Monday, 24 September 2012

Just a Feather in the Wind

This passed weekend was literally a large sum of random events that had such an impact on making it a wicked amazing trip. It really all started with Laura and I sitting around the kitchen table Thursday night writing a "Queenstown pros and cons list"  for travelling there on Friday. The pros definitely out weighed the cons but the two MAJOR cons were that we had no rides to and from and there's always the $$$ issue. We were both back and forth on the decision to go and at one point we both decided that it was just too unrealistic to go and thought we could just go another time.

That thought didn't last long at all; I feel sometime Thursday night during all the usual "Thursday Night Leith St. Shenanigans" we both made a promise to go! We were up Friday morning packing our bags not knowing how we would get there or where we would stay if we did get there. I told Laura to not worry and "everything will workout for the best." but I really had no idea haha, I just didn't want her worrying. We called our kiwi friends to find out if they could drop us off at the highway on-ramp going to Queenstown! Our initial plan was to hitch-hike out to Queenstown, meet up with the 12 guys that went out there for the weekend, then hitch-hike back on the Saturday afternoon.

Our buddy Ben dropped us off right outside of town just before the highway and he said it would be the best spot to catch a ride to Queenstown. It was awesome! Both of us dancing, holding the sign, Laura ended up hula-hooping holding the sign. A lady pulled over real quick and we both freaked out! Turns out she was just going to the business we were standing in front of. That poor lady was just pulling into a mechanics garage and had us two crazies running up to her car with all of our stuff both real excited thinking shes giving us a ride to Queenstown. She definitely psyched us out and it was a really funny awkward interaction with her explaining that she was just going to the mechanics not Queenstown.

After 20 minutes of being out there we both instantly thought that we were never getting picked up! Little did we know that 25 minutes later we would be picked up by some super awesome people travelling around the South island in a campervan! Watching them pull over was such a relief! At that point my initial thought was "what the hell am I getting myself into now?" but there was just too much excitement to back out at this point. Bob, Laura (I'll refer to her as travel Laura) and Sam were the ones crazy enough to pick Laura and I up. Travel Laura just got back from travelling around Australia in a van for a year with her best friends, Sam (Travel Laura's cousin) was on mid-semester break and currently doing a semester on exchange in Sydney, Australia, and Bob (Travel Laura's Dad) took time off work to travel and experience New Zealand. They are all initially from America and I believe from Colorado.

The 4 hour drive was just so so cool! We all exchanged our different travel stories that were so interesting and bonded over some amazing music. When we stopped for lunch they even gave us beer and I thought to myself "man I love this hitch-hiking thing." Heading into Queenstown we exchanged numbers to meet up later that night for a drink downtown. They dropped us off right at a trail head because Laura and I were planning on doing a hike as soon as we got there. Walking out of the trail was 2 of the 12 guys we were initially planning on meeting up with. They just finished the trail and were planning on going to get Ferg Burger (Since I've been in New Zealand I've known about Ferg Burger and when you go to Queenstown it is mandatory to that you get Ferg Burger). We decided to boycott the trail until the following day and head to Ferg Burger with them. Walking into Ferg Burger I had the expectations of conquering the biggest, nastiest burger they made. I ordered the "Big AL" for $17.50 and both physically and mentally prepared my body for what was coming (felt like I was on the show Man Vs. Food). The Big AL came and to this day I have never seen a bigger burger in my life! But there was no hesitation, I dove straight into crushing that burger and after around 12 minutes of strict concentration she was finished. Jordan - 1, Ferg Burger - 0
FUN FACT - Record for completing Big AL 

Double patties of beef (1/2 pound), lashings of bacon, a whole lotta cheese, two eggs, beetroot, lettuce, tomato, red onion, a big wad of aoili, avocado, and pineapple
We headed back to the hostel to meet up with the rest of the guys staying in Queenstown. We arrived dropped our stuff off, hit the liquor store and walked around downtown Queenstown. After that it was straight to "the piss" (drinking) with us 14 taking over this common room in the hostel. Scrumpies (alcoholic  cider) were on sale so everyone was drinking the Scrump! After around 2 hours we headed into town, Laura and I met up with Travel Laura and Sam and we went bar hoping all over the place. After that I can really only recollect ordering a Big Mac (still not sure if I ate it), watched Laura and Sam go swimming, and then saying goodbye to travel Laura and Sam. From that I can definitely say that it was a great night! Queenstown was one awesome place to party.

Breakfast of Champions

Waking up the next day, I didn't share the same thought. It was one rough morning, cleaning up and heading out. All the boys were going bungee jumping and Laura and I decided to finally do the hike. We could either hike or take a gondola to the top (at that point I would've paid anything to have taken the gondola). Laura and I stopped at a grocery store, got a bunch of groceries for free (cashier messed up our change and gave us $10 more than what we gave her? Winning). Then we started the dreadful hike to the top of the lookout. I personally stopped every 15 minutes along the trail and at one point Laura just ended up giving me a hug because she said I looked like I wasn't going to make it. Finally making it to the top, it felt like one of the best acheivements in my life (even though it was a very simple hike) I felt on top of the world! We celebrated over a classic PB&J at the top and just looked over Queenstown.

Heading back down was much more easier than going up, but we both started to worry about how the hell we were going to get back to Dunedin. I didn't let it worry me too much because I felt that everything has worked out so perfect all ready, we'll be fine. Getting to the bottom we went to a travel store found out that a bus ticket is $40 and defintley were both super keen on "thumbin' it." Heading to the outside of town we were both just super excited to have another crazy experience!

We weren't out there 20 minutes and these 2 guys pulled over who were Otago students on there way back to Dunedin!!! Like it couldn't have worked out any better! We hopped in the car played the "Name Game" to find out our mutual friends and bonded over some ice cream.

Tired out

This was definitely one of the best and most random weekends I have had in my life. Getting home Saturday night Courtney (Kiwihost) had been day drinking all day with the couches outside in the sun. All I thought was "here we go again!" haha and it turned out to be a great night too!

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