#28 - hanging in wanaka for a few days! have i mentioned that i love this place?!?

Wanaka Travel Blog

 › entry 28 of 113 › view all entries
Pretty shot of Diamond Lake.

*****DAY FORTY-ONE (Monday, January 12th) - HIKING, RUNNING & CHILILNG IN WANAKA****
My day started with doing sun salutations & a little be of meditation by the lake!  I really love starting my day that way & I'm not sure why I don't do it more often. 

I decided to do a little hiking in the morning so I headed out towards Diamond Lake.  On my way out there, I decided to swing by the Stonehouse B & B to bmeet Jamie and Anna Kate.  They are friends of Chris & Heidi (who are friends of Raf & Megan, who  I haven't met yet) - but they told me that I should go introduce myself.  So, I literally just drove up, knocked on the door and said "Hi, Chris and Heidi told me to come say hi, I don't know them yet, but.

Rocky Mountain. Woo hoo!
..um....hi".  :)  They were so nice!  I went inside and just hung out & chatted with them for a bit.  They are from the U.S. and moved to Wanaka a few years ago (I can't remember when now) - but bought this B & B.  How cool is that?!?  Oh - I also talked to them about how I wanted to do the mile swim that was happening the next day in town & the topic of goggles came up & how I didn't have them.  So, they happened to have a new pair that I could borrow.  How fun!

So, then I went on to Diamond Lake & hiked for a little bit.  I ran into an Israeli couple who were going rock climbing.  It was interesting, we talked a bit about what's been going on over there & if it's hard for them to travel being from Israel, etc.

5K race associated with the Wanaka Challenge!
  They said the hardest thing is knowing that their friends & family are in danger while they are here traveling.  I think they were happy to meet someone who was in support of Israel. 

Anyway, the rest of the hike was beautiful and I got to see a good vantage point of where I parasailed the day before. 

After that I came back into town & stopped by Racer's Edge because I heard that they might have a wetsuit I could borrow for the swim as well - I was just piecing my whole swim event situation.  So, not sure if I already explained this - but they had all these events around the fact that the Wanaka Challenge was coming up the next weekend (an Ironman).  So, I signed up to volunteer to help out with the event, I decided to do a 5k (that was happening tonight) and I wanted to do the mile swim tomorrrow.

Water stop on the 5k run run!
  So, get this...I talked to the woman who worked at Racers Edge and she wasn't sure if the wetsuits would be in on time, so she said that I could borrow hers!  Out of nowhere I was borrowing goggles from someone I just met & then potentially borrowing a wetsuit of some random woman who worked at Racer's Edge.

So, then it was on to the 5k!  It was such a cute event!  We did a 5K through the Rippon vineyard & through some resort. It totally kicked my butt, but it was really fun to be involved in it.  I felt like I was at a RadRockyD type of event....they had all these raffle prizes after & it was just so fun to be involved in it!

That night I went to dinner at the Speight's Ale House with Ted, the sheep farmer from England & some of the other folks at his hostel.

Woo hoo! The finish line!
  It was totally random - I had met them earlier on the hike & they asked me to join them.  :)

When I got back, I had two new "roomies" - Tali and Lilach, from Israel.  They were very cool girls & we hung out chatting for awhile while watching Friends. 

*****DAY FORTY-TWO (Tuesday, January 13th) - A VERY CHILL DAY*****

Went to my favorite, Kai Whakapai, for breakfast with Tali and Lilach.  I was so sad they were leaving today - it would have been fun to hang out with them for longer.  Tali lives in Jerusalem and Lilach actually lives close to Kiryat Shimona (in the north) - the sister city with the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation.  She couldn't believe that I had been there three times!  We all definitely connected and on my next trip to Israel, I will definitely look them up!  :)

The rest of the day was pretty mellow - I did some errands, picked up my wetsuit from the girl at Racers Edge so I'd be ready for tomorrow morning, went to the post office & spent some time planning the next few days.

Tali, me & Lilach - my two "roomies" one day at Fern Lodge.
  That can be the hard part about traveling like this sometimes....you have to stop and figure things out & sometimes it can be hard to figure out what to do next!  I know - boo hoo - such a hard life...but seriously, it definitely takes some work!  I planned to do a rock climb tomorrrow after my swim & I also planned to go to do some of the Central Otago Rail Trail on Thursday and Friday.  Then, I'll come back to Wanaka for the race on Saturday morning.  Perfect. 

