Day 30, Christchurch
The seals and the tiring walk is amazing but we are only staying for 1 night so we’re back in Christchurch. It was arranged so that we’ll be picked up once we alight from the coach however Judy was caught up at work.
Arrived in the afternoon, picked up re-arranged till late evening. Totally fine by me. This way I’ll get my chance to look at the exhibition near the University. Something about seeing the earth from above.
There’s a nice automobile Japanese food store in one of the alley way. Cheap and yummy hot food. The best rice related food I had during my entire NZ trip.
Free lodging in one of the houses from Judy! She intends to do a B&B (bed & breakfast) , I hope our feedback will help her lots!
She even made time to clear her schedule to send us to the domestic airport. In return, I gave her one of the post card with my photo of our Milford Sound cruise with wordings that are difficult to read just cause my handwriting is horrible. Hah.
Day 29, Kaikoura
Eeeeeeeps! Fur seals up close! The sign states that the safest distance should be kept at 10 meters apart. I believe I was less than 2 meters away. Before anyone judge me of being whatever, I have to clarify that it was definitely not my intention to allow myself in such danger. I was walking along the platform and then suddenly after I turn on a bend, a fur seal lays right in front if me.
I would have scream if not for my subconscious realization to not startle it. Not wise, it bites.
Today tops the fittest activity done. 3 hr walk/hike/trek to see the fur seals and cross mountains following a loop that leads us back to our hostel. I thought I was gonna die! I kept motivating self by the thought of cool refreshing coca cola waiting by the end of the tedious exercise.
I wanted to do the peninsular walk by the coast instead of the cliff top walk but there was 1 seal right smack in the middle of the path. Sigh. Even on the top of the cliff up the mountain the cow is blocking our path too! It’s weird though, we had to climb into the ranch and out to continue to route. I bet the cows were curious hence they come forth. As compared to a seal, I’m more familiar with a cow, hence I didn’t freak but just pass by them without much trouble. Haha.
I’ll be back, to NZ for the peninsula walk the next time.
Day 28, Christchurch
Riiiiing~ seriously it’s too freaking early for anyone to call. Moreover in NZ, where only a few knows our number. Turns out that Judy called and she was feeling okay and offered to bring us around. Woot!
She’s gonna be here approx 1 - 2 pm in the afternoon and there’s plenty of time to kill! My bed misses me, so I plopped back and snooze. Rofl.
We were definitely up for a car drive as we’ve completely no idea how to spent our time in Christchurch, everything is just so far away. We saw how devastating the earthquake can be. A 5 million house on top of a hill with an awesome view of the city gone in 10 seconds. Geez.
As we toured around, Judy pointed out stuffs to us. I was surprised that she knew so much. I’m certain that not many takes the time to learn about the history and happenings.
So, the weather got a lil’ chilly, which means coffee time! A nice cafe named “zero”, the ice coffee is yummy! I seldom felt that way, but the coffee is good.
Judy had an appointment with her niece Jannah and invited us to join her for dinner and her church activity. We were so ready to be exposed to other areas and things to do we agreed almost immediately. Dinner is decent and piping hot, which we hadn’t been eating for quite awhile. Judy refused to let us pay, insisting on treating us. I feel like we owe her lots. It’ll be our turn to return the favor should she visit S’pore.
A long day, a very long day. The church seminar end later than we expected at 10pm plus. After dropping Jannah, we got back to our hostel approx 11pm. Lucky for us we’ve already packed our luggage (day pack for Kaikoura & excess baggage) Hence it’s just dump heavy baggage in Judy’s car and back to bathe and sleep.
Tired to the max!
Day 27, Christchurch Queenstown - Cromwell - Geraldine - Christchurch Traffic lights! The nearest town/city with traffic lights is approximately 2500km away. Geez. I actually prefer not to have traffic lights though. Probably because waiting for the green man is annoying and the fact that there is a time limit for you to cross the road pisses me big time. I wanna cross at my own pace and judge on my own if it’s safe. Sense of achievement yea. The second thing that caught my attention is the debris and fallen houses from the earthquake that has yet to be cleared though most of them are. A real eye opener, it’s kinda like feeling the place. Never experienced an earthquake (hope not) and seen the aftermath of it with my bare eyes. Now I did, and it’s just not nice. I can briefly picture how it was like, I’m saying that I’ll definitely panic and if my house crashes it’ll be devastating. Although they’re repairing the roads and all, I can tell that it will be years before it’s fully restored to the former way it was.
Day 26, Queenstown
We’re suppose to crash at Judy’s place tomorrow but she wasn’t feeling too well. Food poisoning from a cold dish (chicken). Hope she feels better.
Though we made last minute booking for the Christchurch hostel we were worried about her. Hence, we decided to find our way around to visit her when we get there.
Long drive tomorrow. Another 6 hrs journey on the road.
Day 25, Milford Sound
Pop by Te Anau for breakfast, hop on the bus travel for a few more hours through the Milford Road which is considered as one of the best scenic drive in New Zealand. Mind you, it’s 6 hrs to and 6 hrs back. Journey alone, excluding the cruise hrs. However, it is also one of the more dangerous public roads in New Zealand, with a high injury crash rates and avalanches (snow & trees) occurring that sometimes the road is blocked and wasn’t allowed access for days.
We had to pass by a tunnel drilled through one of the mountains and there was no lights in there! I can’t see a single thing if not for the headlights of the car. Plus it’s freaking narrow, too near the sides and the roof of the van will be scraped by the edges of the rocks. I find it ultra cool!
The weather is awesome and thus our cruise went well. The first thing that they guide you on board the cruise is to the buffet. 45 mins and they’ll clear your tray. Very fulfilling lunch indeed. Smile etched on my face all the time.
