The road to freedom (and the West Coast)

So, we decided to take a road trip in New Zealand. We spent 3 days driving from Dunedin to the West Coast and back. Here’s what we got up to:

We arrived in Wanaka for the first night after about 4 hours of driving, and phoning various hostels discovered it was high season. After much phoning and driving around, we found a single bed in a YHA hostel. Later we found a single bed at Holly’s Hostel. We found no more beds. So, after pulling straws, Jos got to sleep at the YHA (the lady there said to her and Elliott “We prefer the female”), Elliott got to sleep at Holly’s, and Vania and I were relegated to the car. 6’1″ guy sleeping in a tiny Mitsubishi Lancer does not really work, and I ended up with just over 3 hrs sleep, but the morning greeted us nicely with this sunny weather:

However, within the hour it took to collect Jos and Elliott from their respective hostels, the weather had turned. It became super windy, cold, and the clouds descended on us. The previously calm Lake Wanaka turned rough, with waves about a metre high at the shore.

We met up with 4 friends of ours who had arrived later than us the previous night (they had cleverly prebooked their accomodation) and drove outside town to Puzzling World where we got into all sorts of mischief. First we played with the little puzzles. Check out the little kid in the background!

Then we walked through the hall of holograms, where Elliott (6’5″) magically appears shorter than Vania (5’2″).

They even had one of those nifty (tacky) electricity globes.

In one room they removed the gravity partially so you could stand at a crazy angle without falling over!

When a few of us needed to use the restrooms, this is what we found:

Blake and Elliott were high school bullies and, having been in university for some time now, felt the need to relive past glories by dunking Blanca into the loo.

After Puzzling World, Elliott and I caught a flight to Germany and had a beer in the alps before returning to Wanaka to meet up with the others.

Our convoy (2 cars – Paco [theirs] and Fidel [ours – he’s red]) left Wanaka toward Franz Josef Glacier. On the way, I took some scenery shots. Sorry if they’re boring, but I like them.

We stopped at Fantail Falls first, where we saw a waterfall. Strange, that. Here, Team Fidel comrades took the opportunity for a propaganda photo shoot.

However, as a gesture of good will, a representative from Team Fidel took this promo photo with a member of Team Paco.

To be continued…