December 2016 - February 2017
  • Day57

    River valley

    February 7, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    Today I woke up to late for a normal breakfast again so I just ate some of Jess's porridge before going and buying some nectarines while we waited for the bus. It finally arrived and we all boarded and prepared ourselves for the long drive. After an hour or so and we stopped at a beautiful lookout point of a mountain by a lake. Then we continued driving up a mountain to the ski resort that currently had no snow but was still shrouded with fog that made it difficult to see. After climbing on some rocks in the fog we continued on and stopped at a supermarket where Jess and I bought some food together for River Valley. That was our last stop before we hit the windy roads to River Valley. When we got there there was a truck to load all our big bags on that would take it the rest of the way down the hill where the bus couldn't go. Then we had to walk with the rest of our stuff down to the lodge. Luckily me, Siri and Leo walked so slowly and were left behind that the driver of our bags let us hitch a ride in the van. Right when we got in he started moving and I flew backwards on the seat with the door still open. After being made fun of for being so ungraceful we made it to the lodge where they welcomed us and told us about the orgy rooms and much more. After releasing us to our rooms we quickly changed and headed to the river right outside our room. First step was pulling this dangling trolley over the river so we could get on it and jump off halfway through. Then we climbed a slippery wall to jump off some rocks a few times before warming up in the showers and making our food. The next few hours we spent in the main lodge playing card games, Mafia, ping pong and Jenga as most of the people around us acted drunk and crazy. Apparently there actually was an orgy thing that night but I had been in bed long before that happened. However I was constantly woke up by the shrieking skinny dippers outside my window and the loud roommates that liked to overuse their flashlights.Read more

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  • Day55

    Climbing Mt. Doom

    February 5, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    This was a very early morning that started around 5 giving me just 3 hours of sleep. We all threw ourselves on the cold bus and got ready for the long ride up to the start of the trail. When we finally arrived everyone piled in line for the bathroom but I just started walking. I soon caught up to Fredrick and we realized we were ahead of our whole bus by a lot. We reached the bottom of Mt. Doom in half the time they said it would take. We started up the hill which was quite brutal and very long. We ended up walking with a German guy for the whole way up the mountain and only at the very top did Daniel, Joe, and Rupert finally catch up with us. We had lunch at the top as we looked at the amazing views of surrounding lakes, mountains and snow. We wasted no time and after a short lunch we found ourselves sprinting and falling down the mountain. More than halfway down we saw Siri, Rhi, and Jess slowly trekking up but after a short hello we continued on. I kept up with the boys with much difficulty due to their very long legs. We reached the turnoff to the second summit and decided to do it because we were so far ahead of schedule. This summit wasn't too hard and didn't take too long but after we finished it I realized we still had 13 kilometers to go until the end. After awhile I gave up on keeping up with the boys but seeing as none of them had any more water, they never went very far. At one point me and Daniel held back while the other two boys started running down the hill. The last half of the hike was very slow and somewhat boring with all the slow walkers that jammed up the pathway. I finally got to the end and found Rupert and Joe waiting by the bus at the bottom. We loaded soon after and while we were all loading Daniel arrived. I fell asleep for most of the drive back. I took a nap while everyone else came back and when I woke up I went down to find Siri who told me that Jess and Rhi had missed the last bus. We all went to eat some pizza and I went back early to look for Jess. Luckily she had made it back thanks to the bus leaving half an hour late.Read more

  • Day54


    February 4, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Today we made the drive from Rotorua to Taupo. On the way we stopped for a walk in the woods and then again at Huka falls. Once in Taupo, me, Daniel and Felix walked around the town for a little and went down to look at the water. Then we headed to the supermarket to get some food for the Tongariro crossing. Once we did that we went back to the hostel and found that people were going down to the water to go swimming. I went down a little after to find all of them just sitting by the water because it was too cold. I went back and made some dinner before we went to the bar next door for the half moon party. I also asked people about the crossing and was informed that it would be impossible to do both summits. When we got to the bar people put paint on our faces and gave us glow sticks. The rest of the night was filled with lots of dancing and singing with all of us together for the last time.Read more