I’m a roofster as our guide call it. I was on the top deck all the while enjoying the breeze and awesome view. Darryl and Ule can’t take the cold, which is funny because I’m only wearing a t-shirt. Seeing them with jackets zipped all the way up and shivering amuses me. I took a pic, and once again it’s on my digi cam. Rofl.
More fur seals!
Day 24, Queenstown (saturday arts & crafts flea market)
Families, couples and kids seating on the big patch of grass overseeing a nice splendid view of the mountains having a picnic. A stroll along the Saturday market and an ice cream treat for a sunny afternoon though it’s cold. Lolx.
The Saturday market is definitely a stroke of serendipity as we did not plan our days as such whereby we’ll definitely witness the market. We walked, stopped and I took out my phone. “oh. Today is Saturday. That explains the market”.
New friend! Yay!! And double yay just cause she’s a local and lives in Christchurch which is our next destination! Judy is really nice and offered us to live in one of her apartment and drive us around. Nothing beats a local guide. Sweet.
Triple yay for the Milford Sound trip tomorrow! Hyper like a kid with sugar rush. We call them sweets, others candy and kiwis lolly.
Flip flops, thongs, sandals, slippers and jandals. Same thing. ^^
Day 22, Queenstown
The puzzling world was fun. However it could be better I suppose. Like include more puzzling elements and stuff. The labyrinth on the other hand is tough! The objective is to get to the 4 towers at the corner, the tougher challenge will is to get to the tower by a color sequence. Screw the sequence. I spent 30 grueling minutes trying to figure my way and manage to only get to 1 tower.
I totally underestimated the difficulty. Now that I’ve experienced being exasperated as the maze fools you and it always, I repeat always brings you back to the same f*cking point, I now know better.
Darryl was like “whatever, if we get to the tower than yea, if not it doesn’t matter”. But I was like “no sh#t! I HAVE to get to at least 1 or I’ll refuse to leave even if the bus goes away”. This is how hard I wanted to win at least a quarter of it. I see people cheating though. Shelby in particular got caught by me when she crawled under the gap. Rofl. Her expression is priceless and hilarious.
Enough of the puzzling world. We then headed towards a place where you they show you the video of bungee and to get the tickets for Nevis (134m). Of course there are people who chose to jump off right then too. I think it was a 43m bridge. The height was okay I guess, or maybe knowing that there is a river underneath lessens the fear. Unlike the situation where you jump off the cliff or something and the bottom are rocks. Right.
Guy offered to do a tandem if anyone is too freaked out by the idea of plunging down a bridge. I’ll still give it a pass. As much as I like the idea of free falling, the part where you have to overcome your phobia and jump on your own accord ain’t my thing. It’s super crazy. After the countdown of 3, 2, 1 and you leap out, I’ll be the one who will have multiple re-countdown and still not be able to do it.
As usual, the first thing to do when we get to a new town is to scout for the supermarket and have dinner. So that’s pretty much it. I have to say this, Queenstown is soooooo beautiful and gorgeous. At least my hostel view is, and that’s all that matters to me. *whistles
Oh! And Darryl is doing the Nevis bungee tomorrow. He’s nuts! Crazy! Etc.
Day 23, Queenstown
Ah! The simple life and sleeping in late.
I’m so used to post dating my stuff and this time round, I can’t remember what I did except eating the Ferg’s burger. Haha.
The burger is delicious and huge. Totally digging the freshness and the blue cheese. Yum. Expensive but yummy. Explains the long queue and good reviews. Thumbs up!
There are plenty of souvenir shops around yet the price difference is obvious for the exact replica. And they’re right next to each other!
Taking my time, no pressure as I have 5 days here! Minus 1 day for Milford sound.
Crash dates. Due to Darryl’s smart planning, his Nevis bungee and the Milford sound cruise crashes date. Sooooo, we swapped the date from 2nd to 4th September. It was the right choice too! It showers on the 2nd from what we heard as we met one of the travel mate. She claims that the weather is so bad that the cruise is not worth the money. Well, for us the sun is there and no showers, everything was pleasant. Lucky me, lucky us.
Day 20, Franz Joseph
Excited. Nervous. Anticipation.
Look at the get-up! I look like a freaking pregnant polar bear! I have 5 layers of top wear underneath the down jacket. Only tights for the inner layer for bottom though. Apparently your upper body warmth is of utmost importance.
Bad. Super bad. Ultra bad.
My bag pack is soaking wet! Light showers throughout the hike. But nah. I prefer showers than strong sunny day.
Good thing that I met a malaysian couple from Penang. They offered to take pictures for me. So yay!! I don’t have to whip out my camera and get it wet.
Glacier hike is tedious but oh so fun. Though it clearly states that almost anyone of any age can do it I highly doubt so. Seriously, I was like so near to the edge most of the time it feels like falling and breaking bones ain’t that impossible. Plus, the ice is slippery and there’s like no proper route to take when hiking. The trick is to stomp your feet for every single step to get the crampons work.
Guess what! That stupid friggin ass (Darryl) was taking a nap and didn’t see my text, call or endless knocking on the damn door. After a long tedious half day hike and enduring the showers, I walk back to the room but has no access. Stupid Darryl and stupid reception who gave us only one key.
Fine then, I went grocery shopping to kill time (at that time I didn’t know he was napping and thought that he went out) and also curse along the way.
It turns out that his phone is having it’s moment again and he went out to look for me. We then met the couple who gave us a ride back. Whew.
I’m like soaking wet, hungry, tired and cold.
What a day. But I still enjoy the hike. Well worth the time and money.