The Windy City
Trip Start Jan 16, 2013
84Trip End Aug 18, 2013
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Then travelled to River Valley which is this really cool little lodge in the middle of no where. We had to get off the big bus and walk down this very steep hill to get to the lodge with huge mountains either side. A really quiet place to just relax and enjoy the scenery. Went White Water Rafting the other morning which was awesome
The rafting was pretty easy to get to grips with. Our boat had six big guys in it so we were really heavy, but could generate a lot of power. We went down a few 'grade 5' rapids which are described as 'exceedingly difficult, long and violent rapids'. Wasn't so hard really. Didn't fall in once, apart from voluntarily jumping out to test how cold the water was - bad idea, it was very cold. Had a lot of fun cruising down the gorge and stopped to jump off a cliff at one point. It was only about 10 metres but I still hesitated before jumping. Doesn't bode well for the 134 metre bungee jump I'm planning on doing in a week or two.
Arrived in Wellington yesterday evening and was very kindly taken in by an old friend, Martin Barratt and his wife Ingrid. Definitely a lot better than staying in a cheap hostel. Enjoyed delicious food, a massive double bed and reminiscing about old times. Went for a quick drive to the top of Mount Victoria which provided a great view over the Windy City. I can see where they got the name, it was so cold being blasted by freezing winds pretty much as soon as I arrived. Spent all of today exploring Wellington which is an awesome city
Went to Te Papa Museum which was great. They have this 'colossal squid' which has been preserved and looks amazing. It weighs almost 500kg and had eyes the size of footballs. Also learnt more about Maori culture and what New Zealand was like before humans arrived - basically lots more trees and birds. Then went to Weta Workshop and had a guided tour around the place. It was cool seeing props from all of the films they have done, like Lord of the Rings and King Kong. Our guide was this funny South African who insisted on carrying around a sword for the whole tour so he could point at stuff.
Catching a ferry to the South Island tomorrow morning. I've really enjoyed the North but everyone I've met has said the South is absolutely incredible. Amazing scenery and some really cool places, can't wait!