Day 8. The Biggest Adventure Town in the World
9:40pm Wednesday night.
I don’t think ill post this until tomorrow as I’m waiting to hear back a date from Kristi Giamoni, my Hope Hike donation person for the day.
Kristi’s mother, Debbie Johnston, was diagnosed with ovarian Cancer on Valentine’s Day 2010, and had a very grim prognosis. She had went into remission twice but when it came back, it appeared in her brain this time. It was a golf ball sized tumor right in the center of her brain and the doctors said it was inoperable and gave her one week to live. They had nothing to lose so they eventually found a Doctor in Indianapolis, Indiana that agreed to do the surgery. This doctor would have to pretty much slicer her brain in half and put it back together. The surgery was a success but only added 8 months to her life. She had full brain radiation for two weeks then developed carcinoma meningitis in 2015 and passed away one month later.. Her mother grew up very poor and had dreams of traveling just as Kristi did as a child. After diagnosis though her mother decided it was time to make a change! She decided to complete many things on her bucket list. She traveled the world and went to Europe, went on many cruises ships and really started taking advantage of what life had to offer. She did all these things in 5 years.
What are you doing?
I met Kristi years ago as we both had motorcycles we rode around a bit. She was a hard working single mother even back then. We both wonder why it takes being terminally diagnosed or being faced with death to step out and do the things people have always wanted to do. Why wait?? Thank you for the donation Kristi, Ill be hiking for Debbie and yourself today.
Last night it went from really warm till I woke up at 5am and found head freeezing. I pulled the sleeping bag up over my head and pulled a little draw string at the top. I had to open it a tiny hole because I think i cut off my oxygen. Lol. I fell asleep longer than I thought! I set my alarm for 9am as a just in case alarm. There was no way I would sleep till then. Welllll I basically did. We had a shuttle bus coming at 11:20am. Knowing from experience two hours isnt very long! I needed to shower, eat, and pack up my tent and everything I had. The Lakeview campground in Te Anau knows how to treat people. Unlimited time in the shower and got hot very quickly. I would have stayed a bit longer in the hot water but I was racing against time now. I also knew I needed to blog from the last day or two. I think I packed up everything in record time! I once again had a ham and mustard sandwich, and a small plastic box of strawberries. Some were going moldy just from one day in the campground fridge but I picked around those. Lol. Some of you reading are grossed out. Meh, do what you gotta do. We had about 10 minutes left to spare before the shuttle got there. Nothing too crazy…I went and got another receipt because I asked to see what time it came and Igor handed me the paper and I guess I threw it out? I don’t really hold onto papers. I’m a tech guy after all. Probably why I accidentally threw it out? Either way it was alright and we got on the bus. It was actually going to be a little over 2 hours on our way to Queenstown. The bus driver mad a few stops along the way to pick up more people. His name was Lindsay? Odd name for a guy. He said some people called him Lindsay Lohan. Lol. Ummm right. He didnt say a lot. I actually blogged the entire way and still needed to finish. Haha. We asked the bus driver before we got on where he planned on dropping us off at. He asked the name of the campground and said, where he was dropping us off was very close. Coooooool. We show up to this town of TONS of people hustling and bustling around, almost everyone has some kind of backpack on. It’s a very hilly town with mountains surrounding it. SUPER touristy town as well. We walk up a large hill and make a few turns to find our camp ground. We locate the office and check in. This city has more of a city feel to it. Te Anau didn’t give us anything to display that we paid for the campground that night. We walked quite a ways to our number in the 200’s. There are I think 300 spots for campers or tents. It was pretty hot out and there was a girl sitting in a chair in the shade of a tree just beside our campground spot. She was doing a crossword puzzle in magazine. She asked if she was in the way and I replied, close but no. Her name was…….. …… …. I tried to remember it because it sounded like manure LOL. If she ever reads this… I think it was like Pooer or…yea I don’t know. We talked for a while as Igor setup his tent. Her and her bf were on vacation from the Netherlands. They were doing like 4 weeks in NZ and just came from Australia for a week or two. Why does it feel like Australia is a prerequisite before coming here? They were ironically both nurses and had met in a hospital. Imagine that. Super cool people. I actually had to step out of the conversation to quickly finish the blog and post it. In that time her and her bf went to the campground kitchen. I setup my tent, seemingly faster and faster. We decide to check out the town and grab some food.
