South Island, Part 2
Marahau to Greymouth
I got on the new Stray bus at Marahau, stinking from my 3 day hike and with no clean clothes to change into because Julian was dropping my big rucksack off on our bus route! Thankfully no one sat next to me maybe they could smell me before even coming close! The bus driver kindly stopped on the side of the road so I could jump off the bus and do a swap with Julian at his work his camping stuff for my rucksack. We travelled down to Greymouth stopping at some Pancake rocks and some other point to have a walk and take pictures. The drive is suppose to be rated as one of the best in the world down the West Coast and to be honest it didnt dissapoint, the scenery was incredible, jungle like forests and huge cliffs into the sea!
I was glad to get to Greymouth so I could shower and change my clothes! I chilled that night and got some shopping in so I didnt have to eat more rice and baby food!! Greymouth was a bit of a wierd place, really quiet and nothing really going on so it was good to chill.
Greymouth to Franz Joseff
The next morning the bus didnt leave till 12pm ish. I had a mate from camp who's family lived in Greymouth and had a parcel delivered from home to them so I borrowed a bike and rode to their house along the coast. A german girl called Eline came with me who was cool and we had a good chat. It was a bit further than I expected and we went the wrong way a couple of times but we got there and back in time. The bus headed down to Franz Joseff stopping at a little town where we went to the beach to look for some Jade stone all I found were greyish coloured deformed rocks so yeah that was a bit un-eventfull. I chilled again that night and met a couple of people who were on the bus. Its wierd jumping onto new buses its like what I'd imagine joining a new class in school when they are half-way through the year or something. Most people were pretty cool though and I made new friends quite quickly.
Franz Joseff is one of many glaciers in New Zealand but its one that is easily accessible and safe-ish to walk on. I stayed a day in Franz Joseff to be able to go and do a guided walk on the glacier, it however decided to chuck it down big time! We decided that the weather wouldnt stop us and did a half day guided tour on the ice. I did it with a Scottish couple who were a great laugh. It was pretty cool (pardon the pun) even in the rain. We slid through a tunnel in the ice, climbed through some caves and walked over some cravasses. The rain didnt make the place look as good as it could but it was still a great experience. We got a free pass to the local hot pools with the tour so we made the most of that after getting soaked and freezing cold on the glacier! I went to the pub after and joined a killer pool comp and met some English lads and their girlfriends who were pretty cool.
Franz Joseff to Wanaka
On the way to Wanaka we stopped at Lake Matheson which apparnetly is one of the most photographed places in the world. The lake is really still and the water is dark so it reflects whats behind it really well, that happens to be Mt Cook (the highest mountain in New Zealand) and a snowy mountain range, its pretty cool! Me and Jon the Scottish guy decided to run around the lake which was a laugh. Got some good pics! I then jumped off the bus at Wanaka because it stupidly didnt stop there! Wanaka is probably the most beautiful place I've been. Huge blue lake surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Jon and Khalda the Scottish couple stayed there to so we went for food and a few drinks both nights they were there.
I spent my first full day in Wanaka climbing up Mt Roy (1,600 ft). I walked from the town which was about an hour away and then up the mountain. It was a pretty steep climb but I think it took about 3 hours max. It was an amazing day with clear blue skies so the views were awesome! I was looking down at the lake that curved around the moutnains, it was an amazing 360 degree view. At the top I met a Swedish guy who took a rubbish photo of me and then an English older chap who I ended up getting a lift back to Wanaka with which was nice. He had climbed the mountain every summer for the past 7years!
The next day I climbed another mountain called Mt Iron, it was a lot smaller than Mt Iron so didnt take me as long. The views were good but nothing like the day before. When I got to the bottom I got to a playing field that must be the most picturesque playing fied in the World! Behind it were the trees, lake, then the snowy moutnains! I decided to chill there and do a bit of a workout as I'm missing the gym! That evening the English guy, James, that I met in Franz Joseff and his friends and girlfriend came to Wanaka. We all went out to the cinema which has got to be the coolest cinema I have ever been to! Instead of rows of seats they have rows of sofas, they had a car with sofas in it that you could sit in, before the film you could order food (homemade pizza, burgers etc) and they would bring it to you when it was cooked in time for the film AND every film had a half time and they would have freshly baked cookies and Ice Cream to take back in for the second half!!!! The fil we watched was called In Time and it was probably the worst film I've ever seen BUT I didnt care because the food and cookies were AMAZING!!!
Wanaka to Queenstown, Queenstown round 1
We left Wanaka the next day to go to Queenstown. Probably the coolest place I've been. I'd live in Queenstown and then retire to Wanaka I think! Before we got there we stopped at a bridge to watch some stupid people throw themselves off it with a bungy. In Queenstown I met up with Ash the English lad I had met in Fiji who is now working in Queenstown, we went for a 4pound Thai meal and went around a few cool bars but I wasnt having a late one because I had something slightly stupid planned for the next day.
The next day I jumped out of a plane. Ash worked for the skydive company in Queenstown so he managed to sort me out with a skydive with the sister company in Glenorchy (where a lot of Lord of the Rings was filmed). So I agreed and went ahead and jumped out of a plane at 16,200ft above sea level, 15,000ft above the ground. It was the most incredible thing I have ever done. It was unreal! I was nervous but actually wasnt as scared as I thought because I usually hate heights. I was last of 3 to jump out, the German guy I was strapped on to shuffled me down the plane then I had to hang out with my feet curled under the plane until he pushed us both out. As soon as I was out of the door I was laughing. It was incredible, didnt feel like you were falling just kind of floating. The scenery couldnt have been more stunning either. Unfortunatley it was too windy for us to roll much but the glide down with the chute was pretty cool. I'd defo do it again! The skydive was at 8am in the morning so after that me and Ash stayed in Glenorchy and went fishing, we didnt catch anything but Ash swore that he saw a fish..... Wasnt the most successful trip but we had a laugh.