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Published: January 11th 2016
So we drove back to Christchurch, packed our things for Lake Tekapo whilst we put clothes in the wash from the past few weeks.. We watched a few episodes of Eastenders, Charlotte's now gotten me into watching it again! After our washing was dry we headed to the mall to see Point Break at the cinema and met Matt there. The film was incredible! I really want to watch the original, I think Darian and I will watch it when I'm back in Adelaide.
We drove about 3 hours to get to Lake Tekapo, we swapped half way from whoever was driving so the other could rest. I had only driven in Charlottes' automatic car once the day before and it seemed so easy! I think I've forgotten how to drive a manual, only kidding! We arrived at Lake Tekapo and we both at the same time went 'wow' the lake was a bright crystal blue. We got to the place we were staying (well, the reception part) and we're told our pitch number. 129. We drive around and put our tent up and chucked sleeping bags and pillows in to weigh it down a bit! It was absolutely boiling,
so we pumped up the kayak ready to do a bit of exercise. Our neighbours behind us kept watching and we asked the little girl if she would like to come down with us and try it out. So her and her dad walked ahead. We walked down to the lake with it, down a gravel path and came to the rocky/shell beach. It really hurt as I went bare foot so I was quite slow! We got to the waters edge and jumped in the kayak, we would make a great kayak team as we were paddling at exactly the same time! Olympics 2016 here we come! We paddled around for a bit, the lake was so lovely to be on! We saw the tent neighbours and offered them to go on it so the dad and daughter went out for 5 minutes or so and they loved it! Think they will be buying one soon enough. We put the kayak up on the edge and we waded out to the pontoon that was about waist height. The water was freezing! We quickly got onto the pontoon and sunbathed, chatting to a mum and her son about their travels.
It was about 5pm so we decided to get back in, even colder this time as we had dried off and warmed up. We took the kayak back up to the tent and deflated it. We sunbathed for a bit on our towels and had a nap in the sun. It was still too hot so we went to the little town about 2min drive away (we didn't realise actually how close it was) and got an ice cream, food supplies and went into a cafe that had free WiFi and sat outside in the shade drinking our juices.
We headed back and decided to have a longer nap ad we were going to be up late whilst watching the milky way and searching for shooting stars!
We napped for 3 hours after having trouble sleeping as it was so light still. Luckily we woke up at 10pm so we got ready in warm clothes and jumped in the car to head to the famous church (Church of the Good Shepherd) where there is no light pollution whatsoever. This place is one of a handful of places in the world you can see the milky way with the
human eye clearly.
We got there and it was so windy and I had a tummy bug (sausage rolls did it to me earlier that day, so basically I had a bout of food poisoning I guess). Anyway we got back to the church and sat in the car searching for the milky way and we found it easily. This is where I saw my first shooting star! People in their cars wouldn't turn their damn car lights off so we got annoyed and we got out, fought against the extremely strong winds and went behind the Church where loads of people were sitting, lying down, standing taking photos of the stars. It was beautiful. We lay on the floor as it was less windy closer to the ground. Although it was still very very windy, we got a few photos, on my phone, the gopro and another camera. The photos came out really well, not the ones on my phone although the stars were very bright on it! That's when I saw my second ever shooting star! We then got really cold so we stumbled our way back to the car (no lights at all, pitch black going
up steps isn't fun in flip flops).
We made our way back to the tent and got there.. I said 'our tent has moved hasn't it...?" what had happened was our tent came unpegged except ONE and our lovely neighbours obviously saw it flapping in the wind so they hammered it down so that we didn't lose it! We got changed into warm pajamas and got in our sleeping bags. It was so so windy still, on fact it reaches 155kmph that night and it wasn't dying down. We both tried to sleep to no avail, we kept thinking the tent was going to rip and we said if it did we would sleep in the car. All in all, we got 30mins sleep, if that, that night! We were awake at 630am still so decided to have a shower and have breakfast and go, there was no point waiting around! We were both so shattered from lack of sleep. We drove back to Christchurch, stopping at a road side cafe to have a cuppa tea each then I took over to drive. It was so tiring. We went into a shop, both couldn't be bothered so we dropped
whatever we had in our hands and walked out.
We then thought well, as soon as we get back home we won't be leaving the house again so we went to a place called Governors Bay (beach) and could see Quail Island across (Apparently there's an open water 10k race here... Tempting). Quail Island is famous for back on the old days, people that had leprosy were sent here to die, no food or drink, just the wildlife on the island, which wasn't much!
We drive around a bit more and then headed back to Charlottes house. Uploaded the photos and I packed my bag ready to leave for Sydney the next day. We cooked chicken and wedges and got into our pj's, put some washing on and settled on watching Eastenders on the kitchen. We watched 5 hours worth of TV catch up! We then had toast for dinner and watched Blackfish on Netflix. It's a documentary about whaling, SeaWorld Florida and the whale, Tilikum and how it has killed many trainers and a member of the public. It is a disturbing film showing CCTV footage and also court room cases about the way seaworld treated each
fatality. For this programme, I will never visit a seaworld again. Although they say they are saving the animals from the dangers of the wild... Nothing is right about keeping animals in a cage, or in a tiny pool with a few Killer Whales in there. They need the ocean to be free, it's nature. That goes for any animal that is kept in captivity.
After that, we slept so well! Charlotte had work the morning of me leaving so I went up with her and had a swim whilst she was teaching swimming.
I arrived at Christchurch airport at lunchtime on Mon 11th and headed back to Sydney, Australia!
And that concludes my New Zealand adventure!!! It's been an amazing experience, I have seen so much, done so much which is all thanks to Charlotte who organised the trip whilst I was still in the UK! I am now ready to start work on Weds 13th at a lovely 50m outdoor swimming pool in Gawler, Adelaide!
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