Posts Tagged With: Queenstown New Zealand

Hidden Gem: Hostelling Horror Story

My upcoming departure has me reflecting on my time here and I know that there are a few stories that have been past down amongst my friends like urban legends but for one reason or another I made the decision not to blog about it.  One of the favourites amongst everyone is my hostelling experience in Queenstown.  This particular event occurred during my second trip to Queenstown.  It all started out with an early Saturday morning flight to Queenstown where I was running on absolutely no sleep due to my own stupidity (sadly, this happens more often than I’d like to admit!).  In order to be functional when I met up with the tour group the next morning, my plan was to have an early night to recover.

I was staying at the Base Backpackers and as I enter the room, a Welsh girl (her nationality has nothing to do with the story so don’t take this as me being judgmental at all) is freaking out because she’s lost her passport.  I told her to retrace her steps and it turns out it was in her purse all along (In hindsight, should have taken this as signs of things to come and found another place to stay).  Anyway, as a thank you she begged me to go out with the group but I politely declined and got ready to for a good’s night sleep.  Several hours later, she was back, shaking my bed, and asking if I was still awake.  Well I was now and I whipped around to find a guy taking off his shirt.  It only gets better as one thing leads to another and he has to run out to buy condoms (of course, this is not before the moment where he briefly turns on the light and says, “OMG, you’re actually cute”).  Long story short, turns out it wasn’t his lucky day after all as he passes out shortly after he returns and she dumps him off the bed and goes to sleep herself.

At this point – couple #2 walks into the room and not far behind them is couple #3.  Each of the couples is off doing their thing all the while the girl from couple #2 is judging couple #3 for being all “Jersey Shore“.  The girl from couple #2 is also trying to convince her guy (he’s Irish – again, no judgement) that she’s technically from Edmonton but that’s essentially the same as being from Vancouver (took everything I had to pipe down on this one…crazy lady from Deadmonton!)  Sadly, at this point, we’re well into the wee hours of the morning and due to all the activity in my room, I still haven’t really gotten any sleep (can you say grumpy and if I wasn’t so tired, I would have whipped out my video camera to make a buck or two to support my traveling habit).  Anyway, this is when the Scottish guy (again, no judgement) who’s got the bunk below me returns to the room and flicks on the lights.  He’s extremely drunk, smoking, and annoyed by the naked guy wearing only a condom passed out by his bed and decides something needs to be done.  After debating with the 4 other naked people in my room – he proceeds to dry shave the guy.  Not everywhere – just one leg, one eyebrow, and his balls.

Thinking back on it now – the banter was pretty funny as things like, “I met her at Ferg Burger…first ferg burger then fucking” were said.  Surprisingly, when I left, the events of the night wouldn’t be the only thing that would haunt me that day.  When I walked into the bathroom – the floor was covered in blood and I put two and two together and realized that our floor was missing the passed out condom guy.  At the end of the day, the moral of this story is to not forget to book your accommodations as the last-minute scramble can sometimes lead to an interesting story but not a whole lot of sleep.

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Magnificent Mt. Cook

Girl Group Bus Photo

We arrived in Mt. Cook and I was greeted by 2 old acquaintances from Auckland (the teasing about how I knew everyone everywhere was getting out of hand at this point) as well as a game plan from Stray.  Regardless, I had no time to think about any of this as I needed to drop my bags off in a hurry in order to make the glacier cruise.  For the first time since jumping onto the Stray bus since Queenstown – the rains had stopped and there was a slight bit of blue sky visible once again.  For the record, I was smart enough to know that I still needed to wear pants and not shorts on the glacier cruise (yes, there was a moment of hesitation but phew, I made the right choice in the end).

So I get onto the tour bus for the glacier tour and once again, my mobile’s going off like crazy.  The tour guide gave me the all-knowing teacher stare as I was texting my little heart out instead of listening to whatever he was babbling on about.  Since he felt it necessary to give me the teacher stare – I felt it was only fair for me to heckle him for the rest of the day.  If I knew it was only his fifth day on the job then maybe I would have restrained (okay, maybe not but I would like to believe that I would have been nice enough to stop).

