Sunday, December 6, 2009

NZ - Franz Josef Glacier

Rain!  RAIN!!!  The bane of my travel.  When I’m in the northern hemisphere, my presence seems to bring nothing but daylight.  I can visit areas during their wettest of seasons and see nothing but sunshine.  Yet in the southern hemisphere, my powers are reversed: now rain follows me wherever I go.

Today just became a day to bum about and enjoy each other’s company, or in my case to sit on the computer and write about the past several days of goings on.  Tramping about the glacier doesn’t look like a possibility today, as this isn’t just a light rain that I could care less about: this is an outright downpour.  At least the waterfalls and such along the hiking routes ought to be spectacular once I finally do get on the trails.

After much delay, we got ourselves out the door to go visit Hoktika & buy some jade stuff.  Or more specifically, I bought a jade rock whilst the girls bought postcards.  On the way there, I’d been kidding about that it’ll probably be sunny in Hoktika whilst rainy at the glaciers… fate is cruel in that I ended up being right.  Hoktika was beautiful with hardly a cloud in the sky, apart from the clouds up in the mountains.

After enjoying some garlic bread by the shoreline, we made our way back to the car; and it was then that I learned that I’d left the headlights on.  I’m used to the headlights turning off along with the car, so I didn’t even think about it.  I also wouldn’t have thought that only an hour’s walk around town would yield a dead battery.  We got a couple to give us a jump, but the best part was that on the opposite side of the roundabout: another car was getting a jump.

Our return to town yielded some clouds, but an otherwise spectacular sunny evening.  We came to find that we had four more roommates, despite only three remaining beds.  There was a German girl from, if I remember right, Hamburg.  She had gotten a degree in law but was now considering taking on a new career field, as she was bored beyond belief with law.  Her time in New Zealand was just to relax.  Since she was quite cute, I tried to strike up conversation, but distractions kept ending any chance; and she was gone early the next morning.

The other two roommates consisted of some kids from Cairnes, Australia, whom had just finished a semester abroad there.  Two Americans: Jordan from Minnesota and a girl from Monmouth County, New Jersey; and also a guy from Holland.  Our previously spacey room suddenly became quite a bit tighter.

The girls and I ended up playing pool with Gus and the Dutch guy… it was pretty pitiful.  First it was Jojo & myself against Jordan & the Dutch guy; then Jordan & I versus Jojo & Svenja (America vs Germany); and then a rematch albeit with Holland allying with Germany.  My team lost each time… but it was bloody close each time.  We all sucked quite equally.

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