  • Day53


    February 3, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    Wake up was a little later today but we still were up before 9. Without eating breakfast I headed off to watch my friends zorb. We got on the bus that dropped us off at the place and I was somehow convinced to do it as well. My friend Jess and I went to the Sidewinder with water twice because it was so fun. It was impossible to stand up but still amazing. After, we headed back to the hostel for some food and next was wifi time. It was quite hot today so I mostly stayed inside playing a card game called asshole with Jess, James, Daniel, and Felix. When we did venture out we headed down to the pool that felt like a hot tub. There I met some more Americans that would be joining our bus tomorrow. After a shower me and Daniel went in search of alcohol but after a long walk realized neither of us had our passports. So we grabbed some fruits and vegetables and went back. It was dinner time at that point so we went and looked around before settling on LovelyIndia which was absolutely delicious. After we went back to get the alcohol then headed to the bar for our free lava drinks. After I drank my two I convinced everyone to come play cards. We quickly realized 11 people in a tiny room trying to learn a card game is a bad idea. We slowly got smaller and smaller until just my roommates were in the room. Then it was packing time which took quite awhile. After a few more attempts at some new card games we brushed up and tried to go to sleep to the sound of a packed bar.Read more

  • Day52


    February 2, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    I again did not wake up early enough for a proper breakfast so after some fruit we boarded the bus again. We quickly stopped for a nice walk by some caves before continuing on to our next stop, Hobbiton. I explored around the gift shop before deciding 300 was too much for Gandalf's hat. Then those who weren't going on the tour went to Rotorua and got dropped off at our hostel. After some food a group of us ventured out to the hot pools that seemed to smell worse and worse. We then walked along the lake with all the black swans before running into the museum and heading back through town. After an attempted nap and some games of war most of the group headed out to a cultural experience activity and I went down to use some wifi. After that I finished my leftovers and then walked around town for some cheap dessert. Unfortunately, everything was too expensive so I ended with nothing and went back to the hostel for a shower. When I came out everyone had returned but it wasn't too long before we went to bed. However it took forever to fall asleep due to the insanely loud bar right next door. (Forgot to take pictures today so these are from black water rafting)Read more

  • Day51


    February 1, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌙 27 °C

    I had set some very early alarms so I could wake up and go to the hot pools at low tide with most of the others. I was way too tired to wake up then so I decided I'd just wake up for sunset but that plan failed as well. I woke up around 6:30 and quickly got ready and had a half assed breakfast before boarding the bus again. After a very restless bus ride we stopped at a supermarket and ate some lunch before driving the rest of the way to Waitoma. Our first stop was at the Black Water Rafting center where all of us had to pay and get checked in. Then those with later times went and checked into the hostels. I tried to get some sleep for the hour I had to spare but my room was quite loud due to Daniel, Felix, Kk and Siri and I gave up after awhile. Then it was time to go to the rafting so I changed bought some caffeine and then jumped in the van. We all got suited up and ready to go in our cold wet wetsuits. After a short little drive we were at the entrance to the cave which we had to abseil down into. Besides the fact that I was so light that I couldn't go very fast it was very fun and a great first abseil experience. After that we walked a little and then zip lined in the pitch dark as we watched the glow worms. Next was snack time consisting of hot chocolate and a very large flapjack. Then we jumped down into the water and pulled ourselves up the stream where our guide told us all about the glow worms. After rafting back down we continued walking and sliding our way down the cave. After another stop for chocolate we climbed our way out of the cave through a series of waterfalls which was a great way to end the trip. Once back at the rafting center we had some bagels and soup before heading back to our hostel, showering, eating then going down to the bar. I played quite a few games of pool (all of which I won) and had the best shot ever to win the game after I had already scored three in a row. After some swinging and talking at the play structure across the street we headed back and quickly fell asleep.Read more

