Far too much information for one blog. Enjoy!
Trip Start Apr 16, 2010
25Trip End Jul 24, 2010
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Where I stayed
I'm glad you've joined us for another episode of the 'The Boys Do The World'.
We had an early rise which beckoned us toward River Valley. The name itself gives away what we were there for - the river! En route, we covered some hugely interesting activities; we passed Prince Phillip's favourite fishing grounds before stopping in Tongairo National Park. We disembarked for a pleasant walk to the Taramaki Falls, which was turned out to be very pleasant. A refuel at the cafe, and we were back on the bus, still heading for River Valley. As we closed in on said destination, so did the weather. Grey clouds and dismal rain greeted us. Our hostel was a real delight however, (the name of which has eluded me at present)
River rafting never actually happened. So we were left wondering why we ever went to River Valley...
We arrived in Wellington late afternoon and prepared for our final night with the people on our bus. We had a great evening in a rather dingey hostel bar, which ended with some sad farewells to our new found friends.
The next morning we awoke at an unearthly hour to jump on our new bus to hit up the South Island. We hopped on the ferry, arriving in Picton on the South Island before heading to our first stop; Nelson!
Our journey to Nelson was made interesting by our first stop; wine tasting! It was 10:30am, but of course we were bound to try some of NZ's finest, all in the name of education! We also tried olive oils, vinagrettes and fudge and left feeling rather well fed, (and even happier that it was free)
That evening we watched Shutter Island, a trippy yet spell-binding psychological thriller. I'd recommend it to anyone; a quality film with plenty of talking-points.
Time to keep moving.
Before starting our long drive to Westport, we turned off into Nelson Lake's National Park, where tradition states that Kiwi Experience members jump off the jetty into the icy cold waters of the Lake. It might appear to be a warm day with blue skies but we're talking crisp winter morning, with a side order of frosty water. Flipping freezing! We're not sure if it was entirely worth it....good fun though!
We arrived in Westport and immediately signed ourselves up for a jet boating experience. The pictures tell half the story. It was a thrilling, high-speed river adventure where we did twists and turns, spins and flips, (although we all got cold and soaked for the second time that day). the town of Westport itself was farely unremarkable, and the highlight (well, lowlight) was watching the England game at 2 am. But lets not dwell on the game.
And onwards to Lake Mahinapua. This place is a highlight for many on the Kiwi Exp. because of the fancy dress party which happens at the 'Poo Pub' in Mahinapua, (The name denotes from the last syllable of Mahinapua). En route we stopped off at Salvation Army, to pick up our costumes for the evening. Stef stocked up on some dashing purple clothes, Dan with a dress and dressing gown, Tim and Ollie with shed loads of Tweed (Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, anyone?!) and a pair of scissors. Needless to say, the party was immense fun and we all looked GREAT!
And now here we are
This place is simply beautiful; we're surrounded by a fantastic back-drop of mountains and glaciers, the likes of which we hope to scale up tomorrow.
You've been a fantastic audience. Drive safe now.