wanaka and queenstown

I don’t have much Internet access anymore so I decided to write out my blog post while at work to save time. This doesn’t help when you forget the paper at home when you come to the library… will have to write again!

I didn’t mean to put in so many pictures of me but it seems like every picture that I took of Lauren is blurry or he is blinking. Ah well. Rose-splosion. (Liz if you are reading this, you will also notice I am wearing your Guelph sweatshirt in almost every photo. If I am not wearing it… it was in my bag.)

Lauren and I went on a week and a half trip to Wanaka & Queenstown and it was awesome! The weather was looking a bit marginal (rain every day) but it only rained twice and the weather was nice and warm (though windy).

IMG_0725

We climbed 4 days, a mix of new places and places I went in the summer. It was great meeting up with Glen and other friends again as well. When I worked at the hostel in Wanaka everyone always talked about the Rob Roy (beside the) Glacier Walk as a must-do, but I could never figure out how to get a ride down to it. So we decided to try again, twice but again was not successful! The first time the road was flooded and we didn’t want to break the van. The second time we got farther but there was a ford that looked pretty large.. and we didn’t want to break the van. Maybe I will try again but I think it’s a sign…

So we went on a valley walk instead…

IMG_0709 IMG_0706

Look! New boots!
IMG_0715

One day we also did a ridge walk up to Mt Dingle Corner Peak an unmarked mountain but because I am lazy I got too tired to make it to anything named. It was still good though with great views! I’m still not sure if hiking/tramping is my thing.

IMG_0720 IMG_0718

Rainy days were the perfect times to go swimming, watch movies, read books, eat out and try all the craft beers. We watched a documentary called Antartica: A Year on Ice which I highly recommend! It makes me want to live in Antartica (the average person that lives there is an average shmo like me!). But then I realized I could also just go to Northern Canada to experience similar eternal light/dark. This might be a bit more cost effective. I would be interested in that! I also got to finally try a Fergburger (not the best burger I have ever had, but maybe the best one in NZ) and I also highly recommend the aquatic centre in Queenstown (it has a lazy river, a spa pool, water guns, water sprays, 2 slides (that weren’t on, tear) and much more).

IMG_0727Oamaru also has an awesome playground.

IMG_0730

We also realized that we were there for the World Championship Jet Boat Race! There were teams from Canada there. The boats were SO FAST and really fun to watch. They were racing from Wanaka to Cromwell. Such a random thing to bump into.

IMG_0702 IMG_0703

It worked out perfectly that on the way home from Queenstown I got a call from one of the temp agencies in Christchurch and they said they needed someone for a receptionist job for three days this past week and 4 days this week (it’s a long weekend). I am currently working at a door warehouse and my job entails bringing paper ten steps over from the printer to the other lady and answering the phone when she is not there or on the phone. I am not really sure why they are employing me as I read 1 book a day.

Oh yeah! We went to Castle Hill the day before we left as well with a bunch of friends:

IMG_0693 IMG_0690

Terra's photo
Terra’s photo

And here’s a photo from the Boulder Bash:

Petr Polák - Piti
Petr Polák – Piti
Advertisements

hangdog climbing camp

I stayed at Hangdog Climbing Camp for a little over half a week and it was great! The campground is right beside Takaka near the ‘best’ area for sport climbing in New Zealand. It was a really great atmosphere.. everyone was friendly, chatty and there was always something to talk about. It was a combination of Kiwi and international climbers, some who where there for just one or two nights and some who have been there… a while.

It was typical climbing dirt bag.. there was only one shower (which cost money), and two fridges for 150+ people to jam all their food in. There was a really nice swimming hole with rope swings and deep water solo-ing but MAN it was cold the day I decided to go in.

Brendan and I climbed three days (four days in total) at Paynes Ford and in Pohara. Paynes Ford has really nice limestone crags that are very smooth and slopey, but with lots of pockets. Pohara had taller cliffs by the sea – very nice!

Among the many great people we met, we met a great group of people from the Victoria University of Wellington Tramping Club who I ended up travelling with later on. On New Years Eve we went to a bar nearby in the middle of a field called Mussel Inn (I though it was Muscle Inn – “rosemarie  not everyone is a climber”). It was a lot of fun and it seemed like every person in the Golden Bay region was there! We had a fush and chup NYE dinner too.