  • Day50

    Hot Water Beach

    January 31, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    I dragged myself out of bed a quarter past seven and went and brushed up before finishing packing. I headed down to the kitchen and ate a small breakfast. Then I headed to the bus stop where I met Caroline and Sylvain, the bus was late but we got on and left to pick up more people. Once the bus was full we headed out of the city and to our first stop. It was a cute little town by the water where everyone got some food and then we carried on to Cathedral cove. We had about a 45 minute walk before getting to the beautiful beach. The water was a little chilly but very refreshing. At one point we explored some caves and went through the big tunnel to a connecting beach. After an hour there we walked back and headed to Hot Water Beach where we quickly unpacked our stuff and then headed to the beach. The tide was almost to the hot pools but we managed to enlarge a previously dug pool and enjoy an hour of soaking. There I met Sandy, Tom, and James before heading back to the hostel and making some food. After food a few of us went and jumped on a big trampoline looking thing before rejoining the rest to be social. After a long night of music, star gazing, and lots of talking we all passed out in our beds relatively early so we could wake for the sunrise.Read more

  • Day49


    January 30, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    I refused to get up with my alarm today so woke up around 10:30. Not great but definitely better than yesterday. I went down and had my normal eggs and then had some family time through FaceTime. Then I ventured out, first to see if I could find where my bus would pick me up tomorrow but then just to wander. I ended up walking all the way down Queen street stopping to get some iron filled cereal but then continuing until I got to the harbor. I walked around a market down there that was located in a very strange white building. After taking in the views I headed back stopping at two street performers shows which included lots of knives and balls. Then I headed into the downtown Countdown where I finally got my reusable cooler bag along with some iron filled meat. Then I thought I'd take the scenic way back and head through Albert Park and see the university while I was there. Unfortunately, there was a big concert thing that engulfed the whole park and with the fences I wasn't able to see anything. The college ended up being a dud too seeing as it just looked like all the other building and one hall length was blocked off for the concert. So I headed back to the hostel to eat my meat and let it settle in time for my sunset run. I ran to Mt. Eden which wasn't very far but as you can imagine there was a lot of uphill at the end. It was so worth it though. I made it in time to get a 360 view of all of Auckland in the last light of the day with beautifully colored skies in the background. It started getting a little chilly so I headed back only to do a few more hill sprints at the hostel. Then I went in for a nice meal featuring the leftover meat from lunch and decided not to go to the ice cream place I was thinking about visiting. After some tv I headed to the shower and then it was off to bed in preparation for an early wake up.Read more

  • Day48


    January 29, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    I woke up at 12:00 today despite going to bed rather early. After a shower and breakfast I headed out to the Auckland Domain, a big park with live music,ponds, and gardens. The mile walk to the park didn't take very long and soon I was walking through gardens and ponds and eventually ended up on a rainforesty walk. After walking around in the forest I continued up to the war memorial. It was quite a building but it was pretty expensive to walk around inside so I continued walking through the park. Once I popped out I headed to the supermarket in search of a reusable cooler bag. After I winded my way back through little streets until I arrived back at my hostel. I waited a little bit and then had an early dinner before heading to bed.Read more

  • Day47

    New Zealand

    January 28, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    Today was one of the more brutal mornings which started before 4. After brushing up and getting the rest of my stuff packed I started the walk to Southern Cross station. On my way there I cut through a park and saw a possum walking around by some trees. After it got within two feet of me I went on my way and just barely made the airport bus. Once I got to the airport all mayhem broke loose apparently there are a lot of rules to get into New Zealand including having a flight leaving New Zealand, the right visa and for me I had another problem being they said that my Australian visa would expire before my flight back. I eventually got it all scheduled as other travelers frantically bought tickets from New Zealand to anywhere. After waiting a little I got on the plane and almost immediately fell asleep. Once in New Zealand I cruised through customs and found the bus into town. Right after I bought the ticket I dropped it and the wind blew it away and I couldn't find it. Fortunately the woman remembered me and I was still able to get on the bus. There was a bus stop that was very close to my hostel which made things a lot easier. Once settled I headed out to the supermarket to buy some groceries and then returned and ate some late lunch. The rest of the day I chilled around the hostel took some naps ate some dinner and went to bed. (Barely took pictures today)Read more