Friday, February 18, 2011

New Zealand-Day 14

January 3rd 2011

Today was our last breakfast with the amazing view of Queenstown. Sadly, the rain was to thick to see anything. It looked like a wall. If I hadn't seen the lake before, i wouldn't believe someone if they told me there was a lake beyond the rain curtain. Today we were going to Milford Sound. The pictures looked beautiful, I was so excited. On our way out of Queenstown we stopped at a bridge where some people were going to go bungee jumping one last time. I wasn't signed up for this jump but once Andrea decided to do it last minute, I signed up too! Andrea had never gone bungee jumping so I couldn't pass up on doing it with her :) Mike signed up as well! With the defeat of skydiving, I think we were all looking for one last thrill. Bryan opted for camera man. joel went before us all. He skydived the day before, he's scared of heights. he stood at the edge, looked down, and when they counted to 3 he didn't jump. he hesitated. Once you hesitate, you get too in your head and it gets harder to jump. He stepped back, took a breath and tired again. Again he hesitated. He didn't end up jumping. Adam and Charlotte went next. They had done all 3 jumps in Queenstown together. As we were waiting for our turn the clouds started to disappear and the sun started to come out. We were so lucky that the weather was going to be good for when we went to Milford Sounds.

This was my 8th time bungee jumping but I was nervous. I was so proud of Andrea when she jumped! I've know her since we were 6 and 7. We went on so many camping trips together and I've always felt like her older sister in a way. I coached her through the jump and she did everything perfectly! She was so adorable! I went next and I loved it. i wasn't scared like I was with the previous bungee. This brought the joy back to me. I'm happy I bungee jumped again, after the other one scared the crap out of me.

We made a couple stops on the way to Milford sound. There was one mountain that was so beautiful, we stopped to take pictures. there was also a small creek that we filled our water bottles up with fresh water. The drive was the most beautiful drive we have had. Everywhere we looked we saw waterfalls. I was teary eyed looking at everything. i felt like I was in the movie Jurassic Park.

We went through a tunnel that cut through a mountain. It was the longest tunnel I had ever been through. Bryan tried to hold his breath through the whole thing but he couldn' was about a 3 or 4 minute tunnel. When we got to the dock we loaded up onto the boat that we would spend the night on. Although it didn't rely only on the sail, it was cool to be around Milford Sound. The accommodations were tight. We had bunk beds, we shared a room with Andrea and Mike. As we sailed through the sound, Bryan and i went to the front of the boat. The waves were crashing against the boat and we got really wet. we were jumping up as the boat went up on a wave, and the we fell further as the boat went down the wave (similar to the elevator trick). When doing this my rainbow sandal flew off into the water. My heart sank. I loved those sandals! All I had left were my running shoes and heels...

The fun continued without my beloved rainbows, the land surrounding the sound was stupid beautiful. By this point in the trip we got so sick of saying beautiful that we started to say everything was ridiculous or stupid. Milford Sound was ridiculously stupid with beauty. to preserve the beauty it is illegal to go on the land, you can only travel by boat. This made the trip even more spacial. Waterfalls were everywhere. the boat went right up to a couple of them and we could feel the mist on our bodies. We were so cold but we didn't care. When we got to our destination we anchored for the night. We got in our bathing suits (swimmers as the Kiwi's call them) and got in the kayaks. We kayaked all around the small cove. We kayaked up to a couple small waterfalls and also into some rapids. It was nice and relaxing. After kayaking, Bryan and I jumped into the freezing cold, glacier run off, water. I felt like my heart was going to stop but I'm happy we jumped in. We took hot showers and got ready for a yummy dinner. We had pumpkin soup with pesto in it and I was in heaven. I don't really like pumpkin that much (except for the pumpkin shake at Ruby's) but this soup was a delight. I like anything with pesto though.

The New Zealand pin that Bryan and I passed back and fourth to each other. It was an achievement pin!

