November 18th, 2008 – by: wingpost
I didn't know all these people 6 hours before this picture was taken
Westport is an old mining town on the west coast of the South Island. There isn't much to do here. Someone told me this is a great place to do your laundry and nothing else. All the activities are actually just outside Westport such as jet boating with the most powerful jet boats in New Zealand, horse riding and quad biking. All activities are along Buller River. I didn't do any activities here because I wanted to have a break day after the kayaking trip. Moreover, this place didn't inspired/appealed me to do any of these activities.
As I mentioned before, travelling with the Kiwibus is quite flexible. You can decide how long you want to stay at any place. This also means you will constantly meet new people on the bus. All the people on the bus from Nelson to Westport were new to me and I wasn't the only new person on the bus.
Three legged pub crawl with Martina!
Smiley was the bus driver (he never mentioned his real name). He really knows how to get people talking to each other. First, he randomly hands out the personal buscards to all the kiwi-passengers. During the trip from Nelson to Westport you have to find the person who is holding your card and you have to find the person whose card you're holding. It's a really good way to introduce yourself and meet other people. Smiley also mentioned that we will be doing a pub crawl later that night. He didn't mention we would be tight up with someone he randomly has chosen for you. That night I was tight up to Martina, a lawyer from Ireland. It was a really great night although Martina accidentally (I hope!) punched me twice in the face.
One of the highlight of the trip from Nelson to Westport is the Nelson Lake National Park.
This park is really beautiful. High mountains with beautiful lakes. It's so beautiful you just want to jump into the lakes, which I did. The water is freezing cold!!! We also had lunch at one of these lakes. How great this may sound, it was awful. This area has many sandflies which will sting you. I have sprayed insect repellent on me but still have been stung at least ten times. These sandflies are really nasty, itches horribly and will leave scars that will be visible for at least one month. Thus, the Nelson Lakes are beautiful, it's like heaven on Earth but the sting of the sandflies at the lakes hurts like hell!
Next destination: Lake Mahinapua