Published: October 17th 2009
October 17th 2009
Meanwhile on the other side of the world... Our Eco friendly camper van, which we fill up every night just in case we get snowed in, and still standing by our descision to turn down a nice, lovely, warming heater! We arrived in Queenstown, first impressions.. Saint Tropez! This is where the beautiful people hang out, so therefore we both fitted straight in to the way of life here! We pulled up to a council owned campsite, thought this may be the better option as the more exclusive TopTen one would be more expensive, it probably was, but this cost us $36-00, thats about 20 quid, our most expensive yet! That didn include showers at an extra dollar for 8 minutes worth of shower time, and laundry, (as now down to the one pair of pants and just about to christen them with the first of four days wear, you know the inside out back to front rule!) which was a further $8, so our cheaper council owned site turned out to be the most expensive one.. Ever!
Got chatting to the receptionist at the site who took great pleasure in letting us know just how much real estate was and some motels charge a minimum of $600 per person per night! So we booked ourselves in for a grand total of one night!
The highlight of Queenstown was taking the gondola, cable car, up to the top of the hill where random people throw themselves off attached to thick elastic bands, and got a view of the whole town and lake. The best bit was going down on the luges. These are one person carts which go down a track about 800m long, using nothing more than body weight and gravity. We got our safety briefing by a Sheffield Wednesday fan, why he felt the need to tell me that god knows, the briefing was very intense, push forward on the handle bars to brake, and pull backwards to brake! Simples! Somewhere between the two brakes is go like a nutter! So we did, having paid for 2 rides, the first being the scenic track. We quickly graduated to the advanced track, where our safety briefing now was delivered by the attendants sat down saying "just check your brakes work!" I must say after doing both tracks and literally getting a photo finish on our 2nd race, which can be viewed online when we find the code, we had to go back for just one more go. If it wasn so cold I think we could have stayed there all day! So back to the eco van to warm up and move on to our next crazy adventure.
Moving further south we ended up at the most southern city Invercargill, here we had a sighting of a sealion chomping like a good un on a not so lucky seagull, well more doing his own olympics with it as he tossed its torso from one side of the bay to the other. We stood on the most southern point of New Zealand, which was a short drive followed by a short walk through a field full of cow and sheep poo, its here that "oh my god I can believe it, Ive never been this far away from home" starts going round in your head! We were only about 19000 km away! Had a quick look over the edge of the cliffs to see if it really was the most southern point, and in true clumsy oaf style , slipped and nearly gave Lisa the remaining contents of our travelling account, not to mention a heart attack, as she stood there with a face you get when you know youve been a very very bad boy!
Stopped over in Dunedin for a night, went for a well deserved beer. We were actually en route for some fish and chips but they were shut. One bloke we found out to be called Weasel, he arrived with his girlfriend, think she was called Weasels bird! Didn appear to take much notice of the drink drive law there as he ordered two pitchers of premium beer, played pool and listened to Eminem on a juke box that wouldn turn down after you turned it up! Only stayed for the one! Went for a walk up the worlds steepist street, Baldwin St. You think steep hill in Lincoln is steep, well this one definetly beats that, lengend has it that they do races up and down it in the summer, they probably do cos quite a few crazy people were jogging up and down, then doing it all over again. We did the dignified thing and took a steady walk, sometimes backwards to admire the view!
Also went to NZ only castle Larnock Castle, never used in any kinda fighting or owt, simply built by a bloke who wanted his house to look like his uncles in England back in 17 something. The bloke married three times, one wife being his late wifes sister! Although a wealthy man and an MP, at times as he built, then lost, then rebuilt his fortunes, alot of it at the expense of others. Or just by claiming expenses to get his moat cleaned! He ended up shooting himself in parliament, as it was alledged his son was having an affair with his then wife. Bit of a Dynasty/Dallas theme there. Not really worth the $50 to get in.
On our tour of the south island we wanted to see some of the worlds rarest penguins, the yellow eyed penguin. There was a look out on a beach where you can stand in a hut and wait for them to come ashore. Penguins don like noise too much and feel very threatened by things which are much larger than them. So its best to keep low if you see any. We made our way to this hut which is sunk into the ground which means you
e head is just above ground. Luckily for us we had been waiting quietly for good half hour when stupid family join us. Here we have stupid boy and stupid girl running in and out the hut, followed by stupid boy shouting "its this way" to his stupid dad. No amount of shushing was gonna stop this kid! After a further 5 minutes of stupid dad talking to stupid kids in a normal voice, not the lets keep it low kids as we don want to scare them away voice. We left! When we looked back stupid dad had managed to walk around the hut to the little windows to see if any mighty 6 ft tall penguins had managed to sneak up in all the noise! Closely followed of course by stupid son!
We did see some penguins courtesy of $ 80 on a tour where stupid dads and stupid sons aren allowed to go on! We saw the worlds rarest, the yellow eyed penguin and the worlds smallest, the blue penguins! And to top it all its breeding season too,so chances are they were horny penguins too! Amazing!
We spent our last two days in Kaikora to go whale watching. On this coast they have sperm whales. We booked ourselves in to a tour, which unfortunatly got canceled due to 5metre swells, and alot of people got sea sick. Not being phased by that as weve been out in choppy seas to see volcanos, we got on the one the next day, 7.15 am!!!!! After a ropey start as there was a problem with the boats motor thingy, and we got on one which worked proper and headed out to sea. We lost over an hours viewing time due to the delayed start but did get to see two dolphins on our way out, aswell as two sperm whales! Wow! Words can really describe it as they are huge! We got a partial refund from the good ole captin which paid for our nights accomadation on a proper bed! Didn want to wake up from there at 3 am this morning to go to Brisbane! Which is where we are heading of to now. Picking up yet another camper, hopefully this time well feel alot happier with turning down the heater option! We did nearly 5,000km in our eco van over 20 days, so didn really have chance to lie in or get too comfortable anywhere. In local news Gisborne, where captain cook parked his boat was hit with an earthquake the other day measuring around 4. Same happened in Wellington, it appears that these kinda natural occurrences have a tendency to happen after weve been to a place! Maybe thats why people don talk very long to us?!
Tune in next time for more Lisa and Ric go around the world in more than 80days.