Sunday, October 25, 2009

Wanaka at Last

The long trek to Wanaka today was accompanied by some small injuries I have accumlated in the last week. My nose is brusied and hurting because someone decided to build a shelf right where my face wanted to go yesterday. As well a bum nose, I now have a bum toe that didn't get along with some gravel roads a few nights ago.

Other than the bleeding and the swelling, I am wonderful! Life honestly is wonderful.

I am traveling on the Kiwi Experience bus (google it to find out lots). I can hop on and hop off it all over NZ. Now I am in the south island and arrived to Wanaka today. I will be here three nights. It is funny to think that three nights sounds like a long time. I can unpack my bag for a night without having to rush to throw it all back in the next morning and catch the bus.

The bus is amazing. We watched movies today actually which was a nice change from the aweful music people have on their ipods. The people on the bus are amazing. I am sad to be leaving my new friends who are not staying here three nights. Lizzy and Ellie from the UK as well as Eliza who is Dutch are leaving me, but I will catch up with them in Queenstown which thankfully is my next destination. QT will be amazing! I plan on doing a bungee jump (Mom, dont worry no one has died in New Zealand doing this). Then there will be a day trip to Millford Sound which is meant to be beautiful. However, what isn't beautiful in this country? We have been driving down the West Coast of the South Island and I'm sorry California, but this drive gives Highway One a run for its money.

We stopped to see yet another waterfall today, which granted was beautiful but things are already starting to look the same. How sad is that?

Yesterday I was in Franz Josef and paid the big bucks to have this amazing tour guide take six of us on a glacier hike. Amazing! Plus his name was Jono and I have yet to meet a Jono that I don't just love and adore with all my heart. (Hi, Jono Bowles! I miss you. Hope you are surviving in Lawrence without me.) The glacier was amazing and now I know all these fun facts about it. What a great day it was! I am now sore, but have the best pictures. We were silly on the glacier taking tons of photos.

Seriously, I could sit on here for hours typing about my times, but I just can't. One, internet is so pricey and two, I cant waste anytime here in New Zealand. There's an adventure around every corner. Even going to the supermarket is fun here. I am picking up tons of English words because nearly half our bus is from the UK. Their accents are funny. The boys love to joke about how much Americans love it. I told the boys they have to come visit me in my sorority and they about fell off their chairs. Everyone thinks America is so funny with its "uni" (what they call 'college' ) and Greek life. I get asked tons of questions about America and its funny to have little things questioned. I like it. It is funny that I have almost learned as much about England as I have New Zealand if not more.

I wish that everyone could see New Zealand. The views are completely breathetaking everywhere we go! I love it here. I want to wake up everyday and see the scenery from New Zealand. Thankfully, I do just that everyday here!

Plans are always changing, but I will be in Queenstown for Halloween with everyone here from Kiwi Experience. What fun! I need costume ideas! Please send some. Know that I am on a tight budget and backpacking- meaning I have nothing and sadly nothing in life is free. There is talk about changing my flight to Australia to a bit sooner because I want more time there. I do wish I had months to explore. Someday I will. People here have been traveling for up to seven months. Well, some have been gone for two years, but they are working places and staying in random places like Thailand for months at a time. The traveling world is a crazy one. Everyone has a different story and it is fun to hear everyones. I could type a 10 page entry about all the people I have met. Wish I could, but there is not the time.

Tonight we are making 'jacket potatoes' and there is karaoke at the pub below our hostel, so I will be showing NZ my best Aretha Franklin! That is a joke. No singing for me :)

Unfortunately, I don't have the time to proofread this entry, so let's hope I did an alright job the first time. Cheerio Mate!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Leaving Picton

I am in Picton which is on the South Island. I stayed in a hostel owned by a crazy American lady who sailed to New Zealand. Last night was chill night and I was in bed before 11. Good thing because I was up before eight o'clock trying to figure out my life. I got it! I am catching a bus in thirty min to Nelson and beginning my Kiwi Experience bus tour! Yahoo.

