Hokitika: Buses and Boots
Trip Start Jan 18, 2011
74Trip End Dec 01, 2011
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If I had to review it, I'd say – read the sneaky small print on their site! We would have loved to experience a bit more of Wellington but the stringent schedule had tired us out..
The schedule being:
* Get up really early to get the bus
* Eat brekkie and make sandwiches
* Get on the bus and tour all day, choose a hostel and take pictures of stuff (it's a hard life)
* Arrive at destination about 4/5pm
* Go to the supermarket
* Make dinner often involving a hunt for utensils in hostel kitchens
* Maybe have time to do something in the evening
....Rinse and repeat.... on to the next town.
Exhausting! Especially with our jetlag, but I think we've more or less got over that now. Oh yeah, at some point in amongst all of that we may need to find time to do some of the activities that they've flogged us.. Their winter schedule meant that we could either vist town upon town on a daily basis, or if we wanted to do any activity during the day we'd have to stay 4 days! Some of these kiwi towns are really quite small... it made us think that the service wasn't actual magic and simply crafty sleight of hand. Moaning aside! It is really great to have the driver guide us and tell us what's what along the route.
So our stay in the Nelson area was a welcome break.
The first night, we arrived at our hostel, Accents on the Park, only to discover the dopey staff had somehow lost our online booking. The patronising manager ('I want you to know, you haven't done anything wrong') took us to another hostel which resembled a youth club. It's worth noting that the New Zealand 'Fush n' Chups' aren't as good as back home!
Being given the boot
It's a real laugh, with a cosy little fire in the comfortable living area and large bathroom. There was a workeable kitchenette and well-stocked minibar – nice touch since we natrually thought the cupboards'd be bare. The bedroom is upstairs and to keep Lisa happy there's a barbecue :)
It was the little touches that made the stay for us.. the baked treats, the chocs, the robes, the almighty breakfasts! I have never seen such a big hash brown, with all trimmings on top. Decadent. And made a change from toast with honey/cereals.
We took bikes into the small port village of Mapua and bought stuff for a BBQ and after another comfortable, serene night it was time to return back to Nelson. In New Zealand's sunniest city (it was raining) we stayed in the clinical YHA.
The aforementioned schedule continues with our driver, Pommy Tony. Nice guy, talks a lot, says whatever comes into his head actually. I write this on the bus and we've all just had an explanation of the finer details of his own home insurance policy in reference to earthquake cover. A true Alan Patridge moment!
Jonathan Edward James Whittlestone