Sunday, September 23, 2007

Hey all,

Got a lot to catch u up on as usual. The photo is of Fiji, just to make u jealous, but i´ll start back in QT. My last month in Queenstown flew by! Emma´s Boyfriend Chris joined us for a few weeks, and Robs Girlfriend Shelley came over too, we had quite a busy house.

Me, James and Jon went on a day trip to Dunedun, a long drive, but a nice seaside university town. We drove through St. Bathans, an old gold mining town, very rustic and oldfashioned, but it had the most beautiful lake. We then arrived in Dunedun had a wonder around and ended up eating chocolate at the Cadbury Factory! We forgot to go to the steepest street tho, the main reason we went there!! oh well!

James organised for all his work mates to go paintballing for the day in Cromwell, and I tagged along, was good fun, although bloody hurt! I then had to go to work afterwards with paint in my hair! (below: James and his work mates, great bunch!)

Then Camilla and her brother charlie arrived in Queenstown and joined the masses at chez caples! We of course went out for a few nights out on the town, and also managed to fit in a Limo wine tour. James, me, Chris and emma had lunch at the fabulous (& well renowned) Amisfield Winery, and then camilla and Charlie picked us up in the Limo, and we went to some great wineries, and got pretty drunk!!

I also took Camilla and Charles to Glenorchy for the afternoon, to soak up some scenery, and we took a walk around Diamond lake.

Too soon we had to say goodbye to them as they headed on for Wanaka. And soon after that we had to say bye to Jon too. Our busy house was fading fast and my time in Queenstown was rapidly running out. We had one last Emma roast to say bye to Jon, it was delicious!

I managed to fit in a few more days up the slopes, including a VIP day at Cardrona, with free BBQ, free beer, and loads of boarding competitions. Some of them were amazing! They also had a Snowmobile jumping competition which was awesome, they jumped higher than the building!! (below: Me and Isaac, a fellow crowne plazian)

I had one final night of drunkedness in Queenstown to say goodbye, (i would tell u the names of these people, but it wouldn´t mean much! But they´re my work collegues mostly!)and then headed up to Auckland to fly to Fiji, some heat at last!

I arrived in Nadi on Fiji´s "mainland" (that is the correct usage!!) but didn´t stay long, preferring to head out to the Islands on the Yasawa Flyer (greyhound for fiji).

My first Island was at the very top of the yasawas, called Nacula. It had a beautiful beach and was close to the Sawi-I-Lau caves, which I visited. It also was near the Blue Lagoon (where the film was set, altho I haven´t seen it), but very beautiful. The resort here was really homely, and one night it was the chef's birthday so we drank loads of Kava (sightly narcotic Fiji drink, tasted like muddy water, but I liked it a lot!) to celebrate. He kept the whole island awake with his singing, and constant speach making about how much he loved us!!

Met some great people, my favourite were 3 austrians, that spoke really great English, and had brought 3 bottles of Gin, which we preceeded to drink! There was also a really cool kiwi guy who was staying there for a month just chilling, I liked the sound of that!

The next Island I went to was Naviti, to a place called Manta Ray resort, didn´t see any manta ray unfortunately, but went on a fantastic dive! Also met a great irish girl called Zita, quite a quiet island tho, so more chilling, just what the doctor ordered!

The next Island was Waya, and the best resort ever, Octopus Resort. It was like a 5 star holiday resort with a dorm! It had a pool, beautiful beach, bar, everything! Met some great peeps, and some crazy ones. Stayed 2 nights and it was totally worth it! Also went on another dive, not quite as good, but still great fun! Spent a lot of time lazing on the beautiful beach, but also attempted to clime a coconut tree! We also took a walk to the village, which had a lot of brick houses suprisingly. We then continued up to the highest point on the Island which gave us a beautiful view of the Yasawas.

My last night I decided to stay at Bounty (where they filmed celebrity love Island, although the building was delapitated now!) It was a very small Island, we kayaked around it in half an hour, but very beautiful. I met a crazy german girl called Tanja there, who was great fun. The place was a bit tacky though, kinda trying to be a bit 18 to 30's! We did get to watch another beautiful sunset tho.

Then unfortunately it was back to Nadi for a night, before my long trip to Santiago. I stayed at Nadi Bay hostel again, and was gona have an early night, as my flight was at 9am. But there were some great guys in my dorm, so I ended up drinking all their rum!

So I arrived in Santiago, and met up with Pete, and then went to my friend Paulina´s house to stay. She lived in an amazing pad, a little way out of the centre, but it was really posh, with sky TV (it was difficult to drag pete away!) but they spoiled us rotten, feeding us up, and taking us to all the sights of santiago and around.

Paulina and her dad took us to Vina del Mar (the beach) and Valpariso (a port town with crazy old fashioned lifts (ascencores). And they also took us to San Christobel ( a hill with a gondala going up it and a massive statue of mary at the top) but some great views of santiago.

We are now heading south for patagonia, its getting very cold!!!