Blowholes and Pancake Rocks

May 27, 2013

Right now, we are in a travel-heavy portion of our trip. Since we’re trying to cover the main spots of the South Island in a short period of time, our time on the west coast is pretty brief. We’ve been only spending a night or two in each location and there’s been a lot of driving. Today we left our awesome lodge early this morning. I’m not sure if I described it in the past post but we stayed in this HUGE lodge that had enough beds/rooms for the 32 students to be in one house. It was extremely warm and inviting, except there was a sign for literally everything– the beds, the showers, the lights, the computer, everything. If I were ever to stay at a ski lodge, this is what I would imagine. It rained overnight and we even woke up to snow dusted mountains. It was beautiful.

The downside to all of this is that I think I finally got the cold that everyone’s passing around. My nose is running, I’m coughing and sneezing, and overall I have this general feeling of sickness. On top of that, I think I twisted my ankle or landed on my foot wrong because when I put weight on my right foot in a certain way (such as stepping off a curb or stairs), it hurts. The good news is that we don’t do any big hikes until Wednesday (so I’ll have a couple days to recover). I’m desperately trying to feel better. I won’t miss out on any opportunities because I don’t feel good.

Let me get to the fun part of the day (because pretty much our entire day was bus travel)! We went to Punakaiki to see the “pancake rocks” and blowholes. It was really awesome! The tide was at a peak high and the blowholes were coming up ridiculously high! Dr. Devlin said it was “the best he’s seen” so that’s got to mean something! I got some great pictures. Then we drove to Hokitika, where we’re staying for the night. We have a free morning where we’re going to explore the small town and keep going to Fox Glacier. Another bus day. I don’t mind the bus rides; they’re relaxing and the scenery is great. Plus, our days have been packed so it’s a welcomed break.

I’m super excited for Fox Glacier. Our faculty told us that if there’s rain that day we won’t be able to go walking but right now they’re “optimistic” about us going. Cross your fingers, everyone! Just a little preview of our upcoming weekend assuming the weather works with us: Fox Glacier, Queenstown, Lake Matheson, Routeburn hike, ZipTrek, and skydiving.