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Claire’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 17 Oct 2007

Location: New Zealand

MapMe again!

I've been informed that it's been over a week or so since my last update so here's what i've been up to.

I left you when i was headed towards Kapiti Island, well we got our permits, and as far as Paraparaumu (on the main land just next to kapiti) but alas the weather wasn't on our side and the wind was a blowing too much so we didn't make it across to the island. but of course that was not to stop a day of adventurous fun (well perhaps not adventurous but fun). we decided to visit a few more of the wee towns along the west coast of the north island, some lovely beaches and great to have a day out in the sunshine and some beautiful views. not quite a visit to a nature reserve island but was nice.

after that head down to wellington for a couple of nights, despite not knowing anyone in wellington i met a really nice welsh couple and had a great night out in the welsh bar which is situated in the middle of one of the main roads in wellington that used to be a public toilet, although now only has the normal number of toilets for a bar and is fully equipt as a pub full of welsh flags. the guy that runs the bar is an old welsh guy with a fantastic grey mullet who was so friendly, possibly cause i was with some welsh people but i get the impression he's that nice to everyone, gave us all his business card saying to call him any time if we ever need anything.

Welly was well and truely living up to its reputation as windy welly with crazy winds surrounding the hostel and nasty rain everywhere, which confirmed that it was a good thing to not stay in wellington long term. subsequently i had a quiet day but did make a wee visit to te papa, the national museum that is in welly, and at the moment they've got an exibition on Scots in New Zealand, so i was reading all about how great it is for scots to come over here, how great we are and how great they are etc, and the influence the scots have had, again how great we are :)

the next morning it was an early start to head to the ferry, i checked myself in and headed to the bar to find a screen showning the scotland game. and of course it being new zealand and rugby being somewhat important to them here (despite the national month or so of mourning that has been declared since the all blacks are out the world cup) the bar on the boat was really quite full at 8am. despite all the crazy winds it was a reasonably good crossing, and i was very happy to be back in the south island!! my aim was queenstown so i boarded another stray bus (the great thing about stray is that i can use my pass as many times as i like, 2nd time round on the route so far!) there was just a small group of us with Noddy, a scottish driver who i've come across before. sometimes its nice just having a few of us, all good people so was set for a fun week ahead.

first stop off was in abel tasman, which i had planned to do a proper walk through with dean but he was taking too long coming down south so i'll have to leave that for another time and settled for a little wander and a night on a farm instead. we stayed at old macdonalds farm and had a really nice quiet night sitting around chatting with a glass of wine, great way to get to know people. was fantastically sunny the next morning and me and heidi (who is infact called something else but she's swis so we went for an easier version, oh how british of us, but to be fair most people got nicknames by the end of the week) sat in the sunshine reading our books, the weather however wasn't to last quite like that for long as we headed down the coast it was some what changable i think they'd call it.

our next stop was barrytown, which consists of a pub and a small selection of houses and i'd say that's about it. there was another bus load of people ther when when we arrived so we joined them for a big fancy dress party that night, was great fun. me and two of the other girls from my bus dressed up as cows, well they were definately cows, my outfit was a bit less cow like cause whoever had made it decided they wanted to have small round blue spots rather than the big black splodges that the others had, so we decided i was a scottish/alien cow. great fun and now means there's about 20 people who refer to us as the cows from barrytown, which usually would be a bit insulting but in context perfectly reasonable. apart from that i really didn't do much in barrytown, a day to chill out before heading down to franz josef, another beautiful day again followed by an amazing sunset looked like the sky was actually on fire. because i'd done glacier walking before me and helen had a lazy day and went for a wee walk, the intenetion was to go and see glow worms down a tunnel, we'd been repeatedly told that it was wet in the tunnel and we'd get wet feet, we both claimed that that was fine and we didn't mind getting a bit damp, however when we got there we decided that infact we didn't really want to have to walk the 45minutes back with soaking wet feet so we walked a tiny bit then turned back, didn't quite manage to see the glow worms but was good to go out for a wee walk.

next stop off was again a tiny wee place with a population of 79, makaroa. weather had taken a turn against us again so we napped and then had a nice meal in the pub and ended up going to a small house party with some of the locals, its funny when people come from such a small place, they seem genuinely facinated by people from outwith their town and don't seem to understand why you'd ever want to live somewhere with shops, phone reception or anything other than hills.

and now finally i've arrived in Queenstown!!! had a great night out when we arrived with everyone from our bus, all good fun! the most exciting thing thats happened here in the past few days is that theres been a couple of earthquakes, the first one i slept through, although apparently it was rather shakey. the next one was mid morning so i was up and about and had just gone into an internet cafe and was asking for a computer and then the world started a shaking, and the guy behind the desk looked terrified and the automatic door went mad, was great fun, shakey enough for a bit of fun but not too much so that things or people were damaged.

then it was my last day with my new friends so i did some applying for work and spent some time wandering round town with them. yesterday most of the people i knew left queeny so i have very few excuses for not looking for work anymore... on that front i had a trial shift in a bar last night, although i'm not that hopeful about that cause they're aparently trialing a few people so i'll have to wait and see, also had an interview for working at a hostel this morning so we'll see what comes from that, applied for a few other jobs too so hopefully i'll have something soon, seems to be quite a bit of work about so when i get less picky i'm sure something'll come up.

so that's me now, looking forward to being in the same place for a while, i already know a couple of people who are here long term and another couple of friends are headed down this week in the next couple of weeks so life is good!

hope everythings good with you all,