MP3 track of the day: Uruk Hai - Lord of the Rings
Weather: Overcast in the morning but changing to sunny blue skies in the afternoon.
I stayed in bed long enough to just allow me enough time to get washed and dressed, pack my bag and be out of my room before 10am, the time I had to hand in my key. I had until 5pm in Te Anau but I was unsure what to do; there were no walks close by that I hadn't already done. With my hand still swollen, I decided to have a lazy day and so, after breakfast, I proceeded to the TV room where I dumped my bags and I started off by reading more of my Japanese guidebook.
At around 11:30am my tiny brain had absorbed as much Japanese advice as it could handle, therefore I decided to put a DVD on. I choose 'The Queen', a film set in August 1997 about the English royal family and there reactions to Princess Diana's death in Paris. My first shock was just how long ago this happened; I remember where I was vividly when the news broke. At first my family and I thought it was the queens mother who had passed away but as we listened to the radio more closely, in that French campsite in the middle of our summer holiday, the full unbelievable account unfolded.
Another thing I had forgotten is that Diana's death started just months into Tony Blair's reign as Prime Minister of the UK, and leader of the New Labour Party. It was an interesting film, mostly because I remember this part of history, but not a brilliant film … I've seen a lot better.
Still with loads of time to kill I swapped 'The Queen' for a more light hearted film. The YHA Te Anau's copy of 'About a Boy' was on VHS (remember those … tape things) but that didn't matter, however it was strange to actually rewind a film after so long of just watching DVD's. Now something that none of you will know is that 'About a Boy' and I have bumped into each other quite a few times along my travels but I've never got to finish watching the whole film. It all started on my flight from Anchorage to Juneau where I got to watch the start but never finished it; the same happened to me on my flight from the UK to LA and from then on, whenever I could find it, I have tried to watch the whole film. It's not that I love the film, I don't even own it at home (but I think I might have to purchase a copy) it's just that the 'British Bullness' in me is determined to watch this film, from beginning to end, sometime in my travels and this was it. Currently I had the time and the will, so I put the film on and started to watch it.
About two-thirds of the way through the VHS got so bad that I could hear, or see, what was happening on the TV screen. Again I had to admit defeat and give up trying to conqueror, what is now becoming, one of my hardest traveling ambitions to date.
It was nearly time to leave for my bus, there certainly wasn't time for another film and so I just watched a bit of TV. Due to the massive earthquake in the surrounding area of Christchurch earlier this year, the New Zealand government and sponsors have put on a free concert, with all the big New Zealand band names (none of which I recognized), just outside Christchurch for the people of the area. I watched this for a bit and it suddenly became apparent why New Zealand is famed for its scenery and sheep and not it's music industry.
It was now time to leave; I handed back the films I had borrowed to the receptionist, said thank you, and headed out to the bus stop. Unfortunately it was a different driver to the one I had for my cruise yesterday, still it didn't matter as this guy seemed very friendly and, would you believe it, I met two Canadian chicks and so I talked to them for most of the journey. They reminded me of the Canadians I had met, on my travels, in their country; love to chat, rubbish sense of humor and use of English, but thoroughly pleasant people.
As we arrived in Queenstown I said goodbye to the Canadian girls and, once again, headed for the Base Queenstown central. I was back in a Base hostel as I couldn't get into the YHA central here; however not all was lost, even though it's a party hostel (and there is a stag group staying here this weekend) they do have $5 evening meals in the bar, when you purchase a drink, every night of the week. I took full advantage of this and I had a nice spaghetti bolognese. After this I headed to my room, which I must say is very nice.
When I first got into my room I thought the receptionist had made a mistake and had given me the wrong key; firstly there are only four beds in here, all made up with towels and soap at the bottom of the bed. Secondly no bunk beds and an en-suite bathroom, but best of all I'm on the top floor, in a corner room so I have a great view of the city. I thought that this must be the best dorm I had ever stayed in; then I sat on my bed and, what I can only describe as, the bed folded around me … ummm seems the mattresses here are a little to soft, have to see how tonight goes.