Igor said we got a tent / campground spot but the first thing I saw when walking to out allotted number was this:
I was thinking he pulled a quick one on me and got us one of the crazy cool places. Lol
Walking out, this place doesn’t scream tourist does it?
Every single one of those signs. Adrenaline junky dreams. Skydiving, parasailing, 4 wheeling, dirt biking, hiking, white water rafting, zip lining, gondola rides, speed boats, jet skis, etc etc etc. You name it..they have it. This place is sooooo impressive. Of course everything costs a lot too. Any kind of guided anything costs a million dollars. You know, even some of the biggest hikes here, if you want to do them on your own, you have to pay like $400. Isn’t. That crazy?? If you wanted a guide to hike with you, that’s like $1500. Those of course are the most advertised. There are thousands of hikes you can do for free. The handful of ‘Great Walks’ are owned by the government so they can charge what they want. It’s crazy to me that the government can control who hikes on what mountain. As we are walking, there are crowds of people going every which way. Ninety percent of the stores we passed were like: Adventure this, Guided that, tour here, adrenaline there. I made a comment that there were most of those stores than food places! We walked down a little ways to the lake. Tons of people were laying on the beach like it was sand, when it was really a bunch of small rocks. Lol. But. I did find this awesome picture.
It was definitely a warm one…but it seems like once again .. we were on a different planet. A planet of everything I want to do. Lol Everyone was doing something physical or active or were a line filled. I love beaches too! Jet skis on the water, parasailing, they rented out small speed boats, they had small cruise ship boats docking.. Everyone was doing something COOL! I hadn’t had anything to eat for lunch but a coffee on the bus right so we found a Mexican restaurant. We walked in and they told us that there was much better views down the hallway up the steps. Same restaurant. So we did. We walked up the steps to see bar stools with open windows and a small bar to the right. The windows overlooked the lake and I felt like they had my own playlist of songs playing lol. Jack Johnson was playing. Ooooo man I felt like I was at home.
Igor and I each got a drink and ordered some mexican. I ordered the fajitas.
SO good. The bar tender said he didnt like to play the classic Mexican music, and I agreed that his tunes were MUCH better. A few jack Johnson songs played, then some John Mayer, then a few others that I recognized but forgot the names to.
We asked the bar tender for tips on where to go for hikes. He of course rattled off like 10 with all odd names and i think I wrote one down. He said if we went to other bars that we should mention that we are locals staying a while and to ask about the ‘locals drinking sticker’. He said they charge everyone more for drinks that aren’t from around here unless you say that, then they knock off a few bucks a drink. Cool advice for us or anyone coming out here!
We left there and went to get groceries for breakfast again. It seems every town we are in has a ‘four square’ grocery. Nice and middle sized grocery store but this place was a mad house. It seemed like all the cheap tourists and Asians were coming to get their groceries there as to not have to pay the salty prices of the restaurants. No offense to any Asians reading this, but we were there too. Lol
I once again buy a ham and cheese sandwich, and a banana, and some ibuprofen. There hasn’t been a place yet that has just had classic ibuprofen. Just Incase these new tramps ache my muscles.
We headed back to the campsite where our tents were and it soon became dark. Figure I should start blogging now because who knows what tomorrow holds.
I walked out to brush my teeth and I looked up thinking something was in the sky. A ring of lights way up high. Oh…that’s just the top of the mountain where the gondola ride is. Heh..
Walking back I saw a sign at the entrance. “All campsites are sold out”. There are 99% campers and rented vans. For sone reason the large campers sometimes have tents outside. Why. Some cars pitch tents too. I can see that because it’s small in a car. But a camper? I think people just like the idea of camping out…but not really doing it.
You know a few days ago Igor mentioned to me that everyone loves to see pictures but no one likes to read anymore. I mean I don’t even like to read. I wondered why I was even blogging if no one decided to read it. I prayed about it, like what I should do. I only told a few people but lately Ive been overwhelmed with people talking about how they love my blog and always look forward to reading it. Even just people mentioning things about my blog I know its worth it. I figured if anything I would be able to look back one day and read it myself! I’m sure many of you barely talk to me and probably read just so you can creep on me. Haha I hope the rest read because they find my life full of adventure! I’m no bible thumper, you believe what you will believe but I like to show I have faith. I never judge anyone. Probably why I hang out with misfits. Lol. I’m just out there trying to show the things you can do when you do have faith! Fear is not from above but from below.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
Oh yea, Happy Valentines Day!