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Travelling to Wanaka – Day 50
Monday 16th May 2005
The trip was moving on fairly rapidly at this point, and I was travelling down the West Coast of Southern New Zealand, aiming for Queenstown and Milford Sound. Today’s destination, though, was Wanaka – not far from Queenstown –, as it seemed like a good place to stop along the way.
I met a guy called Stewart (Stu) in the hostel I had been staying at while at the Fox Glacier. He is from South America I think, maybe Brazil, I can’t remember what he said now. I was a little confused as he seemed like he could be a surfer from Cornwall in England – such was his appearance and attitude, but appearances are often deceiving as I have come to realise. He was a cool guy anyway. I offered to take him to Wanaka with me, as he had no means of transport.
The drive was about four hours in total, although I did stop at a place along the way. The roads were incredible, and passed through some fantastic mountains and beautiful scenery. It was a lot colder now, and would continue to be so the further south I went, especially as winter was drawing in. It was a great drive though.
The place we stopped at was signposted as a waterfall, and a 20-minute walk. I opted to take this excursion, although I felt that Stu would rather we carried on to Wanaka. He wasn’t interested in accompanying me along the walk either way. I was weary of leaving him in the car as I took the walk, but figured he wouldn’t get very far if he did decide to run off with my things.
It was a pleasant walk, and the waterfall was nice, but as I turned to come back, Stu was standing right in front of me. He had decided to come after all, although wasn’t particularly impressed. I just hoped he was telling the truth when he said he had locked the car. I hastily trudged back to the car anyway, Stu lagging behind somewhat. Had I made the right decision bringing him along?
There were lots to see along the rest of the way to Wanaka, and in all honesty I could have stopped many times, but refrained from doing so with my passenger today. I made a mental note to myself to think twice about offering a lift in future.
I stopped at a place called Mountain View Backpackers as it was in keeping with the places I had been staying at throughout my trip so far. Stu on the other hand decided he didn’t like it, so we took a look at another Hostel nearby. The Purple Cow was much bigger and much busier too. We purchased a night or two in a shared room for four people, but actually turned out to be more like a small apartment. It wasn’t too expensive either, and the people we were sharing with seemed very friendly. I was actually fairly happy Stu had decided to come here.
We had our own kitchen and bathroom, and the main room was sizeable, with our own television. A microwave, fridge, shower and sofa, were also ours, as well as an eating area. It felt like a big caravan, and I liked it. It was good just to sit on the comfy sofa and watch a bit of television, which is exactly what I did for the next hour or so. After which I made myself some lunch.
The afternoon was relatively uneventful, but relaxing nonetheless. More television was watched, and all my clothes were washed. Then I walked into town for some supplies, and emailed friends and family in the process.
For dinner, Stu cooked us a stir-fry to say thanks for the driving. It was really nice, and a perfect way to end the day. The two girls we were sharing with were quite shy, but this evening we talked a bit and got to know each other. We also sat in front of the television for a while longer before going to bed. I like having a television, but it certainly takes you away from reality all too easily. It’s actually better not having one at all I think. Television makes you unsociable, and can alter your outlook on life. Things become more two-dimensional, and you begin to miss what is really happening all around you. I certainly will not be watching as much television when I get back home to England.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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