So we all woke up this morning to beautiful sunny weather! We went and had breakfast by the beach. And then we all went out to tan. Not too long after that, we all wanted to go and kayak for a little bit. It was fun kayaking, until we ended up far away from the shore, so we started paddling back immediately. Then we all went right back to tanning for a little bit longer, and had some grape virgin daquries that were really good :) After we had tanned long enough, we got up to go eat lunch. I got the fish and chips, thinking that it would be fried fish again, and it turned out to be grilled fish. I only like fried fish, so I tried to eat some of my grilled fish, but I couldn't finish it because I didn't like it at all. So instead I got a banana split and ate all of that to fill me up :) After lunch it was time to pack up and leave. We had to drive three hours until we got to the airport. It was bumpy on the way back as well. Once we got to the airport, we were able to sit down and have dinner with each other one last time after they had all checked there bags in. After dinner it was time to say goodbye to everyone. Everyone else was heading back to Houston, me and Aunt Cathy were going to stay one more night in Fiji, and then head to Australia. It was sad saying bye to everyone. I really made a lot of good friendships on this trip, and I hope we all have a reunion as soon as I get back to the states! But for now, I can't wait to go to Australia and see Becca and her family :)
Friday, July 1, 2011
We are finally heading out to Fiji today! Our flight was not cancelled thank goodness. However once we got on our flight, we had to wait about an hour for the ash cloud to move a little more before we could take off. But after that hour, we were on our way. The flight was about four hours , and it was not the best flight either. That was probably the worst flight I've ever had. It didn't bother me that much, but it bothered other people. It felt like we were on a rolled coaster or some kind of ride. But we made it to Fiji, so nothing else really mattered. We got there around eight o'clock, and none of the food courts were open, they were all closing. The only thing we found to eat was a bunch of junk food, and then theses gross leftovers from this Indian food place. So we didn't really have that much for dinner because we didn't want to get sick from the nasty food. After we ate our bus arrived to take us to our hotel that was three hours away. It was a really bumpy ride, but we finally got there at one in the morning. When we got up the next morning, it was pouring rain. That wasn't a good sign. It ended up raining the whole day. Later in the day, since it was still raining, we went into town. It was really cool to see there culture in Fiji. It looked like an African town kind of. We went by this sugar cane farm, and got to try sugar cane before it had been made into sugar. Fiji is well known for their sugar cane farms. After our tour, we went back to our hotel and had our last dinner together. And then we tried this stuff called Cover. It's part of the Fijian culture, but it tasted like mudd water. It was so disgusting! Then they taught us one of there line dances. Once we were done having our fun for the night, we went down to the beach to have our last pow wow. All you could see in the sky were millions and millions of stars. It was beautiful to look at. Today was fun, but I really hope that the sun comes out tomorrow for our half day in Fiji before we leave.
Today we are going down to the park. I had gotten a cold a couple days ago, and I still wasn't quite over it. There was also three other girls that weren't feeling so well either. So while everyone else played Rugby, me and a few others sat and watched. I would have really liked to play, but I didn't want to run around in the cold and make my cold worse than it already was. It was fun watching them play Rugby though because a lot of them didn't know what they were doing. After they had finished their game of Rugby, we were all going to go down to watch a Netball game. It's kinda like Basketball. They gave me and the three of the other girls the option of going to watch the game, or going back to the hotel to sleep. We all decided to go back to the hotel and rest so that we would be completely healthy for Fiji. It really made a difference too. When everyone got back home, I was ready to go out again because I felt a whole lot better. We went out and ordered pizza, and then went bowling. It was a good end to our for sure last night in New Zealand :)
So today was a not so good day. We got up at five this morning to head down to the airport so that we can get to Fiji. Well we find out that morning that our flight has been canceled due to the ash cloud. We were at the airport all morning trying to figure out how we were going to get to Fiji. After we had been at the airport all morning, we find out that the soonest we could get to Fiji was Sunday, so we had to spend two more nights in Christchurch, and we now only had a day and a half left for Fiji. So we all weren't to happy about that, but we tried to stay positive. We didn't have anything planned for the rest of the day, so we all went to Antartic World. That was exciting, we all wanted to go there anyways. They had a lot of cool things inside Antartic World. There was this 4D movie about Antartica, it had a lot of cool things that they showed. Then we went down to this room that showed us what a real blizzard might be like in Antartica. It was freezing! I don't think I could ever survive in Antartica for real. Then we went up to see the penguins. They were so cute! I wanted to take one home with me. There was one without a foot that was putting on a show for us, he was very entertaining. Then we got to go on this ride that showed us what it would be like to drive in Antartica. It was crazy! It took us up and down on all of these hills, and it swung us side to side. It was a lot of fun, we were laughing the whole time on it. That was our last thing to do at Antartic World, so once we were done, we went on back to our hotel. I'm still sad that we weren't able to make it to Fiji today, but Antartic World was a lot of fun, and I'm glad I got to go :)
We made our way down to Christchurch today. As soon as we got there, we left to go down and see what the city looked like after the devastating earthquake. The whole city looked like it had been hit by bombs. We stopped by some empty cafes that hadn't been touched since February. This one cafe still had a newspaper in it that had the date of the last earthquake written on it. Further down in the city was this really big Catholic Church, it was completely destroyed. They said that there use to be a statue of the Virgin Mary on top of the church that was looking inside at all of the people in the church, and then when the earthquake happened the statue had spun all the way around to where it was facing the city of Christchurch, like she was looking over everyone in the city. I thought that was really amazing. After we saw the church, we went down to this neighborhood. This neighborhood is so torn up, that they have decided to tear the whole neighborhood down, so everyone in the neighborhood is going to lose their house. In the middle of the neighborhood was a creek that had a bridge going over it. This bridge was turned in every angle, there was no way that anyone would be able to walk or drive on it again. Once we were done seeing all of Christchurch, it was time to go out for dinner on our last night in New Zealand. We got the option of eating Italian, Thai food again. I went with the Italian food group. I had pepperoni pizza, and some gilato ice cream. It was one of the best meals, probably because I love Italian food so much. I really enjoyed seeing Christchurch today, but I'm ready for Fiji tomorrow!
