Monday, December 31, 2012

Another Zombie Night

Another night spent in the airport is another night without brushing my teeth. It is another night of going through the motions and acting as if a zombie. It’s restless sleeping, people watching, sneaking things through security, facebook checks, and expensive food. At the beginning of my adventures this was a foreign activity and now it’s more common than sleeping in my own bed. Traveling is not convenient or comfortable. It is solely to get from one place to another the cheapest and fastest way possible, and often times you learn something in the process.

It’s always waiting. Sitting. Watching. Waiting. People complain and people get mad, but really, there is no reason for any of it. The flight attendants can’t control the weather and the pilot doesn’t decide the rules. What happens happens. The best way to deal with a situation is to be flexible and easygoing. People are happier dealing with you and more things go your way if you can just sit back and take it. 

Travel advice… Bring clothes you like but don’t care too too much about. That way you can donate the clothes you brought to make room for the clothes you buy!

Goodbye South Island

Day 7 (1st)

This was our last day in South Island. We meandered through the town and went to the Saturday market until David finished bungee jumping and Andrew finished fishing (classic dad sport!). Pete was staying in Queenstown for 10 more days so we all said our goodbyes.


On our way home we hit Wanaka for a coffee, the view, and then Puzzle World! Soooo cool!
We didn’t have time to do the human maze, but did hit the illusion room. There were 3D pictures that changed, faces that followed you, and rooms that made you look small in one corner and big in another. We also saw a ball fall uphill, and water run upwards!

Puzzle World!

Me falling uphill

We drove to Christchurch and got in around midnight. I had the folks drop me off at the airport for my 6 am flight. I yi yi, another longggg night!

Overall, life is good. It’s great meeting new people left and right. Sometimes I’m ready to go back and sometimes I feel like the traveling adventures are just starting. My feelings go back and forth. I love traveling, but it’s still going to be amazing to see those familiar faces from home  : )

Saturday, December 29, 2012

It's time to fly!

Day 6 (30th)

­We woke up to snow covered mountain tops. It was a wee bit chilly, but that didn’t stop us from hiking around wetlands. We even saw a baby porky pine curled up in the middle of the trail! ADORABLE! We made a quick exit to Queensland before we getting caught for camping in a no camping area.

And now…  it’s hang gliding time!

Hang gliding, who does it? It’s totally a 90’s sport that’s fallen off the radar. Now everyone wants the thrill of skydiving or bungee jumping not a joy ride through the sky. Well sucks for them because I have realized it’s an amazing sport! It’s exuberating! I’ve always wanted to know what it’s like to fly and now I know. We took two steps, ran off a cliff, laid down, and with no time were soaring through the wind. It’s a great way to see the landscape. I flew over pines and could see the spaces between the trees. I was flying above flying hawks. We danced along a ridgeline for awhile. As gravity brought us closer to the ground we did some stalls and swoop turns. My guide even let me steer two turns which turned out to be quite difficult! You have to hold on to the bar and push it left and right without moving your hands. It’s all core strength because you have nothing to push against. To land we stayed in flying position and swept along the grass until the wheels hit and soon our bodies skidded to a stop with fresh grass stains on the jump suits. It is defiantly something I want to do again. I would love to take lesson to learn how to fly on my own. Surprisingly it’s very safe and crashes really only occur when learning to take off and landing. The most damage done is usually bruises and scraps and maybe a broken bone if you’re unlucky.
My awesome guide from Chile
After the adrenaline rush of flying, what’s better to do than a Pub Crawl! We rolled in early and met the man in charge. Since it the last night of the pub crawl he hooked us up with some swag. I figured if I wore the pub crawl shirt I could just act as a rep and free drinks all night, anddd it was a success! I started the night off well by convincing half a dozen to a dozen people to join us. This is when the drinks started flowing. All night I was getting questions about where to go and what the drink specials were. I was leading the crew and none of the bouncers had to id me because I was working! We danced the night away, of course when to Fergburger, climbed a tree, and ended with watching the sunrise. It was 6 am when we crawled into bed only to be waken at 10 to start the next day!
The beginning of the night (Pete, Me, Dave, Andrew, Daniela)
The end of the night (Friend from Christchurch, Pete, Dave, Me, and Daniela)

Friday, December 28, 2012

A Choir full Baaahh's

Day 5 (29th)
The drive to Milford Sound is windy as can be. It’s filled with 20 kph turns and few hairpins thrown in as well. You must drive over a pass and through a tunnel. It rains on average 221 days out of the year in Milford Sound so as soon as you pass through the tunnel you can bet yourself it’s going to be raining. We hopped on a boat to get the full experience. I even made friends with the skipper and so I had a house seat while bouncing Kiwi jokes off each other. 



On our way out of Milford Sound we had to stop on the far side of the tunnel because Daniela had never touched snow! Whattttt?!?!? We hiked/boulder hopped up to a snowy patch and the two boys and I continued to the base of a waterfall. At this time the sun came out. We were standing where the water met the snow, glazing over the valley, and being awed by the double rainbow formed by the waterfall… what more could you ask for! We skied (with our shoes) our way down to the bottom successfully drenching every inches of clothing we had on. 

 We drove south to Manapouri and ended up camping at Watuga Wetlands. First thing we did was hiked to the river. On our way, we passed through many sheep fields and a single person bridge. We passed a fisherman and got the inside scoop of how great the fly fishing was. That night Pete and I decided to test our luck by going cow tipping. The cows were in the same field as the sheep so as soon as we got close there was a choir full of baahhh’s. This along with clouds covering moon made it quite challenging. Even with odds against us, we managed to tip the biggest, badest cow out there. Ha, yaaa right! We didn’t even make it close, but that’s not what we told the rest of the campers ; ). The clouds cleared so we ended the glorious night star gazing and staring at the full moon.
Sheep butts!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

An Unbelievable Sight!

Day 4 (28th)
We woke up at a decent hour for today was the day to hiked to the top of gondi. I have fallen in love with Queenstown. It is a lovely mix of Telluride and Lake Tahoe. There are ski resorts all around the city and a gondola for biking/hiking/the view. We trenched upwards for a good hour and were then rewarded with a breathtaking sight.

Before leaving town in search of Te Anau we stopped at the famous Fergburger. Anyone who has gone through Queenstown knows of Fergburger. The burgers are huge, about the size of your spread hand! The buns are freshly made and all the toppings taste like they were cut from the garden that morning.

We were on our way to Milford Sound, but the road is closed from 6pm until 7am so we had to camp just outside Te Anau. After finding a free campground, we played cards and were out for the night.