Sigh. I don’t even want to relive this part of my trip. I’m kind of struggling to write this so I hope I can make it as entertaining as possible. But to be honest, it wasn’t all completely horrible. I did get to see some really cool things before the really-not-best-part-of-my-trip part. On our way to Lake Mahinapua, we stopped at Punukaikai, which is where the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes are. Before going on this trip, this was on my list of things to see! I was really excited about coming here. Because it was super rainy, it actually made for a better day to visit because you could really see the blowholes and the rocks just look amazing. For some reason, weather has been on our side! Can’t complain about that!
Moving past the rain, I caught a glimpse of the Pancake Rocks with my very own eyes. Wow. How cool is this?! I knew there were other ones to see so I didn’t spend too much time in one spot. Feast your eyes on these photos because I definitely had a wonderful time, despite the rain, and took advantage of being here. The path along these Pancake Rocks was less than an hour long. It was probably more like 30 minutes to get through.
Now, the blowholes were another thing. I couldn’t get a lot of photos of them because the timing was crucial, plus my hands were shaky from the cold rain. Basically, crashing water hits certain parts of the rocks and with some space, steam and water push through the blowholes. They almost look like geysers. Now, Diana was in for a treat because along the path, we saw some bird-like creatures that could resemble penguins. PENGUINS. Remember how Diana’s spirit animals is the penguin? Well, it’s pretty unlikely that these birds on the right are actually penguins (flightless and with the height of the rocks…) but we could just pretend. Either way, Diana was excited because they were the closest thing to penguins we’ve found. Almost a CHECK. After the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes, we carried on towards Lake Mahinapua with our weird bus driver. We were definitely ditching him by Franz Josef. Little did we know that we would be forced to day drink at a place called Monteith’s. The conversation went a little like this from our driver on the bus ride:
“So we’re stopping at a place called Monteith’s, which is a brewery in town. It costs about $20 for a tour and 3 free beers. I’m locking the bus.” Hmm, so we didn’t really have to option to skip. We (Me, Diana, and ANGELA, our named friend!) had to join in on this brewery that we happened to be passing through. We literally couldn’t do anything else because there was nowhere to go. Instead of complaining, I went along with it and made the most of it. Maybe I’ll learn something. Now, I’m not a beer drinker, but I was willing to try it again being in New Zealand and all. I honestly could not hear a word of what our tour guide said, so Diana, Angela, and myself just stood in the back talking about other things. It felt like we were high schoolers again with bad attitudes, not listening to “authority”. What could we do? Anyways, we finally got to the best part, which was trying out beer samples and meeting new friends. Again, I don’t even like beer but I did give this raspberry beer a whirl and decided it was all right. I still stuck to the cider (Diana too) and met with our new friends, Chris and Maria. Three Europeans and two Americans on a New Zealand trip. Without these guys, the day would have been a lot worse so I’m very grateful to have met everyone!
After our time at Monteith’s, we carried on to a place near Lake Mahinapua. There was going to be a theme party, which we were somewhat excited about. The theme was to wear a costume starting with the same letter as your first name. At first, we were worried about the theme because the driver picks it and we thought he would pick something super lame, but with this theme, we were more than fine with it! Hmm, not bad, bus driver Ben! We had the PERFECT idea: Angela would be an Angel, Diana would be a Devil and I would be freaking JESUS. HOW PERFECT. The only challenge was to purchase items at a dollar store and who knew what kind of things they would have. We got to the dollar store while Angela and Diana found their things. Frustrated, I couldn’t find anything so I had to change my idea, break our trio, and be a jock.
The Poo Pub. We made it to the Poo. Pub. Ew. This is the part I don’t like. Sure, it was a great time to see our friends and meet new people, but I was so disgusted by some. I don’t want to get into juicy details, but there was a lot of ratchet going on. A. Lot. Of. Ratchet. I really shouldn’t judge what other people do, I mean, everyone is on vacation and probably just letting loose, but still. Maybe I am ‘too old’ for this scene, but it was seriously not my thing. Either way, I didn’t stay for too long. There were a few highlights, like meeting people and watching a limbo competition–pretty entertaining I must say! We also got to hang out with a fellow American! Let me just say that there were not a lot of Americans on our trip, so it was comforting to know someone that can relate with an American appeal. One other highlight was guessing what everyone was. It helped us remember people’s names (LIKE ANGELA LOL) and I soon discovered that Jessica the jock is totally not the same in every country. I had people try to guess and when they couldn’t, I announced that I was a jock–someone who is basically obsessed with sports. Well, jock was a completely inappropriate term in some countries! Talk about a first impression! Ha!
After a night out at the poop place, we stayed in our outhouse-like-tin-roofed hostel of four. Let’s just say that rain and a tin roof does not mix. The pitter patter made for a sleepless night. This was the worst night of my trip because I was disgusted, sleepless, tired, and cranky. I was ready to get out of this place and I was distrusting of the showers. On top of that, we were in the middle of nowhere. No shops. No food markets. No gas stations. Nothing. Just a lake and this pub. This was the hostel life. I promise the next day gets so much better and is the first time we stay somewhere for more than one night! A break from buses!