Friday, August 16, 2013

Highlights of my South Island Working Holiday

All Blacks vs France rugby match
The match was on 15 Jun 2013 at AMI Stadium Christchurch. The stadium was a sea of black with and some hint of red/blue/white, the colours of France. I got my face painted black and white for the occasion. The Haka performance was engaging. In the end All Black beat France by 30-0.


It was relatively safe and easy to hitch-hike in New Zealand. I've been taken in over 50 rides. Average waiting time is 15 minutes. Longest wait for a ride was 2 hours on a rainy day in Franz Josep. Guess who finally pick me up? A famous travel blogger in a luxury camper van ;)

Road trips

*2 weeks trip - Christchurch, Arthur's Pass, Punakaiki, Greymouth, Fox Glaciers, Franz Josep, Wanaka, Queenstown, Dunedin, Moeraki Boulders, Christchurch, Akaroa, Queenstown, Te Anou, Milford Sound, Queenstown, Christchurch
*Day trips to Mount Sunday, Rakaia Gorge, and peel Forest with my housemates.
*Queenstown for clubbing and skying
*Christchurch - Ashburton - Lake Tekapo - Twizel - Christchurch

Working in Rakaia
I've done grading job with onions (7 weeks), potatoes, yam and lily bulbs. The jobs were repetitive and boring but I can't really complain as it was my main source of income.

My stay in Ashburton
I stayed in a backpacker hostel called Rambler's Rest when I worked. It was actually more like staying in a house. My room mates were really cool gals from Japan, Hong Kong, Germany, Uruguay and Czech. It was a lovely town.

Not much attractions but it has all the fast food chains (McDonald's, Burger King, Subway, Pizza Hut, KFC), Countdown and New World supermarkets, Warehouse and even Kathmandu store. It has a decent Art Museum there. 

Every Wednesday we would be at Speight Ale house to take part in quiz night. We won on my last time at the quiz.

Couchsurfing in South Island
My host Peter and Craig who live in New Brighton were the most awesome host. They were my host when I first arrived in Christchurch. They welcome me with open arms and I had gone back there many times during weekend. My other host is Robert and gang (Pimmy, Myra, Grace) and Poorna a vet I met for coffee first. All my hosts were in Christchurch. When I was in Queenstown I stayed a few days with Erika and Erin whom hosted me before in Wellington. 

Dating a kiwi guy

I met him on my 2nd week in South Island. He gave me a ride when I was hitch-hiking and we had been together till I left. He was from Christchurch therefore I traveled there quite frequent to see him. He kept me grounded. When I was in Queenstown I thought of moving there but decided against because that would mean I won't be seeing him so frequent anymore and that I will miss him too. Before I leave New Zealand I was considering to travel to the North of South Island but somehow find it hard to stay far away from Christchurch. I still remember one of the message he sent to me, "I had the best time with you and the best memories of you" very touching. We did had a very good time together.

Glacier Walk in Fox Glacier and skying in the Remarkables, Queenstown

Both activities in the presence of ice. The glacier walk was a first one. As for skying  I tumbled on my first attempt. Towards the end I was in control. my guide just praised me. She said she like to watch me ski because I was so graceful ;)

Meeting the Dalai Lama
I volunteered at an event where Dalai Lama the Tibetan Monk was suppose to gave speech about Suffering and compassion. I got this rare, once in a lifetime opportunity thanks to my host Robert. 

The food
Endless chocolates, wines, beers. My housemates love to cook and we have numerous get together dinner session, most of the time with the same bunch of people. We had pizzas, sushi, Israeli dish, Chinese, desserts and cakes. I get to sampled some Czech dumplings courtesy of my next door neighbour. We had christmas party in Jun with lots of good food.