Life is so good. I have met tons of travelers all with a different exciting life story. All is well.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

New Zealand: Week Three

It has been over two weeks here in New Zealand. I am in Cambridge right now about to hop on a bus to Wellington to hopefully meet up with some lovely English girls for some more travel. Bible School was unfortunately not for me. There are about a thousand good and bad things I could say about my time there, but I do not have the time. Everything in this cute little town closes at five and that gives me 10min on the internet. Oh what a sad internet-less life I live. Kidding! I love it! I hate paying for internet, but I like that it keeps me off facebook a bit.

So, I am starting a new chapter in my life: traveling New Zealand. After a few road blocks, I am on my way South. I have a night bus to Wellington tonight where I hope to meet up with a girl I met in Auckland. I won't arrive in Wellington until 7am Tuesday. If all goes well, I will travel the South Island next week into November. What a wonderful plan.

I do hope God is not mad at me for hating my time at Bible School. I can't really imagine so. Well, there's a lot to tell about my time at ABS. I did a lot of fun things! I can't pretend that I didn't. It just wasn't for me. Enough said.

My first week traveling the Northlands was delightful. The English girls were wonderful and the German boys we met were great, too. I enjoyed my time a lot. I hope the rest of my travels can be as exciting and adventurous as my first week here in NZ.

My plan after conquering the South Island is to head back up to the North Island and travel around a bit. As of now, my flight to Sydney, Australia is Dec 1, but that could change. Plans can always change. That is what makes things so exciting! My flight from Sydney to LA is Dec 12 as of now as well. Then back to Kansas on the 16th of December for a few days before heading to Iowa for family time and Key West, Florida for Christmas. Wow. It's like I like to travel or something. Yup, something like that.

Oh news: I have no plans for New Years. So, if anyone has any fabulous ideas let me know. I am thinking young life reunion at my place in Kansas City! Mom and Dad would love to have me home for once, I'm sure.

Well, I am off to travel New Zealand. Today is October 19th and I have almost two months until I will be in Iowa. I can only day dream about all the things that I will see and do during that time.

I miss all my friends and family very much, but I am really proud of myself for taking this time to explore the world. I learn more everyday than I every thought I would. I wake up every morning hoping to learn and explore. I do just that every single hour of the day. I wish I could sit on here and tell you all the fun facts I learn about different countries, cultures, people, but I just do not have the money to pay for internet time. Haha. Also, I don't know if my words could ever really capture all the knowledge I have gained during my travels. I learn so much about myself as well.

Well, friends, I am off. Know that I love you and miss you very much. Keep me in mind. I know traveling wears on me and some times will be tough, but most times will be amazing! Don't have time to spell check, so hope all is well in this one.

Comment often and much please!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Day Five: Cape Reinga

We had a bit of late start considering we are all catching a cold of some sort. However, we managed to pack a lunch and be up at Cape Reinga by lunch time. It is the northern most tip of New Zealand and the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean meet there.

After lunch we headed to the Sand Dunes to do some sand boarding (which is where you 'hire' or rent a boogie board and ride down the dunes). What a wonderful idea!

It was the biggest work out for my calves because for every step you think it is going to take you have to multiply it by about seven because the and is so hard to walk in and up. My calves are sore today, but it was completely worth it. After a few goes on the 'family friendly' dune, I was the only one up for trying what they call 'Psycho Hill.' Yes, it was quite nuts. Even I was a bit scared, but had the time of my life flying down a hill on a board made for water.

After that aventure, we sat sandy in the car as we drove back to Peppertree in Paihia where we were welcomed by friends and a fun night out in the small beach town.

Day Four: Drive to Pukenui

We had an early start two days ago. Our 10am snorkling was amazing. Our boat driver took us four girls out to Robinson Island in the Bay of Islands. It was just the four of us on the boat and he literally pulled into the island and dropped us off with gear and left. It was our own island!! We only saw about five other people there within four hours. There was a lookout point where you could the Bay of Islands in all directions including a house hiden atop one of the islands. I want to live there! We all wanted to live there, start up a cookie stand right there on the island and live happily ever after or something like that.

