Jet boat, locals, fancy dress, kayaking

Trip Start Mar 27, 2006
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Trip End Dec 03, 2006


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Saturday, September 30, 2006

Since leaving Wellington on Tuesday its involved more action packed days and less sleep than I've ever been used to. The scenery has got more impressive every day and been simply breathtaking. The things I've been doing and seen the last week or so is exactly the reason I wanted to come traveling - to do and see things I may never have the chance to do again.

The ferry crossing from the North island on Tuesday caused a few minor problems when I forgot to book my ticket the day before in the hostel and so ended up having to pay full price. Then I left my trainers behind so all I had left was my flip flops which have been falling apart since I got them in Thailand. Ended up running around the small town of Nelson when we arrived in the evening looking for a cheap pair of trainers before the shop shut. The hostel we stayed in was probably the best I've stayed in so far and was more like a hotel. They cooked us up an awesome roast and organised some beer tasting for us.

On Wednesday we headed to Westport where we did a pretty intense jet boat ride up the river where you get about 20 of you in a fast speed boat and they do spins and stuff. All ended up soaked. Westport is quite a small "local" community as we found out. On the evening a few of us went to pretty much the only bar in town and were the only ones in there until a couple of locals showed up very drunk. we ended up accidently taking there jacket back because we thought it belonged to someone else in our group who had left earlier. I was wearing it back to the hostel when I put my hand in the pocket and found a pack of cigarettes, some energy pills and a huge bag of weed! When we figured out it wasn't ours Pete, Rick and Alison decided to take it back to the bar. As they left the woman who owned the hostel came in and asked me "Wheres the black man going?" I thought I misheard her and asked her to repeat herself she said the same thing again so I explained that he was staying with us and they had just gone to take the jacket back to the bar which we picked up by mistake. She then said she had just got a phone call saying that we had stole the jacket and we had better take it back immediately otherwise the guys were going to come after us. I explained again that it was a simple mistake and she said it had better have been otherwise she was going to kick us out of the hostel and she informed us "this is a local community and we locals stick together". Not sure why a couple of pilled up pissed pothead locals had the number for the owner of the hostel we were staying at but I wonder what would have happened if we hadn't realised that it wasn't our jacket before she found out. It probably would of involved a mob of locals with pitchforks and stakes coming round shouting "get the foreigners". Turns out the locals had moved on by the time Rick, Pete and Alison had returned to the bar so nothing more came of it.

Yesterday we went on a few walks along a coastal path where we got to see a Seal colony and some impressive blowholes and stuff. On the evening we had a fancy dress evening at a traditional west coast pub by Lake Mahinapua where the walls are covered in photographs of previous Kiwi experience groups that all do fancy dress there. The owner was called Les and a legend at 81 years old, which makes him the oldest Landlord in all of New Zealand. It was a really good night and I come runner up for my fancy dress as a pirate map.

Today we arrived in Franz Josef which is a settlement at the bottom of a huge glacier. Went Kayaking on a Lake this evening and up around areas which has had no influence from humans so it was just like it would have been back in the day of the dinosaurs. We have a free day here tomorrow when most people are going on a walk up the glacier but I'm being lazy and having a well needed lie in.
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