My flight landed in Christchurch at 2 AM and the pick up guy dropped me off at the hostel and said goodbye! There was an envelope for me outside with a “Kia Ora” welcome sign on it, inside there were the door code and a map of the rooms. Everything was so dark and quiet, that I crashed into the first bed I saw, not sure if it was the right one or not.
On the way from the airport I noticed that the city was so spread out and so quite, but I thought that was only because it was late at night… People have told me that everything closes very early in NZ… but on the next day I realized it was always like that, the city has a sad atmosphere, no people walking around, a lot of empty houses and many ruins from the 2011 earthquake. It was like a ghost town and I didn’t stop thinking “What the hell am I doing here?”. 😮
After a couple of days, I got used to walk around the empty streets and found the city center quite interesting, where stores, banks and coffee shops were all inside containers. The entire city is being reconstructed and they found a creative and colorful way to solve their problem. In the end, I met cool people at the hostel and had a lot of quiet time, since I had so much to think about and a trip plan… It was the first time that I was actually alone in this trip, I knew nobody at all and was so far away from home… I felt butterflies in my stomach for a while, but I knew that better days were about to come.
On the day I was supposed to catch a bus to Queenstown, the city bus was late which made me late for the other bus… My new friends and I were running…we saw the bus leaving and we missed. Shit! We tried to follow it by taxi, but it didn’t work and the only option was to spend one more night in Christchurch. And that was the time I realized it wasn’t a ghost town as I imagined because there was no hostel available for that night! I was about to sleep at the airport when I met nice backpacker from Switzerland that arranged a room for us.
When finally in the Naked bus (best value for the money bus) to Queenstown, we’ve got a flat tire and had to wait for hours to have it fixed. I felt like everything was going wrong and it seemed that I was never going to arrive at the destination. This is one of the times that you have to make an effort to stay positive, things tend to get better and they will! The rest of the bus ride was long but very pleasant, the driver was giving a tour and making a few stops in beautiful sights along the way.
Queenstown was absolutely beautiful, I was so stunned and happy with the sunny weather, so excited to see this little town around the lake and surrounded by mountains. The city is known for the adventure tourism, which includes bungy jumping, mountain biking, skateboarding, tramping, Parapenting, Sky diving and fly fishing. There was a lot of young people in town and lots of parties going on, all day and every day! I was so happy for being there and I met some cool people, a brazilian girl in special, who made my days so much better.
While in Queenstown, I took a day tour to the Milford Sound, which is considered a world’s top travel destination and had been previously called the eighth Wonder of the World. The Sound runs 15 km inland from the Tasman Sea and the best way to see its beautiful waterfalls, mountains and wild life is by doing a cruise or kayaking around it. The 2 hours bus ride to get there was entertaining with incredibly beautiful landscapes and some quick stops at beautiful lakes and high mountains.
I’m so glad I made it to New Zealand, I’ve never felt so free in my life! First week is over… 4 to go! 🙂