Used: 2008

Another location that I wanted to go to was Mount Cook. There is only one road in and out and takes about 45 minutes to get from the main highway into the entrence of the park where the town of Aoraki/Mount Cook, so there is no way you are accidently coming across this tiny town and hidden part of the country. When the family was in New Zealand, of course, didn’t have time when we stopped in nearby town of Lake Tekapo, but after seeing a flyer for a glacier kayak trip in Mount Cook, going out there was on my must do when planning my return trip.

Driving into Mt. Cook, New Zealand, 2008

The drive was fanstic. An empty two lane (and lots of one-lane bridged) highway with magnificant scenery around every corner, though most of the drive is pretty straight and flat. There are few places to stay in town and even though I was staying two nights, I had to break my own room rule or otherwise break the bank. There is only one hostel in town and luckily it’s a YHA so it was pretty awesome. It’s funny, when I was booking this part of my trip, when I first looked at hostels, this place was full, but in rechecking it a few weeks later, a spot opened up and I immiediatly grabbed it.

I am not much of a hiker, but the reason I came out to Mount Cook was to do a glacier kayaking trip. I like kayaking and I found a brochure up in Auckland and it looked so beautiful and amazing!

Hiking up the Tasman River, end of the line. Ice burg, RIGHT AHEAD! Mt. Cook, New Zealand 2008

Me at Mt. Cook town, New Zealand, 2008

Unfortunately the whole weekend turned out to be a bust. My first night in the hostel, I arrived, put my bag next to my bed, laid out the blanket and my sweatshirt, clearly stating that THIS BED IS MINE! After wondering around town and going on a small, short hike around the glacier filled Tasman Lakes (which was awesome) I went back into the girls room to grab a book when I noticed that someone else had laid their bag on the lower bunk I claimed. I went batshit crazy. The previously empty beds were now filled with stupid Germans (that’s right, I said it) who had claimed the other nearby beds, as tried to tell me in their broken english that their friend put her stuff on “my” bed. I no longer wanted to sleep on a bed covered with someone elses crap, but I was so mad by blanted stealing and no respect for other peoples stuff. I moved to an upper bunk (blah) on the other side of the room, steaming mad. Later that night, when everyone was going to sleep, the Germans kept coming in and out of the room, yakking away in that god aweful horrible language. To add to it all, the girl below me snored like a hog, which annoyed the fuck out of me (but I snore too, so how much could I complain) but the WORST part was that the FUCKING Germans would immitate her!!! Because that is really going to help the situation! I wanted to scream so loud that after about 30 minutes of it all, I grabbed my blanket, pillow and wallet and went out to my car and slept in that. This is why I HATE sharing rooms. I am the lightest sleeper so this situation was pretty much like my worst nightmare. THANK GOD!! I had a car. I have no idea what I would have done otherwise. Slept in the lounge until I was kicked out? Who knows. I don’t even want to think of it. Even though it was the middle of summer, I was worried that I would be too cold in my car, but it actually wasn’t that bad at all. I was super warm and I didn’t even wake up until my alarm went off at 8:30am. The worst part was my knees hurt so much from bending them all night. Otherwise, not too bad!

I got up and got ready for the day, to walk to the otherside of town (a 10 min walk) for the glacier trip. It was sprinkling a little bit, but I didn’t think too much of it at the time. The moment I walked up to the cafe, I got a bad feeling. I was the only one there. I knocked on the door and a girl about my age came out and told me that the trip today was canceled because of the weather. It was cold and windy and starting to rain at that point. I was so dissapointed, especially after that nights sleep I had, I was about to cry. I chatted with the girl for a while, discovering that she too was American and was currently in New Zealand on the WHV, which as you know, I have an interest in, so we talked about for a while, so it wasn’t a total lost. But in general, a HUGE dissapointment.

I had no plans on calling my family for a few weeks while in New Zealand since I didn’t have a phone card and using my internet time very sporadically, but I had cell service (typical) so I texted my sister and told her I was having a shit time and seeing if she could get online to chat anytime soon. Luckily, between a short time zone difference and it being Dec 30th in the US, she was around and I got on some wicked expensive internet for about 2 hours, as I now had nothing else to do that day. When I bought my internet time from the front desk, the girl who canceled the kayaking trip was there chatting with the receptionist (told you it was probably the smallest town in New Zealand that I went to and that is saying something) and she told the receptionist to take care of me, as my trip was canceled, which was really nice. I love the friendlyness of New Zealand so much! I got on a computer and chatted with my sister and did some internet stuff for a few hours. It ended up raining really hard and was totally freezing that day and I spent most of my time in the computer and TV lounge with a bunch of kids from New Zealand and Australia, which didn’t end up being too bad. Super comfy couches!

Luckily, the stupid Germans had left at that point and they remade the bed I originally had, so I took it back and the snorer was gone too, so the night was really quiet. Happy New Year to me!

Moral: The side trip out to Mount Cook ended up being meh. The drive and the town were awesome and super cute and beautiful and if that was my only plan, then it would have been sucessful. But the reason I drove all that way was canceled, I was really sad and super dissapointed. But I don’t hold it against the town, but just to be prepared.

Beautiful drive to the coast, the glacier water is so beautiful, clear and clean! New Zealand, 2009