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Published: April 16th 2010
My alarm went off at 7.30 and I got packed up ready to leave Frienz backpackers. Had a really great stay here and would recommend it to any travelers. Said goodbye to Jenna then went on the internet to book a hostel for Queenstown. As usual I got distracted by Facebook and was left with just a few minutes to book my accommodation before my 30minute Global Gossip card ran out. I had just enough time to process the deposit fee on hotelworld.com but not enough time to get directions.
Collected a coffee and muffin on the way to the bus stop and bumped in to the minivan driver that took me home from the Māori experience at Willowbank yesterday. He was such a nice guy and gave me a loud beep when he drove past me queuing for the coach to Queenstown.
I'd booked with a company called Naked Bus and the fare was only 30dollars (about 15quid) - bargain! The coach was great too, no different to the Greyhound and Premier coaches we had in Oz that cost us a fortune. We've found that nearly everything is much cheaper here in NZ than it was in Oz. They both
use "dollars" but it's a different currency. The bus wasn't too busy so all passengers got a row of two seats to ourselves. I got a hotdog when we broke for lunch, then we stopped again shortly after at Lake Tekapo which was absolutely beautiful! The lake was a blue-green colour surrounded by green hills, and you could see snow-topped mountains in the distance. I couldn't get over how unusual and vivid the colour of the water was. Don’t quote me on this, but the driver explained something about how Rockflower in the glaciers reflects the light to make it this intense blue colour. I’ve never seen anything like it and when I’ve seen photos of New Zealand in the past, I’d always assumed the photographer had enhanced the colour.
He was a great tour guide, and explained how the High Country in New Zealand has summers as hot as 45 degrees and winters as low as -25! Milford Sound is the second wettest place on earth and and can expect up to 7 metres of rain a year.
The farming industry in New Zealand is doing so well that they’ve spent millions of pounds installing Irrigators in the South
Island to supply water to the land.
We drove through Lindis Pass, which has green hills with pretty golden tufts all over it. We stopped at Lake Wanaka and I actually cried at one point, touched by the beauty of what I’d seen today. I’m so grateful to have been given this opportunity to travel for 3 months and the reality that it is shortly coming to an end is sinking in.
I checked in at Nomads hostel in Queenstown. It’s a new hostel with a cinema room and a sauna, as well as the usual kitchen, TV room etc. In my mixed dorm I got chatting to a guy called Julian, and within 5 minutes of meeting we decided to go out and get one of the famous Fergburgers. The queue for this place was right out the door, but they spin the food out pretty quick so we only waited 10 minutes.
Now I know why these burgers are so famous in New Zealand… they’re absolutely yummy (and huge!). We sat by the river in the town centre eating our food and feeding the ducks.
Back at the hostel, I met some girls in the corridor and they
invited me to have some drinks on their balcony. Their room was two large dorms joined by a massive balcony. They had all the doors open and people were milling in and out all night. I mainly spent the evening chatting with Cecilia and Sanna (two Swedish girls from Gothenburg) and two guys called Eric, one from Mexico and one from Canada. Cecilia and Sanna were known by pretty much everyone in the hostel (which I’m guessing houses over 150 travellers). They call every one baby, pronouncing it Baybeee.
We went down to the Common room which was heaving, full of young people getting ready for the night ahead. Located Julian, who’d also met some people so all of us went out together. I forgot to get changed out of my pyjama bottoms (grey harem pants) so ended up out in town wearing them. Our first stop was World Bar which is the most popular in the town. It wasn’t that busy yet though so we headed to Buffalo Bar which had girls dancing on the bar pouring water all over themselves… like the film Coyote Ugly. Julian and the two Eric’s loved this. We lost Eric the Mexican, Ceceilia
and Sanna, so Julian, Eric the Canadian and I decided to go on a bar crawl and have drinks in as many places as possible. We headed to various different venues, playing drinking games and placing bets along the way. I ended up with the curse of 28years bad sex, for not looking in to Eric’s eyes when he said cheers and ching-chinged with me (I did this 4 times and you get 7years for each). I won a "Golden Ticket" for knowing that The Locomotion was by Kylie Monogue and not Tiffany, and by proved my point by asking pretty much everyone else in the bar to place their vote… but then I lost it again by guessing that the Actor in Beautiful mind was Kevin Spacey, not Russle Crowe.
Went to Winnies bar where they had a live band playing all sorts. They were brilliant! There I was, rocking out in the mosh pit to the likes of Greenday wearing my pyjama bottoms. Ended up back in World Bar which was now packed to the rafters and a DJ was belting out some classic HipHop tunes, swinging his Dreadlocks around like there was no tomorrow. Our final stop
was a small Rock Club, where I left my purse on the bar (for a good 15minutes) before realising. Eric raced over to get it and surprisingly it was still there, all money and cards still intact.
On the way home we stopped for a Fergburger (my second of the day) and I lost the boys as I wandered off on the phone speaking to someone I probably shouldn’t have been. They found me back in my dorm and I was over the moon they’d saved my burger for me!
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