And now it's Day Four! This was the day we were driving from Queenstown to the Franz Josef Glacier:
That was the only thing on the agenda for that day so we took our time and probably spent eight hours driving instead of the four and a half it could have taken. The thing is, is that New Zealand is SO FREAKING PRETTY and we were driving through a reserve or a park or something so there were like SEVEN THOUSAND scenic vistas.
Grassy plains? YES. Tropical mountains? YES. Waterfalls? YES. Beaches? YES.
I mean, even the wildflowers looked like the picture on the front of a "wildflower" seed packet -- just so amazingly beautiful. And totally fake, duh, because we still weren't buying that any of this was REAL.
Nothing exciting or dramatic happened this day so mostly this is a picture dump, but there are a couple of specific things worth mentioning:
1. The Bra Fence
We were driving along and suddenly I noticed a few cars pulling over to look at something and then as we got closer I noticed that the "something" appeared to be a fence with hundred of bras tied to it.
Urgent pleas to PULL OVER aren't generally appreciated by drivers, but this was something I wanted to see. So we found a spot on the side of the road and sure enough, there were tons and tons of bras tied to a fence out in the middle of nowhere.
So we ended up not contributing, but WHEN I go back to NZ, I'm for sure packing accordingly.
2. The Tasman Sea
We put our feet in the Tasman Sea for the first time! We ended up in the Tasman Sea again on our last day in NZ (I think), but I was very excited to see something other than the Pacific and we didn't even care that it was cold and rainy.
I took a tiny seashell home with me and it's now sitting on my bookcase along side the coral I brought home from Guam.
Sunnier, more picturesque views of the Tasman:
So the bras and the Tasman Sea were two of the highlights from that day, but there was plenty of other cool stuff. Like scenic vistas!
And tons of lakes!
And more lakes with tropical foliage starting to sneak in!
And after stopping in one small town and having a DELISH late lunch of arancini and pinot (seriously, I've never eaten so well on any vacation ever in my life), we arrived in Franz Josef. It was a small town filled with three things:
* Adventure sport and sightseeing companies
* Hostels and other rustic hotel options
* Great food
And also a (closed) tavern that was coincidentally named after my grandmother:
We skipped the great food in the town because we were distracted by the JUMPING bar at the hostel. We had a private room so we weren't really hostel'ing it with the busses of 20-year-olds, but the bar was filled with them. We found the two only other non-20-somethings, non-70-somethings in that place (there were a few old folks there too) and we spent an entertaining evening with them.
I'll also add that this was our first introduction to what we'd later learn is called a platter:
They're basically like sampler platters / cheese plates and even in this crappy bar that catered to drunk 20-year-olds, they are pretty damn good.
The final observation I'll make about day four is that I'm going to tell all the 20-something young men I know that they need to take a year off of doing whatever it is they're doing and be a bartender at a hostel in New Zealand. These dudes weren't even that cute and they FOR SURE looked like they needed a shower, but the lovely 20-something international ladies were totally throwing themselves at them.
I'd actually say that 20-something young men would probably have plenty of luck actually being on one of the tour bus adventures too, but I think the hostel bartender gig would be better because the ladies will be back on the bus the next day and you get a fresh shipment in that night.
Go get 'em, tiger!