Hello again. Right now we’re in the plane back home… And for us (NZ time) it’s 8:30 in the morning and I still haven’t had any sleep. I’ve got so much energy that I decided to tell you guys the final story of our adventures… (whoohoo)
So. Where was I? Wanaka! I already told you about the amazing house and location the Schikkers are living in. And that we are so lucky that we could stay there for a while! The first day, Shaker (yes that’s Steve’s nickname, but it has actually become his real name) arranged a jet boat trip for us. A jet boat is especially designed to go over very shallow water. And the water we went over was not more than 2 centimetres deep. Sitting in a (spinning) jet boat was very exciting and the valley was stunning.
One afternoon, we went to puzzling world, a museum with things built in it that mess with your brains. For example: a room that looks just normal, but when one person stands on one side she looks huge and when the other person stands on the other side she looks very tiny. It’s a bit complicated, but they’d got some nice tricks and we’ve got some nice photos.
In Wanaka we hiked a lot, the area is just so amazing. The one I liked most was the Rob Roy valley walk, where you end up close to a glacier, beautiful!!
But one next day something not really nice happened. Nicky and I wanted to go biking the day, when Nicky fell off her bike while riding down a very steep hill… She felt quite dizzy afterwards and she was covered with wounds, so we decided to go to the doctor just to have a little check on her. She was fine after all, but her arm was still hurting after a long time and is still not completely healed.
The day after the fall, the A&P show was going on in Wanaka. A&P stands for Agricultural & Pastoral. It was a farmers event and there were lots of cows, sheep, alpacas, goats, that they were judging and giving prices to (which I thought looked really stupid)… There was also some horse riding, music, dog races and a lot of little stands where you could buy stuff. It was a sunny day and we had a real kiwi experience.
Diana had planned to go to Dunedin for the weekend, so we drove with her to that student city. The first night we attended a rugby game. And that was… Interesting. The sport is not really my thing, not that I’m into sports anyway. But once they get the ball and it’s getting exciting, they suddenly l on top of each other or someone’s breaking a rule and they pause the game. Haha, and the crowd seemed to care more about the partying and the fights that were going on rather than the game itself. Well okay, this was just another cool kiwi experience. The other days in Dunedin we visited the University, did a tour in the chocolate factory and met 2 really cool girls where we hang out with.
The next destination was Queenstown. And I almost don’t dare to tell you guys, but yes, we booked ANOTHER Lord of the Rings tour. But hey, don’t blame us, on that day we saw the most amazing mountains, rivers, forests, lakes and so on… We could even play with swords! ;)
We ran into those 2 girls we met before in Dunedin. So that night we went to the pub with them and some other guys. And the next day, it was St. Patrick’s day. We thought, a well, we’ll just go to a pub or something and then see what we feel like. But when we were having dinner in our hostel, we suddenly saw heaps of people we met before in Paradiso backpackers in Nelson! It was a real coincidence. We spent the whole night laughing and teaching them funny Dutch words and dancing and whatever. We had such a great time with them!!
After one hour of sleep that night we took the kiwi experience to Te Anau & Milford Sound! Te Anau was a quiet little place where we didn’t do so much. The first day it was raining, but we were tired from the party anyway so we just spent the day reading, listening to music and watching movies by the fireplace. And the next couple of days we didn’t do anything different except for the fact that it was in the sun and by the lake. Oh, and I spent the evenings laying outside with my pillow and blanket and merino socks, watching the stars…
On the way to Milford Sound, I was already amazed by the beautiful area we were driving through. There were beautiful mountains and waterfalls everywhere. It reminded me a little bit of the landscape they used in the movie Jurassic Park. The first thing we did when we arrived in the tiny little Milford village, was taking a boat cruise. That was absolutely beautiful… So amazing. Milford was immediately one of my favourite places in New Zealand. Sorry Rens, I think I just fell in love with Milford, haha J
But the hostel we were staying in was awful. And I think these annoying sand flies fell in love with Milford too, because they were everywhere! So even though being in this beautiful place, I was happy to only stay there for 2 nights.
One day we took a beautiful walk through a rainforest. Oh my, that was special. We walked for about 8 hours. And on the whole way we just saw one person passing us by, only one. There was a designed path, but I wonder how long ago they did that, because we had to climb over trees, through mud and those kind of things and my shoes were ruined, but it was awesome! And so beautiful.
