|South Island, New Zealand - beautiful rainbows|
Next day we got to Fox Glacier and that started to be really cold. We got a ride with some brit kids up to the entrance to the Glazier and there started an interesting and a bit difficult short trek to the immense huge ice block formation between two mountains. We got there and touched it. It was grandiose and millenarian. White and blue with lots of caves and levels. Back at the parking lot, these strange big birds had eaten the rubber bits off most cars around.
There were a few beautiful walks around. We took a small one through the green tupid wet jungle. That's one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.
Then we wanted to get to the
lake for sunset and we were told it was a half hour walk there. I was
catching a flu and was already exhausted from the day but we set off.
The straight road never seemed to end and there was a black storm coming.
We had been walking two hours and those trees on the horizon were still
on the horizon. We were not going to make it for sunset and I didn't think
I could walk back. I stuck out my thumb and a caravan with three Brits
The 3 Brits got crazy and started to play the "move the big stone a bit further into the sea and run back getting as little wet as possible" game in turns and screaming and laughing like kids (they were about my age). There was a spaced out Dutch couple filming them with amusement and we chatted for a bit. He had a handycam similar to ours and was like a kid with new shoes. He was a painter of alienscapes and wanted to use the footage for his paintings. He was also trying to capture a piece of the sea for his girlfriend and was having some trouble.
When the Brits got tired of running around they gave us a lift back to town. We were ready for Wanaka now! The outdoors activities paradise. The first Bungey-jumping place ever, where they give you a ten secs. video of yourself falling into the void looking like a frenzied cockroach on speed having a heart-attack and a t-shirt. Best alternative to psychoanalysis and it's only $50 NZ. (t-shirt and video inc.). And all the other manic "sports".
was FREEEZING. The whole place was fully booked and finally, we got a
cabin with heater in the last place of all: the motor car park thing.
It was fine. I had a flu and just wanted to be warm in bed. Miles wanted
to sky so after a couple of days we got a lift with a Japanese funny couple
(how are the Japanese!) who took us to the sky station, just half hour
easy car drive.
Christchurch. Nice town. There was a snow-skating show-competition on. Some good jumps. We managed to meet up with my friend Shell who took us out one night to "the only bar worth going in Christchurch", in her opinion. It was by the port which was nice and the bar was interesting. At the back there was a small stage and we watched some massive guy, wearing two huge rubber ears and skirts, playing a strange monotone kind of xylophone at the same time as he recited/sang his poetry-jokes. Quite funny.
I couldn't stand the cold anymore and we went back to Wellington to wait for our flight.
I have good memories of New
Zealand minibuses. Super-extra friendly drivers who would chat with you
and tell you stories about the places, would stop to have lunch at nice
spots without rush, would stop at nice places for a bit just because they
were nice and he wanted you to enjoy them. So we went to feed the salmons,
we watched the sea lions jumping in the sea, we stopped in beautiful (though
freezing) beaches, we saw some impossible stone poetic writings in the
middle of mud lakes.
We had time to know Wellington a bit better and it turned out to be quite an interesting city with a few things to offer. The botanical gardens and the view from the top were, once more, very pretty.
We sold the tent and flew to Honolulu, Hawaii.
We had messed up our ticketing schedule for our next flight (Wellington - Sydney - Honolulu) because of the upcoming Olympics and and therefore were going to be in New Zealand longer than we had anticipated. Oh Well. Sunny beaches would have to wait, it was fast aproaching mid-winter in the southern hemisphere and New Zealand was bitterly cold at the time.
We crossed over to the South Island by ferry, the crossing was pretty calm, it can be a bit rough sometimes and stayed in the rather un-happening town of Picton. The best thing about Picton (in fact the only thing about Picton) was the small lodge we were recomended called thye Jugglers Rest - run by a few professional performing jugglers. There were only half a dozen people staying but everyone congregated in the main common room (which was warm) and basically juggled. All manner of juggling props were available and everyone was friendly and wanted you to juggle, and learn and have fun. I instantly picked out a diablo as set about learning new tricks with it (I can't juggle too well but I'm pretty good with a diablo). One of the highlights was when we were taught how to eat fire, check it out...