Wanakan't Sleep

Trip Start Nov 13, 2007
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Trip End Oct 08, 2008


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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Friday, August 15, 2008

i hadnt planned on doing a blog from here in wanaka cos im conscious that ive done alot of blogs recently and im sure that people must be getting bored of reading them so regularly.  but then nature and tunes conspired against me and i find myself here in wanaka (where i only intended to pass through) and theres a nightclub literally under my bed so i cant sleep so i thought i might as well do a blog to pass the time til the nightclub closes.

so how did i end up here in wanaka i hear you ask.  well its a long story so ill rewind back to my arrival to the YHA kip in queenstown and take it from there.

i was so sad to wave goodbye to te anau and marcella and i's lovely number 30 cottage which had been home for the previous 3 nights. but i had to move on and so i headed on east to queenstown - the skiing party-capitol of the south island (from what i can gather.)  the YHA was so much worse than other ones id stayed in.  the beds were literally flimsy aul mattresses on wooden boards that squeaked and groaned no matter what way you moved. the bathroom hadnt been cleaned for 4 days and the duvet covers were skanky.  so i decided to escape and head up the skyline gondola to check out the views as it was yet another nice day.  i was told it was possible to also do the walk on foot so thought id take the healthy option and make the trek. trek indeed. an-almost vertical ascent up through a forest then on up the enternally long road to the summit.  it only actually took and hour but it felt like alot longer if the truth be told.  i was wrecked but the views at the top were worth it and inspired me so much that i actually walked back down aswell.   in the photo you can see the mountain range called the Remarkables (genius name!!) and then Deer Park in the foreground.  in yet more *yawn* lord of the rings trivia you might recognise this view as its where they filmed the flight from edoras and also that battle between the Rohirrim and those hog things where aragorn falls off the edge of the clif....ANYWAY!!! when i got back i set myself up for an action-packed next day.

in the morning of the next day i was picked up by the skipper canyon jet "vehicle" which was kind of like a tank but not so big but a truck aswell.  there were only 4 of us on the trip so we headed on up coronet peak (complete with snow chains) and then veered off to head down into the canyon. the road was similar to the KKH or bad parts of the road in nepal and with the added scare-factor of 3 inches of snow it was just brilliant, almost like being back on raz again.  also learned lots of interesting things about the gold rush there in the 1860's.  after the drive then we did a jet boat ride up the shotover river which was awesome - lots of speeding and cutting very very close to rocky corners and 360 spins and things.  i got to sit up in the front (noone else wanted to). they even had the luxury of heated hand rails - how posh!!!  and interestingly enough we passed along the bit of river that in LOTR the big wave comes down the river to save arwen from the dark riders? didnt realise that beforehand so that was very cool.

after that we stopped briefly at an old bungy bridge that you could walk out over (and i once again reminded myself in the process of how ill never be able to do a bungy jump EVER). and then it was back to queenstown.  in the afternoon id booked a thing called paradise safari that went in a 4WD up to a town called glenorchy about 40 k's away and then on up some dirt roads to the LOTR locations for isengard etc.  however as we set off i noticed the sky was becoming pretty grey and innocently asked our driver if there was a chance of snow and he said maybe.  we did get to stop off where they filmed ithilien (the place where they cook rabbit and the olliphants go past and theyre looking down at them from a cliff) . what was supposed to be the "million dollar view" ended up being a view as good as that in darjeeling .....  2 hours later as we pulled into glenorchy it was snowing so hard you could barely see out the front of the windscreen so we had to abandon the tour and after a DELICIOUS hot chocolate in the glenorchy hotel we made haste back to queenstown. but remember that name paradise safaris - cos the bastards wont give me even a partial refund for a trip that i didnt finish.  and believe i complained at my utmost ability.  thats the problem with booking a tour through an agent - middlemen are useless.

ANYWAY the snow continued to fall. the hostel lost power for 2 hours and we sat around by the light of glow sticks (JUST like the ones in tomb raider!!).  tales cmae back about cars being abandoned on the roads, hill roads being closed, traffic chaos, skiers stranded. 
and this morning despite the fact that it didnt snow during the night, all the mountain pass roads were all still closed and so i wasnt able to go to franz josef as planned.  
after the refund fiasco (which took place this morning) i just wanted to get the hell out of queenstown so i headed off towards wanaka and thats were i am now.  i wasnt able to stay in the YHA cos its full (most places are cos so many people are stuck here) so i came here to the brand new base backpackers hostel.  its nice. big, sterile, but new and clean.  but then i went to bed and realised our dorm is pretty much right above the nightclub downstairs. i might as well take my bag and try and sleep in the middle of the dance floor. and single rooms (on the second floor) are a preposterous $110 (normally about $40 in a hostel) so im not paying to upgrade.

and so here i am - insomniacal and grumpy on the interweb at 7 minutes past midnight wondering when the bass will die so i can get some kip. and who knows if i can even leave tomorrow cos the road is still closed and the weather forecast isnt good for the weekend.  apparantly this was the biggest snowfall in decades.  and so the mayhem lives on. 

enjoy the pics.  im breaking all uploading records for the aul photos here in NZ.
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