I’m going to try to squeeze in this post today so I don’t fall too far behind and because things have been pretty busy on my end! This should be a shorter one–SHOULD be. We will see 😉
The next two days will be amazing because 1. no bus! and 2. my first BIG activity on this vacation! But I won’t quite announce that until the next post hehe. Franz Josef is such a cool place with lots of shops, trails, and activities to do! The weather was getting a little cooler as we are going even further south on the island, but the rain was behind us–for now. When we got to Franz Josef, we got some housekeeping things taken care of like unpacking, napping, and figuring out our evening plans (tramping, shower, groceries, dinner, etc.). Unfortunately, no wifi at our hostel 😦 Being so pooped out from our travels, a nap had to happen and we passed. Out. Hard. We woke up realizing there was still some daylight so we went on a hike leading to the wet trails. Oh, a little mud and slush won’t hurt. There are worse things in life! So off we went on our hike!
I was so excited to finally stretch out my legs after all that bus traveling. The trail was so pretty and full of rainforest-y trees, moss, and shiny rocks from rain. After about an hour of our hike, we stopped to take in natural beauty and found a stream. There was a little fog (where you can see on the left side) which made it look mysterious! I just really appreciated my surroundings on this hike!
Moving along, we finally found the tunnel entrance. We met a few people along the way and discovered that they had left their shoes and socks. They were going into the tunnel barefoot. We peered into the tunnel and noticed that there indeed was water. Not just puddles and mud, but like, water that goes up to your ankles. We decided to follow suit and took off our shoes and socks as well. This was a bad idea. Bad. Idea. I don’t know how the other guys did it, but it was FREEZING. We could see our breath in the tunnel and it was pitch black. I used my phone flashlight and with all the rocks in the tunnel, our feet did not feel good. We stopped not even halfway and looked behind us. Damn. We were not far. With our aching feet, we turned back and put on our socks and shoes. We would have a better plan for tomorrow now that we knew what the ‘wet trail’ really was.
Defeated, we decided to do the shorter hike close to the wet trail and found that it was just as beautiful with the lush rainforest feel. I really felt at peace and was truly amazed at how much terrain (and weather) New Zealand contains. Rainforest, forest, rain, mountains, fields, vineyards, and so much more. After our refreshing hike, we got some groceries to make food (for the first time on this trip! No more tuna and crackers!!!). After complaining how it was going to cost about $5, we paused and said, “Wait a minute. What are we doing? It’s just $5…!” We definitely got a good laugh. There are worse things in life than spending $5 for two people and four+ meals! We SPLURGED 😉 and got oatmeal, noodles, and veggies.
On the way back, we were breathless with this view. It was a sunset shrouded by fog and clouds. Definitely something I haven’t seen before. Had to snap a quick photo! Back to the hostel, we reorganized our things and showered. It felt so nice to finally shower and not be a total bum. These showers, I could trust. With time ticking, we needed to make our dinner and meet up with Angela because she was leaving us the next day ( 😥 ) We ate (realizing we made WAY too much pasta!!!) and then had to leave. This is when I had to go out with my hair undone. It was at that awkward length where if I didn’t do anything to it, it curled in weird ways on the bottom and just looked strange. If I learned anything from hostel life, it was that there are worse things in life than having great hair!
We enjoyed our time together with some wine, in which my face flushed with pink. When leaving, I almost stumbled into a guy and said “so sorry” in a British/Asian accent (???) according to Diana and Angela–I didn’t even realize it! Oops! There was also a bathroom incident: As I was washing up and taking out my contacts, I saw a guy using the sink. I paused and asked him, is this a boy-girl bathroom??? There were no urinals and I was wondering what he was doing here. Or maybe I was in the wrong place? I discovered that it was a co-ed bathroom. No worries! After said incidents, I went back to the room to pass out early in preparation for our VERY exciting adventure tomorrow. 🙂