Trip Start Jan 16, 2013
84Trip End Aug 18, 2013
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We planned to go on a walk around the Abel Tasman National Park but it cost $50 and we could only do a really short one due to the lack of people. Instead went for an early morning run on the beach, definitely out of shape. Got attacked by some birds, NZ seagulls are really aggressive. They fly behind me and go straight for my head but pull away at the last second. Really disturbs my rhythm.
Next stop was Westport
Spent last night in the middle of nowhere. We stayed at this hostel with an awesome bar called the 'poo pub', not sure where the name came from. Had a fancy dress party with the theme 'rubbish bags'. Best costumes were batman, penguins, salt and pepper shakers and mine - a rubbish bag. Just put on a bin bag and taped bits of rubbish to me. Very imaginative.
Winter has officially arrived. It is now so cold I can see my breath. Made toast this morning and it was steaming as soon as it was out of the toaster. Luckily Martin gave me a thermal and a wind jacket so I should be alright. Still need gloves though.
Had the best drive ever on the way to Franz Joesf. It was our first sight of massive snow covered mountains which were just awesome. Stopped at this cafe/museum which is owned by this guy called Possum Pete. It's officially a town but it's population is only 2: Pete and his wife. Watched a 30 minute video about deer hunting. They used to go up in helicopters and jump on to the deers back to take it down. The cafe served possum pie but it's not legal to sell it so it was free, however a $4 donation is suggested
Currently in Franz Josef. Spent all morning walking around on the Franz Josef Glacier which is one of only three glaciers in the world which ends in a rainforest. Also the place they filmed the 'lighting of the beacons' scene in lord of the rings. We got a short helicopter ride to about half way up the glacier which was pretty scary. Not a fan of helicopters, amazing views though. We then spent about three hours walking around the glacier looking at the different ice formations.
We were all kitted out with about 5 layers, hats, gloves, boots and spikes because it was so slippery. It was absolutely freezing when we started but when the sun got above the mountains we were too hot. Got some pretty cool photos but my camera ran out of battery which was annoying.
Having a lot of fun with Kiwi Experience. Last night we had a limbo competition and tonight is karaoke night. Dinner last night was all you can eat pizza for $10 which is about £5. I must have had at least a dozen slices, it was so good. Next stop on the trip is Wanaka and then I have a week in the adventure capital of New Zealand: Queenstown. Looking forward to it.