So there I was. Aware that this holiday won’t yield any more hiking for me, I sat in the living room of Hollys Backpacker in Wanaka and was trying to figure out how to cope with this unexpected twist in vacation planning.
What can I do in this situation? I have 4 days to go, till I go back to Auckland and into the real life. I am certainly not wasting a single minute!
Fortunately there is a certain protection in my head, that gives me always the only right answer there is, when you are clueless with plenty of time and possibilities at hand: ROADTRIP!!!
The decision to flee came sudden. Without much thinking I realized that I had to get out of Wanaka and into a more busy place like Queenstown, because I have to hire a car from somewhere and Wanaka didn’t really offer anything interesting. The plan was easy: Go to Queenstown, grab a car and start driving. Where to? The road will tell!
The hardest bit really was to get out of Wanaka. It was already 11am when I got a my pack ready and able to check out. The changes that someone is picking up a hitchhiker at that time are quite minute to be frank. So after one hour of failing to get a ride (the whole South Island trip was not the best when it came to hitchhiking, now that I think about it), I decided to stop trying and buying a bus ticket instead. The price was reasonable and it doesn’t take too long anyway.
Besides, I won two hours of time that I used to enjoy a last sip of the really good Wanaka Beerworks brew, that is served in some places around the town. So, while I was waiting for the bus to arrive, I enjoyed the warm autumn sun and fooling around with my camera and this odd dog, that came along, who had to face my wide angle lens.
When the bus arrived, I remembered that another guy from the hostel, Matthias was taking that bus back to Queenstown as well. Which was good, cause it made the ride much more enjoyable, as he was a quite funny guy.
The intercity bus routes have the habit of stopping now and then for a little break. Usually they do so somewhere in the middle of nowhere, where nothing exists, apart from a small shop where you can buy all sorts of things and in this case lot’s of fresh vegetables and fruits. It was also an orchard. I took that opportunity to get some shots from the scenery, which seemed so golden under that late afternoon sun.
We arrived in Queenstown shortly before darkness, but I had three crucial things to do tonight: Find a car, find a place to sleep and get that amazing Steak + Beer offer at the local brewpub for 18 Dollars. Finding a rental car at 4.45pm is probably one of the hardest things to do, as your biggest enemy is not the totally ridiculous overpricing of rental cars but the time before closing. I have to find a car tonight, because I didn’t want to waste any second on the next day seeking for one. So I rushed into a few places , just to realize that no one had a proper camper van to offer, for reasonable pricing of course.
So, I stopped searching and went for a hostel hunt instead. My first destination was the “Last Resort” of course, but I totally forgot about their two nights minimum rule, so I got rejected. Instead I went for a place called Deco Backpackers, which was really just around the corner and besides, I didn’t care too much as it was just for one night. The place seemed quite alright and I might go there again if nothing else were available, but the owner seemed somehow unfriendly, there you go. At least, Internet was for free.
Man, I need a freaking car, what shall I do?! So I started to consult the Internet where I found a really interesting web page called “Phil’s car rental” with rather interesting offers. The prices were the lowest I’ve ever seen for car hiring and the conditions more than fair. Besides, his preferred “office times” were from 5pm to 9pm. That was exactly what I was looking for. Perfect. From there on things went smooth again. I gave him a call and he was more than happy to give me a camper van for two days. Unlimited kilometers, 40 Dollars a day, bring it back with fuel in it, no other strings attached. Phil, you made my day! Tomorrow morning 8am I’ll pick it up.
Relieved by the fact, that I finally hat a little bit of luck, I went for the Steak and Beer offer at the “Monteiths” Brew Pub in Queenstown.
It was really a decent piece of meat and together with a good drop of Monteiths Black, a quite tasty experience. But I had no intentions to stay here forever. Mathias and I said that we might meet at the “Dux de Lux” Brewery Pub for a couple of sips tonight, which was luckily enough next to the Monteiths pub.
He was already awaiting me and quite happy that I finally showed up. Well, what shall I say, this was going to be a loooong night. A good one indeed. Let’s hope I won’t oversleep tomorrow morning. Cheers!