Here are some pictures from the two Paynes trips:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I ended up linking up with two climbers from the tramping club, Craig and Pia, and decided to travel with them down South so after three days of climbing I said bye to Brendan (byeee Brendan) and hopped into their extra seat. Or.. half a seat really (the car was really full). I’d love to go back to Hangdog.. it was a really great place to meet up with people. If I hadn’t met up with Craig and Pia, I’d probably still be there (not a bad thing!). In Craig’s words, we had to drive four times around Takaka to break the orbit and actually leave Hangdog.

kilaworld

The International Students’ Association uber subsidized a trip to the KilaWorld adventure park on Wednesday. They had a high ropes course, a giant swing, a big pole that you climb up and jump off of and a zip line. Summer camp!!!

giant swing
My turn!

I found the transition of switching from climbing the pole to standing on the pole pretty scary.

I missed the ball! Maybe it was because I was nervous because an enormous portion of the national rugby team was staring at me while I was doing this, 😛

That’s the only part that I really find scary because I LOVE FALLING. (Dad, Kat and I still think you didn’t dangle enough shiny things in front of our faces when we were babies and that’s why we like hurling ourselves places.) KilaWorld did make the climber in me a bit uncomfortable… lots of cross-loaded biners (cringe), non-climber friendly knots (they would get so tight if someone fell on them), different belay standards and some of the equipment making crazy noises from the vibrations of the rope. We all survived. Even when the worker told me to go on the zipline and then I jumped off and stopped a few metres later because the workers forgot to take the safety rope off of me, haha.

Smiley, but nervous
These harnesses were EXTRA attractive

Speaking of falling, I really want to go sky diving when I am in New Zealand. And speaking of New Zealand, I got my working holiday visa! It is for a year. Depending how things go in New Zealand and if my flight can be flexible, maybe I will go back after my semester ends next year and my semester at SFU starts. I think I am going to really like NZ.

yasawa’s – waya lailai island

The last place I stayed at was the most memorable.. it was really a great time. The resort (Waya Lailai) was collectively owned by a village. As soon as we stepped off the boat, all the workers ran up to us and started introducing themselves and hugging us. There were only 9-12 people staying there when we were there which was really too bad because it was a lot of fun. I stayed in the 5-bed dorm and met some girls from Austria, England and Germany. They were really nice and we did pretty much everything together. It was also the only place where I met guests that were staying in one place for an extended period of time.

Lunch

The second day a bunch of us went snorkeling with reef sharks. I don’t know why I decided to do it because swimming with the manta ray was so traumatizing but YOFO (you’re only in Fiji once… which is also inaccurate, pretty sure I like this place enough to come back). We snorkeled with 4 reef sharks, the longest ones being 4 or 5 feet. The sharks must have thought I was cool because they really liked to high five (high fin?) me. Or slap me with their tail. The guides were catching smaller fish with a spear and then shredding them so that the sharks would get closer. The sharks kept coming closer and closer to me and chowing down on their food in front of my face (uh, scary) and I didn’t realize until after when Corey told me that I was swimming right where they were throwing the fish pieces. Oops.

That’s my knee haha

Climbing in a bathing suit and sulu is kind of silly

This island was extra exciting because there was some bouldering/climbing! There was one big volcanic rock (oh conglomerates and beautiful breccia, big earth science nerd right here) that we could boulder on right by the ocean. It was sweet.

Later that day, almost everyone in the resort decided to do the hike on the island (it’s one of the best in the area) up to Vatuvula Peak. It is 349 m to the top and looks a lot like the Stawamus Chief in Squamish. Made me miss home a bit. I was not feeling so hot on this hike at all (either the water or the food was not making me feel good) and it was not my classiest moments, but it was an awesome hike! You could either go to the almost peak, or scramble/climb up to the top so naturally I went to the top (no regrets). There were a couple of places along the way that I pulled on my climbing shoes and sat on top of boulders.

The last night we all stayed up ‘late’ and drank kava with the villagers. It was good fun and like being back in Bureta.

On the last day, a whale swam by between the island we were staying on and the one across the channel. We think it was a humpback whale. Apparently it is pretty rare to see whales there, I think it was a sign.

There were definitely some negatives about this last place (feeling so sick and my bed definitely had bed bugs), but I loved it and I’d love to return. I have really great memories from this place.

Kuata, Waya Lailai and Waya Island – view from the flyer

In the late afternoon of the last place, we packed up all our stuff and hopped back on the transfer boat. It was fun running back into Kaula and Stefanie and other people we saw at the past resorts. I got back to Suva later that night with an intense tan and swollen snorkeling lips.

Kaula and Stef had one extra day in Fiji, so they actually decided to pop over to Suva for the day. We had a delicious (and relatively upscale) Indian lunch (soo tasty, yum!!) and showed them the market, flea market and a few sights. We took them to USP and showed them around there too. It was good fun and great to see them again.