I have never been so happy and so busy in my entire life. This trip has been everything I hoped for and more. It’s given me room to breathe, time to think without being overwhelmed and confirm that this trip wasn’t running away from my problems, instead it’s going a long way to solve them. One thing is for certain though: seeing the world is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.
So without getting too soppy, here’s this week’s Added Extras:
1) Everything has been so full on since I arrived in NZ that it’s nice to have a bit of downtime occasionally. A lot of hostels out in the sticks have somewhere you can chill out so this week we’ve been able to go to a climbing wall in National Park and a crash in a super cosy movie den in Abel Tasman where we watched Dirty Dancing!
2) I saw a shamel. A sheep-camel. It is a real thing.
3) We acted like total children at a park in Levin on our way to Wellington. Zip wires, hamster wheels and 20 fully grown adults hyped up on sugary bus snacks.
4) For the first time in ages, I went out out. Our original bus crew separated after Wellington so we had a big night out together which involved tequila and dancing to cheesy tunes in a club with a sticky floor. Let’s just say that I’m glad I didn’t have to get on a ferry to the south island the next day as some people did!
5) For the first time in over a month, I stayed in a hotel! The lovely team at the Museum Art Hotel in Wellington invited me to stay for a night and I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was to stay in a king sized bed and have a bath. Bliss!
6) We hired rollerblades on Wellington harbour and I didn’t fall over!
7) I was totally blown away by the Gallipoli exhibition at Wellington’s Te Papa museum. Beautifully executed, accessible for all ages and truly moving. I’m not usually into war history but this was absolutely stunning.
8) Although the ferry to the south island was nearly vomit-inducing, the views once we were on the final approach were incredible. I don’t think I could ever fully get used to such gorgeous scenery; it just continues to blow my mind.
9) I was so excited to go wine tasting in Marlborough and taste my favourite New Zealand sauvignon blanc from its place of origin. I’m no wine connoisseur but this is genuinely the only white wine I’ll drink so it was a special moment.
10) We did a four hour hike in Abel Tasman National Park and holy Jesus, it was beautiful. Waterfalls, beaches, dense forest and mountains. We took a water taxi home which was so bumpy that it just reduced me to a heap of uncontrollable giggles!
11) And to add to the local drinking samples, I went to a brewery tour in the little town of Westport and drank far too much of their delicious home brews. I even came back with a two litre bottle of their pale ale because it was bloody delicious and obscenely cheap. Hooray!
I hope you’ve all had a great week so far! Wasn’t it a Bank Holiday in the UK? You lucky people!