After dinner we went on the front of the boat with Mike, Andrea, Ben and Brooks to play cribbage as the sun was setting. It was perfect. we were on a boat, in the middle of a sound, playing cribbage, drinking a beer and enjoying the sunset. Perfect. As it got darker, the bugs started flying and biting. We couldn't stand it outside any longer. back inside we went.I split off from playing cribbage so others could play and I started a game of spoons. It was a bunch of fun. We drank Milo and played all night. Around ten, Bryan and I went to the top of the boat to look at the starts. It was still a bit cloudy but it was still a sweet moment. We retired to our bunk beds and passed out.

New Zealand-Day 13!!

January 2nd 2011
We woke up rested from our crazy day before. Breakfast was complete with our perfect view from our hotel. I still couldn't believe how beautiful Queenstwon really was. We were off to go quad bike riding. We had gone quad bike riding in Wellington but this quad bike ride was supposed to allow us to go faster! This time we got hardcore helmets and the weather was a lot warmer. The training before the trail took forever. Andrea and I got lumped in with some other girls that weren't experiences, we were going really slow. then the guide split us up into two different groups. Andrea and I were happy to be placed with the fast group! As we were riding along on the trail we rode past tons of sheep. Everytime we rode pas ttheyw ould 'bah' at us. i felt like I was on Big Thunder Mountain at Disneyland, where you pass by the goat with dynamite in his mount. It was well timed, must be gake...Whenever something was too perfect or too beautiful we kept thinking 'this is fake'. Most of New Zealand felt fake, it was that amazing!!

This is us at the bottom of the mountain. Lots of sheep.

Half way up the mountain we stopped to take some pictures. It was sooo windy! It felt like Wellington. As Andrea was taking pictures close to the cliff, Mike held onto her jacket. It was really cute :)

We made it to the top! For those Lord of the Ring fas, we saw the mountain they used as mordoor. When we got to the top we stopped for coffee, tea, milo and cookies. It was the perect place to take a picture.

We had dust all over our faces.

On the ride back down we got to go through a mud pit. Andrea and i didn't go through it that fast but of course our husbands did. they got soaked with mud. they look GREAT!
Straight from quad bike riding we went to go skydiving. the weater , at this point, wasn't looking so good. In New Zealand the weather changes so fast. The clouds were rolling in. The skydiving place said it was still a go. We met up with a bunch of other contiki friends. The Alabama guys (Brooks, San and Ben) were saving their money this whole trip for skydiving. They were all suited up. Sam, joel and steve went up in a plane with 3 other people we didn't know. Then another place went up with Ben, Brooks, Neil and Charlotte. We saw four people falling from the sky but no one else. The second plane landed with Ben Brooks, Neil and Charlotte. They didn't get to go. The weather was too bad...they looked defeated. Skydiving was cancelled. We were all bummed and very jealous of the four people falling from the sky. The first three people that landed were the people we didn't know. The fourth person was Joel, We were so proud of him because he is scared of heights. The first plane landed with Sam and Steve. Sam told us that he was strapped to his guy, hanging out of the plane. The guy kept leaning foward and the back. Everytime, Sam thought he was going. Then the guy pulled him back in for landing. the clouds were too much of an issue. it begain to rain; we all jumped into the van to head back to the town to get out refund. What a bust!

Bryan was sleeping on the way to the skydiving location...After all the activities we have been doing I guess he wasn't that nervous :)

Making use of our time while waiting to see if the weather would clear up.

This was our last night in Queenstown. We had a prepaid dinner at a pizza joint. All of us were in a crushed mood but trying to keep our spirits high. the dinner was yummy, we had a group photo that took forever to take with 50ish people. In the end, the photo turned out great. some people went out to bars after dinner. Bryan and I had a party in our room. The whole trip we were carrying a bottle of vodka around with us and we so badly wanted to get rid of it. I also wanted to uplad photos to update family and friends. We played cribbage and had lots to drink. we enjoyed our view, even though it was raining, and enjoyed to company. It was a nice last night in Queenstown.