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Jon’s Travel Diary

Monday, 03 Apr 2006

Location: Wanaka, New Zealand

MapI talked to my adventure education professor (Geoff) before we left on Friday to Wanaka and he gave me a few places to check out and gave us this great place to set up our tent right on the lake. The weekend team included OZ, Take, Arny and myself.

Before we headed out we had to pick up some supplies and it just happened to be our good mate Paul's first day working their at the super market. And what better opportunity to embarrass poor Paul then on his first day on the job. When arriving to the super market we searched out for Paul but he was no where to be found. I think he knew we were coming. So we talked to his manager and told him that we were looking for our mate Paul. So he went to the back to look for him. Paul must have been in the back (hiding obviously), but when he came out the four of us grabbed for our camera's and started taking picture after picture of Paul as if he was famous. Then people started to look around like they should get their cameras out just in case he was. In actual fact no one (besides us) took a picture of Paul but I'm sure they would have if they would have remembered to bring their camera to the super market. We decided that this wasn't enough embarrassment as we continued to take photos but this time asking people to take photos of us in the photo with Paul. Everyone had a good laugh including Paul and his manager. We continued to shop (what normal people do in a super market) and when passing Paul we'd rub his head or shout his name from the other end of the isle and wave at him. It was a great start to the trip. After battling for half an hour on what food we were going to cook (never easy when there is four different cultures buying food for the weekends adventure) we proceeded to head to Wanaka.

We arrived in Wanaka in the dark at around 9pm. We followed the map my prof drew out for us and proceeded to the spot where we would camp for the night. The sign before we went down this windy gravel road suggested no cars go past this point, no camping, no fires, and no dogs. We thought we would be alright to proceed as we had no dog so we only really broke 3 of the 4 rules. We set up camp for the night and built a small fire and hung out before we would crash for the night.

In the morning it was April fools, so Arny and I thought it would be funny since the other two guys (Taka and OZ) were still asleep (8am) to disassemble the tent. Unfortunately the guys didn't find the humor in our lame attempt at participating in the holiday as funny as we thought it was. I find April fools is loosing it's flare. It's time we turned this day around and started playing more practical jokes on others (as long as it's kept clean and your not breaking any laws then what's the harm?)

We proceeded to check out this place called Puzzle World. Which is a place dedicated to puzzles. It has a life size people maze which Arny and I challenged Taka and Oz at. In the end Holland and Canada prevailed! We thought more logically with Arny being sometimes up high on the bridge and directing me where to go. There was also this illusion room that had all kinds of really neat illusions.

Headed to the diamond lakes which is 20 minutes north of Wanaka where we tramped for 4 hours. At the top you could overlook the beautiful diamond shaped lakes. After that we headed back to camp, made tea, and then built fire and continued on with our deep philosophical questions. Some more philosophical then others. Taka sometimes was lost for deep thought.

In the morning we got up and searched out for where Shania Twain's summer house. Which eventually we found but couldn't get close enough to take any sort of pictures. It is a really secluded spot but the gate said no unauthorized persons past this point so we decided against my idea of running just past the corner to see if I could see anything. Right before the gate though there was this really deep down gorge which was beautiful! I took a photo in front of the sign of Shania's place but was unable to provide photos. Sorry Mom. In the afternoon we hiked up Mt. Iron which overlooked all of the area and the small town of Wanaka. It was a good trip with no one getting hurt, no one crying and nothing being lost or broken!

Just another weekend in New Zealand. This week I work hard so I can focus on upcoming midterms on the weekend. In two weeks time I am officially half way done my semester here at Otago. Time is flying bye.

It's weird being over here and in April the leaves are changing colour and New Zealand is heading into it's autumn season. I can't keep track of what month it is sometimes. Just one of those things that throws you off. Cheers.