Our snorkling attempt was funny at best. I did manage to get the wet suit on and see some stones, but no fish. Only Polly and I even made it that far. I will have to give it another go sometime.

We then drove up to Pukenui, which is further up north toawrds Cape Regina. Everyone is feeling a bit under the weather considering the weather changes more than it does in Kansas, which is a heck of a lot. So, we called it an early night at Pukenui Lodge and I was thankfully in bed by eight o'clock.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Day Three: Paihia

Yesterday the girls and I drove up to Paihia where the Bay of Islands are. We had a nice relaxing day at our hostel, Peppertree, which has been an amazing hostel- great people and we have cooked a mean dinner the last two nights.

Today we went to Haruru Falls, where we went on a two hour hike, had a picnic on a golf coure, took many silly pictures, and saw a waterfall.

Last night we watched Hannibal, which is quite a gross film; however, it is filmed in Florence. I was beyond excited about this. Hannibal Lecter is sitting on a bench on the very street that I lived on! He later is on the phone at a pay phone closest to the Gelato place I ate at. Later he is buying a magazine at the very vender that I walked past everyday to go from home to school. He lived above the Hospital of the Innocent and he murders people in the Uffizi. This may all sound so very silly, but I couldn't be happy to see Firenze on TV and know exactly where things are.

Traveling has been an amazing experience. I hope to never stop in all honesty. As always I am already planning my next move.

As for this very instant, I am signing off to join the English girls and some other backpackers for a game of cards. Life is just simply wonderful and even more beautiful here.

Tomorrow we are headed to the Cape Regina, which is the northern-most part of New Zealand. Before we leave we have a 10am snorkeling tour tomorrow morning. What an exciting day planned for tomorrow.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Day Two: Leaving Auckland

I am already on the road once again. After a nice night on the town here in Auckland, I am joining three cute English girls: Polly, Emily and Kelly. We are hiring a car and heading North to the Bay of Islands. It is the top-most part of New Zealand. I pray the weather is a bit better up that way. Here it is still overcast and a bit chilly at best.

I have already met the nicest people here in New Zealand. Yesterday I had a nice cappuccino with a boy from Holland. Last night the girls and I were on quite the little pub crawl visiting some high class places before settling at a hole in the wall focused on accomidating to backpackers. It was a fun place to meet lots of fellow travelers.

Yesterday after the rain ended I was able to see some of this decently big city. It is very busy and modern. I like the feel of the city. With cars zooming past me on the opposite side of the street than I am used to, I have to pay extra attention. This city is neat because there is a beautiful harbor as well as a big forest-type park in the middle of the city. I wasn't able to hike around anywhere, but plan to do so when I have time another time. The people here do not have a distinct look, so it is quite difficult to determine where people are from without speaking with them. I feel as though Kiwi's dress similar to West Coast folks (or should I say blokes), but yet have a much more low key look. I enjoy meeting them all.

Today should be a great day full of a nice 3-hour road trip North and camping out with these new friends of mine. I am happy to have met them already. Especially because I am too young to hire a car myself. Oh the joys of being nineteen. What a wonderful time I am having.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

First Day in New Zealand

My flight was long but somehow enjoyable. No problem there.

It is rainy but so beautiful! Green aas Ireland but even more various scenery. Everything is green. There is palm trees in the city of Auckland as well as huge houses.

The city seems really nice. I walked around in the rain with a nice Dutch boy trying to figure out what tour I want to join this week. I have yet to figure out what I am going to do this week, but I have a long list of To-Do's.

I am in a hostel tonight in Auckland. I met three nice English girls who will be staying in my room. Meeting people is my favorite part of traveling, well at least one of my favorite things.

No pictures yet because of the rain, but no worries many pictures to come.