The morning we went from Queenstown to Mt. Cook, the tops of the mountains were covered with snow. Felt like suddenly winter had started! And it was so pretty!!
The first day in Mt. Cook was rainy, so we stayed inside. And suddenly Marlies and René (two Dutch people we met before in Te Anau & Milford) came into the room. Together with another Dutch guy we were talking and laughing all night. They are such lovely people!! Marlies and René quit their jobs and went travelling all around the world for almost a year. We hope to visit them when we’re all back in Holland again. The next day we took a valley walk up to Mt. Cook. Ahhh, we really didn’t want to go home, we are seeing such beautiful places!! This was just amazing. All the mountains around us were covered in snow, it was so so pretty. That night, again, the five of us were talking all night. The next day we went to Glentanner to do some horse riding. And again the views were amazing. But I think Nicky’s horse didn’t really felt like going that day, so she was behind all the time and sometimes her horse went in a total different direction. Haha, that was funny.
After three nights spend in beautiful Mt. Cook, we moved on to the next stunning place: Lake Tekapo. In my opinion, we were staying in the best hostel: on the lakeside and just a minute away from the hot pools. When we arrived in Tekapo, we met Leen and Lianne, who just got back from Queenstown and were on their way to Ashburton. We had some coffee with them and their friends. It was nice to see them again J That night we went stargazing with a group and a guide. With a bus we drove to the top of Mt. John, where the observatory was. No lights were aloud, and it was very dark, so that was pretty freaky. Students were doing research in that observatory and this night they showed and told us all about the stars. It’s a special place for stargazing, because the villages in the whole area around, turn their lights off after 10 o’clock, especially for the researchers to be able to look at the stars better. So it was very beautiful. And through a telescope we could see a lot of odd things in the universe. And we were able to see Mars and Saturn very clearly!!
The next day we spent 6 hours in the hot pools… That was long… But so good…
The day after we climbed Mt. John in daylight and it was beautiful… There was one awesome point on the top where it looked like you were standing on the edge of a cliff looking over a huge landscape underneath you. Standing on it felt like “IM THE KING OF THE WOLRD!!” But actually there was ground on the other side. When Nicky didn’t know that yet I decided to pretend I fell off. I thought it was quite funny but apparently that had seemed really real, so she didn’t like that at all. I understand, it was the worst joke ever.
The next day we went back to our luxury resort in Ash Vegas (or some call it Ashburton). I was really looking forward to see Leen and Lianne again and their lovely dogs Sascha and Effie. But we got sad news, Sascha had died the day before we arrived… Poor thing. And poor Lianne.
The first few days we helped Ainsly (daughter of L&L) and her husband clean and move out of their house. Because a week later we waved them goodbye on Christchurch airport, they went off to Australia, where they going to live for a year. And then they will come to Europe and (probably) together with Leen, Lianne, Vincent and Katie they will visit us in Holland!! Yay, would be lovely to see them again!
And from then on we had Ainsly’s cat in the house, and he decided to wake me up every morning, ‘round 4 am… But he’s very cute though!
We came over for tea(dinner) at Julia’s (cousin of Leen) one night and that was a lot of fun. She’s really into gardening and so we cooked a creative meal from all kinds of things out of her garden. It was nice to hang out with her, Kees and Ian.
We also went to Christchurch for one day. We saw a bit of the damage from the earthquake, cause the whole centre of the city is closed. It’s just weird what happened out there. I really liked the container mall. All the shops that were damaged by the earthquake are now located in containers and it looks actually pretty nice.
And then we went dolphin swimming in the little French town Akaroa. We were very keen on that, but I don’t think the dolphins were… And it was raining that day, but ah well, that can happen. Akaroa was still a beautiful place and it was really “gezellig” with Leen and Lianne!
So, most of the last 2 weeks at Leen and Lianne’s were nice and quiet, but I really enjoyed it!
And I really enjoyed this trip! Absolutely loved it! And this will definitely not be my last one. I want to see so much more of the world. I really want to come back to New Zealand someday, and I will. And then I hope I can show Rens all these beautiful things that I’ve seen the last few months.
Travelling together with Nicky was a real good idea. Thank you Nicky for letting me travel with you, I had a great time over there and of course with you!!