Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Franz Josef Glacier, Abel Tasman, and Nelson

Dear friends,

As it has now been over a month since I came back from mid-trimester break, I’m basically really over writing about it. So this will, thankfully, be my last post referencing break. I gots other stuff to report!

But to give you my daily update about my current happenings, I’ll have you know that I am currently sitting on my couch watching Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets with Kelsie and Will, and looking up prices for Harry Potter World. My day has been uneventful. I got a lot of reading done, and I finally scheduled an appointment to get my prescriptions refilled! CRAZINESS!! Onwards…

Day SEIS y SIETE y OCHO Y NUEVE: Queenstown -> Franz Josef Glacier -> Abel Tasman National Park -> Nelson -> Picton -> Wellington

  • Franz Josef Glacier: The only really awesome part of Franz Josef was hiking down to the base of the glaciers. It would have been so much more awesome if we had actually hiked the glaciers themselves, but we had neither the time (by the time we got there from Queenstown, it was almost dinner time) nor the fundage to do so. If/when I come back to New Zealand, I will most certainly put that on my list of must-do’s. We stayed at a lovely little YHA which had a sauna that we took full advantage of. We also put together another puzzle! Oh the lives we lead. And we randomly ran into four girls from IFSA-Butler who had gone to Dunedin instead of Wellington. We hadn’t seen them since orientation, naturally, so that was kind of shocking.
  • Abel Tasman: One of those seven-wonders-of-the-world-type places that you should probably visit at least once in your life. We stayed at a hostel called “The Barn,” which was, quite literally, a barn. But a nicer barn! We had a little hitch when we got there, though. Up until then we had been wondering if we even booked our stay there, because neither Kelsie nor I could find any email reservation confirmations, which was a little concerning. When we arrived, we discovered that we had not, in fact, actually booked a room. Luckily, it was basically empty, so we still got a place. Our room was an 8-bed-dorm that also acted as the one hallway in the building, so everyone had to walk through our room to get anywhere else in the place. A little awkward, but luckily we had curtains in front of our bed/nook-combo-deals, which were kinda more like little rooms in themselves. Totally brought out my inner fort-loving-child. Our first full day at the park, Kelsie and I got up early to go sit by the beach, but ended up going on a coffee hunt instead. After walking like half an hour to the closest “town,” we were told by this lady who worked at a convenience store that they didn’t have coffee in the winter. (WHO DOESN’T HAVE COFFEE IN THE WINTER? THAT IS PRIME HOT BEVERAGE CONSUMPTION SEASON. WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE?!) Needless to say, we were very put off by this, and had to settle for some pre-bottled “iced coffee” crap and salty chips, which we proceeded to consumer while sitting on a beach-side bench, feeding crumbs to birds. My favorite part of Abel Tasman, besides the beautiful location in itself, was meeting this duo from Switzerland and this girl from Holland named Ingrid. We were the only six staying there the first night, and we all ate dinner together and had some drinks and sat around the fire getting to know each other. It was what I wished all our hostel experiences had been like. The two guys were Evan and Jack, and we ended up hanging out with them the whole time we were there, for the most part. They played us music and we shared our stories, and we ended up giving them a ride to Nelson when we left.
  • Nelson: A cute city halfway between Abel Tasman and Picton, where our ferry would take us back from. Having Evan and Jack and all their belongings with us in our car made the drive a little more challenging, but it was fun. And we had to stop at a tattoo place, since Brandi had planned on getting her tattoo in Nelson, and the boys came with us because they literally had nothing else to do. So the five of us went in the shop. Kelsie and I flipped through their design books while Brandi discussed logistics with the only guy working there, and suddenly we saw it – the design that we had briefly talked about maybe getting, if we could find a cheap enough place. So we bombarded the guy with price questions, and when we talked the price down to bearable, we jumped on the idea. The three of us left with brand new tattoos. Probably the most spontaneous decision of my life. No regrets.
  • Picton: …not a whole lot to say about Picton. We got there way early for our ferry, so we bought ourselves some chips (our fries) and chilled a while. The ferry ride back wasn’t nearly as calm as the one there, and took a lot longer for some reason. And the movies they played sucked so bad I wanted to cry. (Battle Los Angeles, followed by Little Fockers, followed by… wait for it… the Justin Bieber movie, whatever that was called.) On the bright side, Kelsie and I befriended a 3-year-old named Theodorerobinson (how he pronounced it), who told us all about his cat and his mummy and daddy and Thomas the Train and his favorite movies and was simply adorable. He also spat out a lot of crackers at us while we conversed – I’m sure all kids do that when super excited, right?
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