My favourite iceberg of the day

Regardless, because of the earthquake activity in Christchurch – there was more icebergs in the water where we were doing our glacier cruise.  It was amazing – the colours and shapes of the ice.  And after about 30 minutes – the most amazing part was how I felt like a human popsicle and yet my fingers didn’t just snap off despite how cold I was.  The one activity that I would highly recommend after the glacier cruise is downing a cup of hot chocolate with a stick of Whittaker’s milk chocolate in it.  Despite the buzz happening around us – it was as the hot chocolate warmed our frozen bodies after the 1 ½ hour glacier cruise that we truly smiled for the first time in days.

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Have You Heard the News Today?

We were on our way to Dunedin when we stopped at a cafe to grab a bite to eat.  Casually and in the most nonchalant manner, the man who brought over our coffees said, “Did you hear that Christchurch had another earthquake?”  As we were making our way to Christchurch – we gave him a look of shock and set out to find as much information as we could (free WiFi plus laptops made this task rather easy).

Turns out the quake was major and had happened just an hour before we heard the news.  We did what we needed to do – texted/called our families to let them know we hadn’t yet made it into Christchurch and then broadcasted our whereabouts on Facebook to let everyone else know we were okay.  We continued to make our way to Dunedin not know what would happen next or when we’d be presented with some sort of game plan.  The only thing of certainty was that we had some strange days ahead of us as we tried to get a hold of all those travelling ahead of us to see where they were and if they were safe (mobile phone reception on the South Island made this a rather difficult task).  The mood had changed like the change of seasons where you quickly go from a beautiful summer’s day to the crisp bite of autumn overnight.

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The Beauty Of It All…

I jumped onto the Stray bus from Queenstown but was seriously lacking sleep.  Without getting into any of the gory details, didn’t get a much sleep on Friday night due to my own retardiness and then got a repeat of that on Saturday night due to the insanity of others (word of advice – never ever stay at BASE).  So there I was in the company of strangers once again but was having a hard time holding a conversation as keeping my eyes open was about all I was capable of doing. 

As we drove to Milford Sound – I drifted in and out of sleep.  The weather was terrible and I pretty much decided to not get off at any of the stops – seriously…who’d turn down an extra 20 minutes of uncomfortable napping for a bathroom break!  IDIOTS!  Sadly, in no time at all, we got to Milford Sound.  I hoped off the bus with everyone else and boarded the ferry for the cruise we signed up for.  Never in my life have I been this uninterested to being out on the water. 

It was a tour around Milford Sound that lasted for 1 1/2 hours.  Turns out there was a lot of ohhing and ahhing over nature and frankly, I was bored.  Wow, another waterfall.  And can you believe this – dolphins are following our boat once again!  Such beauty…its amazing I didn’t explode by being surrounded by it.  If you think I’m being a jackass and holding back on the experience then you guessed right.  There was something that I loved about the cruise that day.  The FREE TEA!  Yup, you read that correctly!!!  I drank cup after cup and was simply in heaven.  It warmed me up and gave me an excuse to get out of the rain.

If I can offer any advice to those thinking about going to Milford Sound , it would be to get a good night’s sleep prior to going as it’ll change your outlook on the whole experience.  Instead of sitting inside and drinking tea – maybe you’ll actually get to marvel at the beauty that surrounds you.

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Big Night Out

Bug Bingo was the game.  Sadly, someone else tied with me for first place and so it all came down to rock, paper, scissors.  Thanks to a misspent childhood – I walked away the winner…even if it was by the skin of my teeth.  We were in Queenstown so why would the prize be anything else but a pub crawl.

Pyramid Craziness

As we had just gotten into Queenstown that evening – I couldn’t think a better way to get well acquainted with the party town of New Zealand.  We went from pub to pub and I may have even had one of the event organizers piggy-back me from one pub to another (was so close to being tragic as I almost flipped backwards but don’t worry as we got it together at the last moment and there are no injuries to report).  There was also a  group who climbed on each other to create a pyramid while I was sentenced to do push ups for using the word MINE.  Still think it was a stupid rule but who am I to judge. 

Before I knew it – it was the wee hours of the morning and I was at Devil Burger with new and old friends alike.  A good time was had by all and all that can be said is what happens in Queenstown, stays in Queenstown (encase you’re wondering – more applicable in Queenstown than it was in Baz).

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