From bungee, to rafting, to canyoning, to giant swings between mountains, to drinks and food and all that lies in between, a traveler could very easily spend everything in their coffers here. I know. Apparently I tried.
So, after spending a small fortune doing some of these things, and some of them in excess (like drinking,) I decided to book a ticket back up to Franz Josef to do the glacial walk.
Before that happened, however, the people in my room, the Irishman – Barry, the two Canadians – Jody and Kari, plus their two Canadian friends – Adam and Mike, as well as me all went out drinking on the town on Thursday night like bloody rockstars. We pre-drank, like good Canadians, and someone kept buying me rye and cokes all night long. I explained how they make me kind of snakey, so I’m not sure what he was up to. So needless to say, at some point I entered a wet T-shirt contest. Yes, I did that, and I did not win. In fact, I was kind of shocked when the crowd started booing a little. At the time, however, I didn’t know the girl down from me had whipped her breasts out for all to see. See, now I know. In order to win a wet T-shirt contest – remove boobs from T-shirt. Duh. So, I’m told we got in at 5 a.m. and Kari and Jody missed their bus in the morning. I woke up at 11 a.m. and did pretty much nothing all day. I really mean nothing, except I went down the street and got myself a Ferburger. If you ever go to Queenstown, you have to get one of these. They are huge and ever so tasty.
An interesting thing I noticed in Queenstown was the lack of Christmas decorations. One day I saw a tree in the middle of the street behind some fences where some construction was going on with a single strand of gold garland wrapped lazily around it. It looked so pathetic I had to bust out my camera and take a photo. There were a couple of banners hung on the light posts on Shotover St., but that was it. As someone who doesn’t really celebrate Christmas all too well, I am kind of amused by New Zealand’s muted and down-played excitement for yuletide. In North America Christmas is shoved down our throats since Halloween. It’s not that I’m anti-Christmas, because I’m not. I just smile when life is interesting, and I like to smile.
So I woke up Saturday, stripped my bed, checked out and was glad I didn’t smother the new guy in the room who snored all night. But trust me, he would have had it coming.
I was not too keen on listening to the bus driver this time, so I listened to my iPod for most of the journey. I paid attention a little when he pointed out the exact moment we crossed from the Australian Plate to the Pacific Plate. The road is always under construction there apparently. The bus driver remembered me from my pervious journey, but he couldn’t remember how. I had to remind him that I was the girl who almost missed the bus last week. Yah. Fun.
So today I arrived in Franz Josef and the weather tomorrow looks like crap. It’s meant to rain all day and the last thing I really want to do is walk on a bunch of ice and snow whilst in a very wet cloud that keeps dumping buckets of water on me. The point to hiking the glacier is to go through the caves and to see the awesomeness of it, but not to get soaked and experience conditions similar to a winter in Niagara. I want to see the epic scale of the glacier and the ice caves, the scenery, not wonder what’s going on through the mist and rain in front of me. So, that’s that. I got the guy at the hostel, Chateau Franz, to change my bus ticket. I will come back sometimes in the summer. Tomorrow I head off to Motueka, the sunshine capital of New Zealand.
Gold sands, here I come.