Holy cow, I can’t believe it’s already been 5 months since I hopped a flight from Los Angeles to Auckland!!! Time sure has flown! I’ve really started missing everyone back home, but it’s about to become busy work time for me, so I’m sure I’ll be distracted soon enough.
I’m sorry I missed my 4 month update, but I was busy traveling the South Island and boy was it fabulous!! Janina and Hanna (“the German girls”) came with me and although we may have had our differences (as any 3 girls stuck in a car spending everyday with each other for one month would do), we still managed to come out friends and had a great time:) Thanks girls!!!
Where we went:
Blenheim -> Nelson -> Takaka (Abel Tasman) -> Buller Gorge (longest swing bridge in NZ) -> Westport/Cape Foulwind -> Punakaiki (Pancake Rocks)/West Coast -> Hokitika -> Arthur’s Pass -> Christchurch -> Lake Tekapo -> Mount Cook -> Oamaru -> Moeraki Boulders -> Dunedin -> Catlins -> Invergargill/Bluff (Southern most point in NZ–minus Stewart Island) -> Te Anau -> Milford Sound -> Queenstown/Wanaka/Lake Hawea -> Fox/Franz Josef Glaciers -> Lewis Pass -> Kaikoura
Time Traveled: December 27,2012 until January 25, 2013
Driven: 4,404 kilometers = 2,736 miles
Money: Started with $1901, bought 2 new tires, payed 2 weeks rent before we left = $1,463.98 when we hit the road.
When I got back to Blenheim I had $113 to my name.
My list of Highlights:
1. Bungy Jumped the highest Bungy in Australasia = 134 meters = 440 feet. Over the Nevis River. One of the most terrifying, exhilarating, gratifying things I’ve ever done.
2. Hike on NZ Great Walks – Coastal Track in Abel Tasman and Kepler Track in Fiordland National Park.
3. Walked on the longest swing bridge in NZ at Buller Gorge.
4. Saw the pancake rocks of Punakaiki
5. Hiked on Franz Josef glacier. Amazing.
6. Took my first helicopter ride–up to the glacier.
7. Made myself a paunamu (Jade/ Greenstone) necklace from scratch.
8. Swam in Lake Tekapo where water temperature is average 8-10 degree Celcius (46-50 degree Farenheit). Bloody cold. But gorgeous turquoise water!
9. Had an awesome BBQ in Christchurch with our newly acquired friend Steven, and his Irish next door neighbors:)
10. Saw blue penguins in Oamaru in the wild. Being that penguins are my favorite animal, this was a big highlight of mine:)
11. Saw yellow-eyed penguins during sunset on the Otago Pennisula at Sandfly Bay. These are the rarest penguins in the world. I’m one lucky kid.
12. Ate a bazillion Hokey Pokey ice cream bars…Probably why I’ve gained like 10 pounds.
13. Mount Cook, the highest peak in NZ, was incredible! And we got there at the perfect time before the clouds rolled in and the wind picked up, and the tourists took over:)
14. Took a cruise through Milford Sound.
15. Seeing Les Miserable in Paradiso Theatre in Wanaka. This theatre has big couches, cars made in to seats, lazy boys, etc as the means for watching the movie. Amazing film as well!!!!
16. Driving the entire Southern Scenic Route from Dunedin to Queenstown.
17. Arthur’s Pass National Park
18. Walked up the steepest street in the world, Baldwin Street
19. Cadbury Factory in Dunedin…….YUMMMMM
There were SOOOO many awesome things that I got to see and do. It’s hard to pinpoint everything but these were some of the main ones!
CHALLENGE UPDATE: I ended up only doing about 4 days of jump rope during the month:( It turned out to be much harder to find time and space whilst traveling than I thought it would have. Now that I’m back in a single location I have reverted back to 50 situps and 50 pushups a day. I ate too many carbs (Pasta and bread) on our trip, that I need to get my stomach back in gear:-P
I’m now back in Blenheim working at Duncannon again. I’ve been “promoted” since one of the girls left so I will do that until mid March when I’ll start working Vintage Season at Allan Scott Winery. Luckily, this time I don’t have to do any childcare:) Since I’ve been back I’ve gone out on a boat in the Marlborough Sounds 4 times. Learned to wake board. Rode a sea biscuit for the first time, and snorkled for the first time. Next weekend if the weather is nice I will learn to water ski!
It’s been a great adventure and it was finally nice to get to see some of NZ instead of worrying about work. It’s been a Blessing having a job lined up before I got done with my travels that way I didn’t have to worry as much about how much money I needed to save at the end. One of my bosses and his wife have been so generous and have let me stay with them until I can save enough money to pay for rent. In exchange I’ve been helping them around their house and yard. But it’s the least I can do. They have been amazing. I know that this is alot to squeeze in one blog:( I will try to do better at updates, but traveling doesn’t allow much in the way of internet access!!!
Happy New Year everybody!!! It sure has been quite the start of 2013 for me, and I can only hope the rest keeps going on the same track:)