So we are in Hanmer today. We weren't able to go to Mt. Cook and ski, because there is no snow on the mountain. :( So instead, today we are going to go horse back riding! The people owned a bunch of land, and right in the middle of the land was the stables. They had so many horses! Over twenty I think. And along with the horses was four cats, two dogs, sheep, and a whole lot of chickens! The horse that they gave me was Darcy. He was an all white horse, and they said that he was the perfect unicorn for their winter parade they had in town. Once we got started on our trail, I got the hang of it pretty easily. My horse did not want to go slow, he kept on trying to pass other horses, and wanted to go faster. It was my first time to try trotting today, and it was pretty easy, until we were going up or down the hill. When we started going down the hill, mine and Sarah's horses got a little too close to eachother, and they were trying to fight. That was a little scary, I was really afraid that I was going to fall off. But after that, there was no more problems. We made it back to the stables, and while we were waiting for the other group to get back, I made friends with the cats inside the house. :) The year old kitten was my favorite. She was all black, and her name was Sparky. She was the friendliest out of all of them. There was another one that had long black and white fur, that wanted you to pet it, but then she would try to bite at your fingers, it was like a game she was trying to play. Once the other group got back, it was time to leave. We got to our cabins to change really quickly into our bathing suits. We were gonna go to another hot springs pool today! These hot pools had water slides :) They were a lot of fun, we kept on getting in and out of the water to go ride all of the rides. We stayed there for about two hours. Once we were done, we went back to the cabin again to get ready for dinner. It's our last night with Ulla. :( She gave us her last presentation while we were waiting for our food. Once she was done eating, she had to leave so that she could catch her flight in the morning. We all got to take pictures with her. It was sad to see her go, but she said we could all add her on facebook! Even though we didn't get to go skiing, I still enjoyed today :)
These past two days have been very tiring. The first day we went to Pancake rock, it was beautiful out there. The pancake rocks are rocks that look like stacks of pancakes out on the sides of the ocean. Once we were done taking pictures at pancake rock, we went down to this restaurant called Pancake Rock Cafe, it was really really good! I got a panini, and then had some cookies and cream ice cream ;) Later we went on another nature walk in this forest, and it lead out into the ocean. There was some awesome waves out there, I have never seen waves that big. And they were also really loud when ever they crashed against the rocks. That night Ulla gave us another presentation. I love hearing her stories about where she has been, and just learning things that I never knew about places she has been. The next day was a super long travel day. More than five hours. And we weren't aloud to use our ipods, so you can just imagine how bored we all were, especially when it was pitch dark outside. Our first stop was pretty cool. But our second stop was amazing. It was called Castle Hill, and it was just beautiful up there. Later I found out that Castle Hill was where the fighting scene in Narnia was shot. I thought that was really cool, because I love that movie :) So yeah it's been really long these past two days, but I saw some amazing things :)
Today we are making our way to Hokitka. It's not that long of a drive, only an hour and a half. Once we got to our new home, we met up with an actual National Geographic photographer. Her name is Ulla, and she is really cool and and has a bunch of energy. While we were waiting for our room assignments, we saw this black and white kitty, and her name is Brandy! So she looks like Mandy, and her name is pretty close to being the exact same name. I thought that was pretty funny. After we got all set up, we were off again to go take some more pictures! It was at this place called the Gorge, and Ulla was giving us a lot of good advice which was really cool. Once we got back to our lodge we had a little bit of time to sit and edit pictures. After about an hour, it was time for dinner. Then after dinner we were inviting to this lady's house for Ulla's presentation. I really liked being able to learn more about Ulla. During the presentation, the cat Brandy came inside(because it's their cat). She was rubbing all over us, and distracting everyone by how cute she was. Today was a really nice day :)
So today was just a chill day. We didn't have to get up that early, which was really nice :) And we just caught up on our work, and hung out at the lodge all day. One thing that I really liked, was that I was able to take a nice long hot shower this morning :) I wore really relaxing clothes all day, which I also liked. For lunch we just made sandwiches, because the town we are in has no places to eat at. Later that night we watched this slide show that had a bunch of silly photos of all of us in it. It was hilarious! After the slide show, we ate home made pasta that Ms. Carter had made. It was sooooooo gooooddd!!! Then we got to watch the movie Anchor Man. It has Will Ferrell in it, but it wasn't that great. It laughed a lot, but it's kind of dumb. It was still really nice to get to watch a movie though :) So yeah today was just a nice and easy day that we really needed ;)