Moving on to Greymouth

Trip Start Sep 24, 2006
Trip End Sep 01, 2007

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Saturday, August 4, 2007

Hello from New Zealand - I had a blog composed and ready to send from Wellington a couple of days ago but it would not save much less send so I lost everything so here goes again. In a nutshell, made it to Auckland from Canberra-Sydney and had a miserable hostel there, left the next morning feeling sick with a cold, got the city bus with my backpacks 'homeless' and planning to get off at the Tourist Information but missed t he stop so went around again on the bus. A Maori was interested in me reading my guidebooks so started talking to me;t urns out he was a 'Christian' kind of missionary and had a good heart so got off with me at a tourist place and then showed me another tourist place etc. Finally I did manage to get a small single room which I wanted, with a tv and a remote! to just recuperate from my cold caught just before my road trip to Canberra etc Auckland seems like a nice city although I didn't take in any sights other than the harbourfront wh ere the info is.  But New Zealanders love to hate Aucklanders, calling them arrogant and egocentric, thinking Auckland is the beginning and the end of NZ.  NZ people do seem to be a shade friendlier than Aussies (who shorten everything, ie brekkie, bikie (even a Hell's Angel is called a bikie', footie for football etc.)  They also say 'No Worries' to everything, like we say 'no problem' and the NZ'ers say 'Sweet As" and "Gravy As" and I'm still wondering what they mean but I think it means "No problem/no worries'.
Anyway, researched my options about getting around NZ and seeing what I can see in the time left for my travels..... and opted for the 'Magic Bus' which kind of operates like a guided bus combined with a scheduled bus service. I am on an 11 stop trip which takes from to 3 places in North Island and 8: in South Island. Starting in Auckland to Rotorua  where the Maori cultural center in NZ Te Puia is fabulous   toTaupo to Wellington (from which I took the 3 hour ferry yesterday to Picton and then caught the Magic Bus to Nelson and am now in Greymouth for the night at a h ostel where they put 4 of us women with the one guy, the rest of the travellers are at other hostels and where there are lots of rooms! Apparently they think travellers want to be with the others on the bus, and I'm thinking I'd like a break - although they are all very nice and young! Anyway tomorrow we go to Franz Joseph where there are glaciers, the next night to Queenston where I will spend 3 nights for a break, then Dunedin, Lake Tekapo and then Christchurch from where on Aug. 14 I will fly to Auckland to catch my Air New Zealand flight back to........CANADA! Cannot believe it my time has come.
ANyway the bus stops where there are sights ie waterfalls, today we saw seals and 'pancake rocks'. It is off season so only 13 on our bus today and it is a Greyhound type. Every day it is a diff mix of travellers as people can opt to stay longer in the places and get on again in a couple of days. I am moving right along as I am running out of time. In hindsight I wish I had spent less time in Aust and more in NZ as it is an amazingly beautiful country. Today we spent most of the time travelling alongside the ocean of the west coast with waves, breakers, rocks etc.  

On my bus today a couple got on from Saskatchewan! They are teachers from Swift Current. This is the first time I have even met anyone from Sask. through the whole year. Anyway tonight Iwas supposed to go on a Monteith Beer Tasting but the company was to pick us up at 5:45 (checked into hostel at 4:10) so was a mad dash to get ready after I booked my accomm. in Queenston, and anyway the company didn't turn up so they were called at 6;15 and they said there were coming. I thought I had had enough of waiting so went to a little cafe and had my own beer and some dinner. Now am at McDonalds on the internet so that is my Friday night. Gotta close now, running out of time on my card.
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