RoadTrip

Andrew's Big Gap Year

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A Few Updates
RoadTrip
andymcswav
Met up with Rich this morning which was great. Feels like we haven’t been apart for the past 6 months. Took a walk around Christchurch today with him and saw some more sights and have to say that Christchurch is a lovely city. As I mentioned before it’s very similar to Adelaide but it also has a very European feel to it as well sometimes.

Heading to Kaikoura tomorrow which is around 3 hours north of C.Church. Here we can do whale watching and swim with dolphins if were up for it. Staying at the YHA there so should be good. Only booked in 1 night at the moment but may change. That’s the beauty of backpacking, there are no plans, there are no time frames, you can just do what you want when you want.

Spoke to Krystal yesterday on the phone. She wasn’t feeling too great when I left her and it turns out she has Tonsillitis. I know how she feels as I had it a few years back and it’s not nice at all. Hope you get better soon!

Nothing planned tonight, think we’ll just have a quiet catch up as getting picked up tomorrow at 7.45pm. Looking forward to our bus trip as unlike Greyhound there will be a tour guide with stories and commentary along the way.

Couldn’t be happier. Good bunch of friends, learning new things and having different experiences everyday, have a beautiful girlfriend but most importantly a great and supportive family who will always be there for me.

Giggity!



An interesting first day with magic.
After getting a taxi into Christchurch we were picked up outside Base Backpackers at around 7.45am. Including Rich and I there are 7 of us in total. It’s good though because we have a large bus so we can spread out and not have to worry about being cramped or anything. Our driver Greg is good fun and we’ve already been cracking a few jokes about how he is our chauffeur for the trip. (As we pulled up for lunch today Greg said “Ok guys, this is our stop for lunch” and I said “Ok Greg, make sure you’re back here at 12.30”. Got everyone laughing on the bus which was good.

After lunch we headed to Kaikoura. A small town about 2 ½ hours north of Christchurch it features some of the most breathtaking views of New Zealand.

Our hostel, the YHA Kaijoura, was located right across the water from the mountain range so we have a great view of the mountain range. Before settling into the hostel Greg took us to a seal colony which was fascinating. At first seals seems very aggressive but as we were able to get close to them we could see that they were in actual fact more curious than anything.

Rich and I decided to book our swimming g trip with the dolphins. Due to bad weather however the trip was cancelled so we didn’t get a chance to go out there. Was really gutted to be honest as would have been amazing. We were going to rebook for tomorrow but as the magic itinerary is limited sometimes we would have to wait in Kaikoura for 3 days before we could continue. So Rich and I just spent the day walking around the town, talking to a few locals and enjoying the scenery. Heading north again tomorrow to Pickton (ferry pick-up from Wellington) and then onto our stop in Nelson.

Have to say, very impressed with magic so far. Professional and friendly and they recommend accommodation and tours within the area so makes it alot easier for us. Very relaxing.
Heading off to bed now under a full moon and starts looking out over a beautiful sea and mountain range. It’s a hard life sometimes.


Had a great night’s sleep in Kaikoura last night. Bed was very comfortable.

Got picked up by Greg at 8.30am and headed north to Pickton. On the way Greg surprised us and took us to a waterfall. This was no ordinary waterfall however.

During this time of year, baby seals make their way up stream to the waterfall to keep warm and too play. Once we had come through the bush I was taken aback by this huge waterfall and big lagoon full of baby seals in it. There must have been around 30 or so, jumping, playing, eating etc, totally at peace with the fact that we were there. Was unbelievable.
After that we did a bit of driving up the coast and had lunch at a restaurant with fantastic views over the ocean. After another short drive we arrived in Marlborough country. Yeahya!!!!! I asked Greg if we could stop of at one of the vineyards and he kindly agreed. After a few snaps, the owner of the vineyard came out and we were talking about wine, Hotel Du Vin etc so he offered me a quick tasting. (Ofcourse I said yes!). So I went and got the rest of the guys and for $2 each we were able to try 4 wines. Now, I love Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs but my god, if you ever get the chance to try it in New Zealand, it will blow your mind away. Was beautiful. So I decided to buy a bottle of S.Blanc and guess how much it cost me? $10 for a bottle! Made me laugh when I thought of all the (sometimes) pretentious people at the hotel that pay ridiculous amounts for wine and here I am trying it in its home environment for round about £5. Too easy!

Just checked into YHA Nelson. Got myself a YHA Card so should be cheaper for me to stay in hostels now.

Rich and I are heading to the Nelson markets tomorrow and then finding a pub to watch the AFL Grand Final between Collingwood and St.Kilda. Going to be huge! Booked a trip around Able Tasman National Park for Sunday. This park is stated as 1 of the top 30 things to do in the whole of NZ, according to my Rough Guide book. Should be great.
After that we then head to Franz Joseph and Fox Glacier for some more adventures.

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