Wednesday, 20 October 2010

I'm the real Matt Otter

Wednesday 20th October 2010

MP3 track of the day: Storm is coming – Lord of the Rings

Weather: Very, very cold with intermittent rain showers but mainly sunny with loads of cloud

Getting up at the stupid, stupid hour of 5:50am (I didn't even know that there were two 5:50's in a day) I got ready and headed to the bus stop to get the 'Awesome nz' coach (I would have got on a different coach due to the name, but there wasn't one). As I stepped out of the hostel, I immediately put my hat on, it was bibically cold. Being me, I was super early and wasn't looking forward to the prospect of standing at the bus stop for twenty minutes in the cold. Luckily I saw an 'Awesome nz' coach parked up on the opposite side of the road to the hostel and so I went over; I spoke to the driver and this was my coach.

The coach wasn't actually any warmer and we traveled around Queenstown for a while picking up passengers. This coach isn't just part of the normal New Zealand long distance coach network, its also used as a tourist coach that takes people to Milford Sound, to board a cruise around the fjord, (something that I want to do whilst I'm in Te Anau) and then back to Queenstown. We were soon off and, just like every coach journey I've taken within this country, the driver provided commentary.

Due to leaving early I arrived at my destination, Te Anau, at round 9:15am. I said thank you to the driver and headed to my hostel. Funnily enough my room at the YHA wasn't ready; I dumped my bags into the luggage room and then started the lengthy process of trying to decide which cruise I wanted to take in two days time. There were quite a few (six to be exact) cruises so I took the information and went out for a walk and a think. My first port of call was the local tourist office where I found out about other things to do around the area. Once there I found a leaflet for another cruise (lucky that) plus info on local walks.

Finally I headed to a Milford Sound cruise operator, who's cruise I liked the sound of. Once in there I got told the cruise I liked was summer only and instead they gave me another leaflet on a special 'backpacker' deal on a 2hr 15min Milford Sound cruise, transport there and back from Te Anau and lunch all for $133. I took this information, along with all the rest, and headed to the local cafe for an expensive hot chocolate and a look through all my information.

After ten minutes I had pretty much decided that the 'backpacker' deal was the best and so I headed back to the office and booked onto the cruise for Friday, as the weather tomorrow looked a little grim.

With this done I went to the local supermarket to do a 'big shop'; having looked around Te Anau for a little while it didn't take me long to work out that this was an expensive town and so no eating out for me. I purchased a bag of six rolls, a packet of sliced cheese, two huge oranges, six 'on offer' chocolate muffins, some chocolate and some chocolate biscuits, a pizza, a bottle of Pepsi, a big packet of crisps and a small bottle of vanilla coke (I love vanilla coke, you can't get it within the UK to easily, but here it's everywhere but quite expensive … it's my luxury today) all for $30.

I went back to the hostel and eat lunch (two cheese sandwiches, crisps, an orange, a muffin and the bottle of vanilla coke) before heading out for a walk. Just before I headed out for my walk I met an American guy called Richard; he decided to join me on my walk which was a little ironic as when I did the Tongario Alpine Crossing I walked with a Richard. The walk was okay, it was very cloudy, windy and a little wet but it was nice to stretch ones legs. The views may not had been that great, however the conversation was pretty good with Richard and I setting the world to rights (well we got half way, we determined all that was wrong but couldn't find any solutions).

Once back at the hostel we got a quick drink before heading out to the cinema. The local cinema here runs a thirty minute film on the fjord land here which, according to my guidebook, can't be missed. $10 and thirty minutes later I can honesty say that it can be missed; it was okay, but nothing spectacular.

Richard and I legged it back to the hostel as the heavens were just about to open; I put my pizza in the oven and waited for it to be cooked. Whilst there I bumped into my three of my room mates, all American but, surprisingly, all very nice. A blond bearded chap asked me what my name was, my full name. It turns out this his name is also Matt Otter (actually spelt Matt Otte … but pronounced otter). How weird was this … I've never met another otter let alone a Matt Otter and here we are, one American and one Britain in New Zealand sharing the same dorm in Te Anau. The way he found out my name was that when he went to book in for another night here, the lady thought that he was booked in twice. He's a nice guy too but I keep reminding him that I'm the real Matt Otter, that I am Spartacus.

After tea (the pizza wasn't very nice) I headed into the TV room to watch 'The dead poets society', or I think that's what it was called ... good film. I then headed for an early night as I had been up since 5:50am.

Not sure what I'm going to do tomorrow, it's all weather dependent. I'm not sure if staying in Te Anau was such a great idea; it's quite far out of Milford Sound and the walks here don't seem as good as Franz Joseph or Wanaka, however I'm here now and I shall try to make the most of it.

Toodle Pip!

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