Sunday, Dec 14
The day was pretty uneventful. We were supposed to skydive, but mother nature had other plans. It rained most of the day. So we left our lovely lakefront retreat and made our way on the Stray bus to the Blue Duck Station in Whakahoro National Park (codename: Jurassic Park). On our way we stopped in a hot river and everyone jumped in while it was raining. Changing on the side of the bus on a highway in the rain was fun. Not.
Tonight is party night. Yes, another party night. But we have a free day tomorrow and don’t have to actually get on the bus, so hell yeah, let’s rage. You know it doesn’t take much to convince me. Today we chose our own rooms again, and again I found the best room (read: least amount of beds) and grabbed our favorite British couple to room with us. No 12 bed dorm for this bitch . But seriously, there was a 12 bed room. I would have died. Thankfully Stina and I are cunning and efficient. Two traits most of the people on this bus are in desperate need of. Bless their hearts. So let the party commence.
Our bus driver informed us that it was some Irish chick’s birthday. As if I need a reason to pop a bottle in the woods. Now you are probably thinking, how nice Rory, buying some rando girl a bottle of champs. FALSE. That shit is for me. You are a grown ass woman, buy your own champs. Besides, I think that chick went to bed at like 9pm. Stina and I made it till about 6:30 before we cracked that baby open. Then on to the bottle of Rose. And then the beer. We are halfway to drunksville, but the “party” was just getting started, so we headed over to the main cabin to start the festivities. I use quotation marks there because, as everyone knows, the party don’t start till I walk in. I yelled something like “who’s ready to rage?!” in true California whoo-girl fashion when I reached the group of sad souls nursing their beers. Everyone had the same look on their face: here she goes again. We are known around here as “the American girls”, or “Team America” when we are lumped with the three other Americans on the bus (one of whom is USC boy, who’s name I changed to Ring-a-ding kid – story about him to follow). I’m pretty sure it was my fault we were labeled as the crazy kids, but the rest of my team has not disappointed in helping the stigma stick. One of the American boys backed out and ate everyone’s food. Like, everyone’s. He was quite the pariah the next day. God I think I laughed my ass off for hours. The loud Americans are at it again. While most people are referred to as their country (the Dutch girls, the Frenchies, ect.), Stina and I have formed a different naming convention. We have “face”, which is the Canadian girl with the most severe case of bitchy resting face I have ever seen in my life. It’s bad. We had “Hair”, who was an American chick with the world’s worst haircut. Like when Felicity cut her hair and I died a little inside. We also have “Spaak” who got his name because one of the Frenchies told him he talks like Spaak from Star Trek and I laughed my ass off because is it was true. He calls me Sheldon, because he says I talk like Sheldon from BIg Bang Theory, too fast and he can’t understand me. The insult implied in likening me to a lovable genius must have been lost in translation.
But I digress. Things just get better when we find, in the middle of fucking Jurassic Park, a BEER BONG. Happy Hannukah to me. Most people are clueless as to what one does with a beer bong. I took it upon my myself to teach them, always a slave to bettering and education of others. So selfless of me. Then I broke out my vodka (we are on booze type #4, please keep up people), and thats where things start to get fuzzy. Stina enters a little axe throwing competition with the boys where she holds her own, I must say. Only in NZ do they start you a bonfire let you BYOB, then provide the equipment necessary for axe throwing. Unsupervised. One thing leads to another and Stina and I find ourselves taking shots of whiskey with the American boys. Shocker. Booze #5 – I promise thats where it ends. Now, my brother Brett told me a few days ago that he was giving me 5 days to roll my ankle, and taking the under. He knows me quite well, because tonight I roll my ankle. And I was partying in my sneaks to be careful! But it’s not too bad, just a little sore and I”m up and walking the next day. I spend the rest of the night drunkenly staring at the insane stars out here. Unlike anything I have every seen in my life. Little did I know, this place gets even more beautiful, as we would find out tomorrow, just around the river bend….
Monday, Dec 15
Today I woke up around 9 while pretty much everyone snoozed till about 11. Mother nature is back on our side and it is a beautiful day, hot with the sun out in full ozone-free force. I took advantage of the quiet morning by making myself breakfast and working on my tan. Then it was time for our kayak tour. Now, I use the word “tour” very loosely, because in NZ a tour usually consists of someone providing you with equipment and a few minutes of instructions before pointing you the right direction and saying “go”. See, when no one can sue anyone, no one gives a fuck. And I mean, no fucks given. Seriously, zero fucks given in all of NZ at any given point in time. It’s pretty awesome. So we set off in our kayaks down what was the most beautiful river I have ever seen. Go pro battery died, so we’ll have to wait for the hungry American boy who ate everyone’s shit to send us his before uploading. This is where I decided to name our lovely little two day home Jurassic Park. Because that is exactly what it looked liked. And while kayaking I felt just like Pocahontas. And what is Pocahontas without John Smith? Our “guide” (read: dude who threw our kayaks in the water) was seriously hunky and had fabulous arms. Huge, muscular arms. I told Stina I wanted to grab them. And maybe even bite one. I really did. Probably should have, because it’s not like he could have sued me. It was really funny at the time and we laughed our asses off the entire jet-boat ride back up the river. But now that I’m typing it I think it makes me sound like a predator. So I’ll stop. Anyway, the kayak trip we did down the Whanganui River was a section of what is one of the “9 Great Walks of New Zealand”. Yes, I realize it’s actually not a walk. But Kiwis give zero fuck’s, remember? So if they want to call it a walk, then its a damn walk.
The rest of the day was pretty mellow. We have to be on the bus at 6am to drive to National Park for a 7 hour hike to Mordor (as in Lord of the Rings – we are literally hiking there). It’s another one of the 9 Great Walks. And this one is actually a walk. I do have one funny little story before I wrap this one up. I was outside talking to Ring-a-ding kid (Stina told me to be nice, remember?). And he told me that when we all get back to the States I should come party at his frat house. Yes, that’s right people. 29 year old Rory was invited to a frat party. I about died. I told him that I can’t think of anything I want to do LESS than go to his frat house. I think he thought I was joking. But if I’m being honest, the sorority girl in me did hesitate for a second. But then I figured that their frat party wouldn’t even start until after my bed time, so what’s the point. Oh shit, he literally just asked for our contact info for facebook. If you are reading this, Ring-a-ding, a little self awareness is healthy. Accept it. And if it makes you feel better, I’m sure I’ve been described as the obnoxious American in many people’s blogs the world over.
Tomorrow, the hike from hell (or to hell, I guess) with a sore ankle. Can’t wait.
It’s December not January haha. Sounds like so much fun, can’t wait to see more photos! I bet one of you hook up with ring-a-ding before the trip is over
NEVER. Plus, he’s off the bus now. Not sure what to do now that I don’t have a usc kid to blame for everything.