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Claire’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 09 Aug 2007

Location: New Zealand

Mapwell after franz i headed to makaroua which i think must be the smallest place we've stayed at, or possibly the smallest place anyone's ever stayed at, there was literally a service station with a a few cabins and thats where we were. i have a feeling the actual town may have been hidden away somewhere but i can't be sure about that... well we took advantage of the seclusion and went for a wee walk, thankfully it turned out to be a very wee walk and we returned to the bar for some muld wine, oh how good it tasted! you'd think that it would be odd in july but no it tastes oh so good any time it's chilly, alhtouh i did feel like maybe chirstmas was just hiding somewhere and it would appear any day now... but no. not much else to do in makaroua so we sat and we chatted, good times. the evening was livend up somwhat by musical bar stools, in which many people were injured but alex came out victoriuos and got to swing for free from a canyon.

our next stop was wanaka, it's a lovely little (well to be honest quite big compared to everywhere else on the west coast but little in world terms) town on the banks of lake wanaka surrounded by huge beautiful mountains, a lovely place to chill out. the first day there was great, we wandered a bit, bumped into jayson from our bus in the north island, it's great feels like you're bumping into a life long old friend, played some cards and generally chilled out and recharged, fab!!! and met up with some of the other guys from the north island who had been banished off our bus due to ticket fraud. the next day however wasn't quite so nice, i began feeling rather ill and ended up feeling like death by the end of the day. i won't go into detail about the death like feeling but needless to say i wans't very good at keeping anything down and i was glad that we'd had to get a twin room rather than dorm rooms so i didn't have strangers to contend with as i died not so quietly. thankfully the illness didn't last too long and except for a small fainting (or just about) episode in the bar the next night it didn't effect my holiday too much. you'll be pleased to know once i fainted i headed straight home to bed, very sensible i am!

now this brings me to queenstown, oh what fun we had. no idea what we did though, i rested up for a couple of days, watched lots of films, had the most exciting game of crazy golf ever. was all so fancy, lights would come on, music would play, there were even chairlifts, it's all hi tec here! unfortuantly i lost, yet another sign that golf is not for me and should not be taken up!!! ;-) we also had a great day on the luge, go cart type things that you drive down tracks on the hill, so much fun, i let the boys race away and came down at my own pace just behind them, i decided it was safer that way. we had a few nights out and i was pleasantly surprised by how warm it was, i mean it wasn't hot but defiantely not cold in terms of winters at home, i was going out at night without a jacket and wasn't cold, or at least wasn't too cold.

a week passed without me really noticing and me and tom headed down on the bus to the very south of the south island, via milford sound, beautiful! and a stop off in a small random town that is aparently famous for it's sasauges, everywhere here's famous for something... but anyway i had sasauges but more improtantly i sheered a sheep!!! did a wee farm tour, in the dark which was a little odd but hey, and then we sheered a sheep, was good fun slightly odd but good fun. i heard all about scottish sheep sheering, aparently we have 2 of the top 10 in the world and the only ones out of the top 10 in the northern hemisphere, something to be proud of scotland!!!

and then it was down to stewart island. it was good to go all the way south and we were lucky with reasonably good weather, or as the locals said 'tropical for these parts' especially considering the weather people who were there a few days before reported. i hired a scooter and drove around teh 26km of road that is on stewart island, was great fun, it looks like a great place for little walks but unfortuantly becuase of all the rain a lot of them were closed off due to land slides and things but got some good views from the roads and the wee walks taht were open. the town on stewart island is called oban, and it feels like maybe only about 5 families live there, in reality there's just over 400 people. it's small enough so there's a sign on the super market (i say super market but its jsut bigger than a corner shop) wishing whoever's birthday it is a happy birthday, there's a notice board with things on it like 'has anyone got a big box i could borrow to move my tv?' and the shops bar the supermarket are open for 2 hours a day, its great!!! we had a really nice day over on stewart island, it's pretty and friendly but i could not live there in a million years. thankfully both of our crossings were reasonably calm, and you got free tea and coffee on the ferry, what more can you ask for!?!?!

right i think i've written enough for today, almost caught up with myself which is good, also you'll see i've added lots of photos, bought myself a big fancy new camera so hopefully i'll have some good pictures to add soon!

keep me updated with all you're up to!