This morning we left Franz Josef headed for Wanaka. We all kind of wanted to skip this stop and go straight to Queenstown, ready for all the crazy activities that the town is renowned for. Wanaka, just like Westport and Laka Mahinapua is another of those ‘filler stops’. Somewhere for you to relax and catch your breath between the excitement of Franz Josef and the wildness of Queenstown.
The bus made the usual stops along the way, the first of them being at Lake Matheson. Before we got off the bus, we were told to be back in one hour, and that this would be sufficient time to walk around the whole lake. Even though most people in my group opted to only go as far as the first look out point, I was in ‘top photographer’ mode so decided to go all the way round to take pictures from different angles. On my way round, I bumped into two of my favourite Kiwi Ex girls - Lauren and Ellie and between girly chats and photoshoots, time just slipped away. It wasn’t until I realised that Lauren and Ellie were on the bus behind mine which had arrived AFTER my bus, that the gravity of the situation dawned on me…They had a whole extra 30 minutes than I did to return to the bus! This is pretty much when girl time ended and the running for the bus began.
If you know me at all, you will know that running is NOT my forte, so, the only thing that kept my feet moving was the fear of rocking up to the bus super late and receiving the 'death stare' - (the look that an individual has to endure when they show up late, delaying a whole bus full of Kiwi Ex passengers). I have seen it happen before and I don’t like to incriminate myself…but I may have participated in the glaring as the late comers braved the walk of shame all the way back to their seat. Between one gasp and another I kept willing my legs to move to avoid the death stare at all costs. As my vision began to blur and one of my lungs threatened to collapse, I saw a glimpse of the car park in the distance. 'Is it a mirage?' I questioned as dehydration set in. Obviously, having been unaware of the half-marathon I would face that day, I hadn’t brought any water with me. As I got closer and closer, I could smell food, my conclusion was that the smell was either coming from the Cafe next to the car park or I was crossing over to the other side and my version of heaven smells like toasted banana bread - either way, the end of my ordeal was near.
Needless to say, it wasn’t heaven I could smell, just the ridiculously overpriced cafe food I couldn’t afford to buy. So having had no time to pee or the will to part with $9 for a bloody cupcake, I got on the bus on time, with a full bladder, an empty stomach and some pretty good pictures!
The second stop was at a Beach for lunch and we eventually made it into Wanaka in the early afternoon. A few of us got together to play a game of Mini Golf, obviously I didn’t win, but I did find another activity I am not good at, so I am one step closer to discovering my one true talent - Talk about silver lining!
Next stop on the agenda is Queenstown babyyyyyyyy!