now be abandoning the Strayers and doing a little self drive around the north. 26 club reunited!
Gotta love not planning