After continuous hiking and climbing in Wanaka I thought maybe I would slow down a little in Queenstown this time, take it easy. Nope.
Queenstown is actually the craziest town. I’ve never been anywhere like it. It’s literally designed around tourism, I don’t even know if there are locals there. Seriously. It’s quite rare to meet a kiwi living or working there, it’s pretty much just people on working on holiday.
I arrived off of the bus from Wanaka and quickly walked to my hostel to avoid getting soaked by the rain. After grocery shopping I was cooking dinner when I met a guy from Israel. He was chopping onions so my eyes were watering out of my head or I was crying. (something like that). He was with two guys from Belgium and one from Italy. We had a brief conversation, I ate dinner, then headed off on a walk. I absolutely love evening walks. There is something so peaceful about wandering off without direction as the evening sets in. I ended up walking around the lake as the sun was setting.
When I got back to the hostel I went to the kitchen to make a cup of instant coffee (sick. yum. Whatever, it’s all I have) Those guys were still in the kitchen and asked me to join their table. We chatted for awhile before we decided to play card games. They wanted to play a drinking game, I’m not drinking anymore so I played along with my cup of coffee.
These guys were actually a comedy show in real life. When they would communicate it was so funny because they would get so mixed up with what they were saying because of the language barrier. Two of the guys had just been dumped by their girlfriends so they had A LOT to say and how mean girls were. Hahaha. During the card game we had to do waterfall multiple times where you just keep drinking your drink. Well let me tell you something, chugging hot coffee is NOT fun.
We went to their room to listen to music and I could not help but laugh when their music choice was Justin Bieber. They also obsessed over the Lion King. I started to question how old these guys were.
We went out and listened to live music. As soon as we entered the performer started to sing a James Bay song and I was instantly captivated. (Future husband) After about 10 minutes a guy came across the bar and asked for my ID. I was only person he asked and he definitely targeted me. That means I look under 18 since that’s the age to enter a bar there. I also had a cup of coffee in my hand. I guess when I’m old it’ll be a good thing to look 12.
Later we went to dance and the DJ put on Justin Bieber and let me tell you, those guys sang EVERY SINGLE WORD. I’m pretty sure we were the only people singing and dancing but it was so fun. Eventually it started filling up and we started a limbo line where we connected arms and everyone did the limbo under us. I’ve been having so much fun, and it’s so much better drinking coffee than alcohol when going out. Seriously, try it out.
The next morning I facetimed Sara B. YES. I miss her so much it melted my heart.
I am so glad I put on my hiking boots because it turned out to be much more of a trek. It was definitely not a common path to take.
Anyways, I got to the end of the loop when you’re supposed to head to the summit. But first, I saw this crazy swirl thing. I wasn’t really sure what it was so I asked a girl walking by and she called it the “basket of dreams”. Apparently you make a wish or something.
After dancing around and all the regular stuff I hopped out and headed to the summit. On the way up I passed an old woman who was so sweet. I love seeing old people hiking. She said “oh get ready, I reckon you’ll need your jacket at the top it’s quite cold”
I continued on and reached the top. The wind was about to blow me away but the view of the Remarkables ski range and Lake Wakitipu was incredible.
That evening I just relaxed at the hostel.
The next morning I decided it would be a good idea to trek up another mountain. Of course. I ended up going up the start of the Ben Lomond again (the tiki trail) and I hiked to the top of the Gondola. I did the skyline loop where I ran into a paragliding launch spot.
I walked back down to the gondola cafe where I got a coffee and journaled for a bit. I went to check out the view and it seemed as though everyone had the same idea. Well, some select individuals wanted a photo of the view with them in it. I’m sorry but I had to…
When I got back to the hostel I met my new roommates. Little did I know I would be in a circus the next few nights. The Chinese guy next to me was snoring SO loud, so the girl from Singapore above me asked me for my extra pillow and threw it at the guy snoring. He didn’t wake up. She was angry and yelling in another language. Our third roommate got up every twenty minutes to use the bathroom.
I basically didn’t sleep in Queenstown. That’s something I’ve learned to appreciate, a bed. I haven’t slept in a normal bed, in a room by myself, since I started this trip. I’m rarely in the same bed twice. It’s so weird.
The little things have been becoming much more apparent lately. I’m appreciating and recognizing the little things that make me happy like:
- Warm blankets
- Stepping aside for someone heading down the trail
- Waves against the shore
- Rain on my tent
- A light breeze by the ocean
- A stranger making eye contact and saying hello instead of looking away or down
- A friendly bus driver
- Locals who give you tips
Just a whole lot of little things.
I facetimed my mom the next morning to figure out some stuff for back home. (The real world, yikes can’t believe I have to actually do things.) I went for a walk by the lake again and was planning just to relax for the day. That’s when I met Derk and Cameron.
Derk said something as I was walking by and we began to chat. He was from the Netherlands and Cameron was a kiwi. I ended up hanging out with them for the rest of the day and the night. Derk has this loud, very talkative personality. I swear everyone that walked by he talked to. Cameron was a lot quieter. First we went to find Derk a sleeping bag because. I gave him some tips on down vs synthetic, temperatures, etc and he had a bag within seconds. It was so fast.
He had to go meet up with his parents for a bit so I walked around with Cameron and he did magic. IT WAS CRAZY. He was such a good magician. He just walked up to tables or groups of people and would start these amazing tricks. I was blown away. After Derk was back we went up to their camp spot so He could set up his tent. While setting up Derk needed a hammer. This little kid was riding by on his bike and Derk yelled to the boy to come over. He asked the probably 6 year old boy if he wanted to make some money. He said he would give him $2 if he could find him a hammer. The little boys eyes lit up and he headed off. It was so cute.
The little boy returned with a hammer within just a couple of minutes and he helped Derk set up the tent. He was so excited to be helping and even happier when he got his money.
That night we played pool at a pizza place, it was frezing outside. We also listened to Cam play the guitar and then went into town. At this point we were with many more people we had met along the way. Like I said, Derk talks to everyone so natually we had a big crowd. It was a fun night of just walking around and hanging out with people from all over.
The next day I needed to be productive. It was my last day before starting my three day trek. I went grocery shopping and ticket up my tickets for my trek. Afterwards I grabbed coffee with Cam and Derk and they brought another girl from germany. As we were having coffee I saw Lisa walking by. Who is Lisa? Oh just the girl who I rode from Auckland to Rotorua with my first week in New Zealand. WHAT?! Small country.
We walked around for awhile then both went to lay in the grass and blog while Derk and his lady friend (can’t remember her name) played folf. It was so warm out.
I left for awhile to pack and get things done. Then we met in the park and listened to Bob Marley before grabbing dinner and going to a movie. It just so happens that at the Mexican restaurant we went to, one of the guys from Alaska that I met the first time in Queenstown was working. He had just started there the day before. So crazy.
Traveling alone is pretty crazy. I’m constantly meeting people and it’s pretty hard to have plans because they are guaranteed to change. I’m so glad I met all of these people. It was a really fun couple of days. I am learning so much about myself and about others.
One thing I’m learning is how I really should book the “all female dorms” instead of mixed ones. Why? Because I’m so done with guys snoring all night. I’m also done with guys not wearing clothes. Here, this is why:
I’m sorry. You’re welcome. Idk. Regardless just be happy I didn’t post the photo of him climbing that ladder into bed. Also, it looks like he has no head so I had to post this photo, it’s pretty funny right? Yep.
Okay okay. The next three days begin my three day trek on the Routeburn. Stay tuned.