I had dinner at Relishes again - this time by myself.  I'm definitely getting used to eating alone & it's actually quite enjoyable!

When I got back to my room, I once again had a new "roomie" for the night.  This time it was Phil from England.  Such a nice guy & he had actually just climbed Mt.

Another beautiful shot of the lake.
Cook!  Very impressive!  He ended up coming out with me that night....I was meeting up with Sina, a girl I had met in Taupo.  So fun!  We were all actually pretty beat though and we had one drink & then we were all ready to call it a night.  So, not the craziest night out, but it was fun to see Sina again! 

*****DAY FORTY-THREE (Wednesday, January 14th) - OMG!  CRAZY DAY!****

I got up this morning at 6am to get my butt down to the lake to get ready for the swim.  Turns out they had some trial wetsuits for the race that we could use, so I didn't have to use the girl from Racer's Edge wetsuit (which was one for used for surfing) after all.

  I actually got to use a very cool brand new wetsuit. The company is called Blue Seventy & their wetsuits are so much better than any other one I've used!  So, the swim was awesome! I can't believe I pulled a mile swim out of nowhere - I definitely have not been swimming a lot lately!  It was great!  The lake was beautiful and it was just so cool that this event was happening. 

After the swim I had to race back to the hostel, quickly change & eat something to get ready for rock climbing!  I got picked up at 9am (it was a very quick turnaround) and off we went!  I was in a group with two kids & their parents were there to watch as well.  It was so much fun!  I actually felt like I did really well at the beginning of the day, but by the end - man, I was pooped.

A little abseiling.
  There was one wall I just could not get up - very frustrating!  That one aside, I had such a blast and am so glad I decided to go out there!  The weather stayed pretty temperate for us (it had been so hot the couple days before - we were lucky!) and we had some good rocks to climb & no one else was around. 

When I got back, I had my volunteer meeting for the Wanaka Challenge.  I didn't realize that this was only the third year that they've ever done this event!  So cool.  I have to admit, I got all teary-eyed listening to people talk about how excited they were for the race & how thankful they were for the volunteers, etc.  It felt really good to be a part of the event.  OH - and I ended up sitting next to this girl, Katie, who worked for the parasailing company & I had met her a few days before - so that was fun to know someone!

After the meeting, I met Phil at Cinema Paradiso.

My volunteer meeting for the Wanaka Challenge
  It's this really cool movie theatre that has a bunch of couches & comfy chairs & you can order food & drinks for the movie.  I got a glass of wine & popcorn.  :)  Love it.  We say some movie about the silk road.  I actually can't remember the title, but it was a beautiful movie.  After the movie we got a bit to eat at The White House - a cool little restaurant that was highly recommended in Lonely Planet.  I actually really enjoyed it! 

What a FUN FUN FUN day!  :)

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Pretty shot of Diamond Lake.
Pretty shot of Diamond Lake.
Rocky Mountain.  Woo hoo!
Rocky Mountain. Woo hoo!
5K race associated with the Wanaka…
5K race associated with the Wanak…
Water stop on the 5k run run!
Water stop on the 5k run run!
Woo hoo!  The finish line!
Woo hoo! The finish line!
Tali, me & Lilach - my two roomie…
Tali, me & Lilach - my two "roomi…
Another beautiful shot of the lake.
Another beautiful shot of the lake.
A little abseiling.
A little abseiling.
My volunteer meeting for the Wanak…
My volunteer meeting for the Wana…
Thats Diamond Lake!
That's Diamond Lake!
View of Diamond Lake.
View of Diamond Lake.
View back towards Lake Wanaka.
View back towards Lake Wanaka.
Pretty flowers.
Pretty flowers.
The Wanaka Tower...dont worry Eri…
The Wanaka Tower...don't worry Er…
The race director.
The race director.
The 5k Fun Run!
The 5k Fun Run!
Sponsored by Racers Edge.
Sponsored by Racers Edge.
Running through vineyards.
Running through vineyards.
We ran through the Rippon vineyard.
We ran through the Rippon vineyard.
Running through the vineyard towar…
Running through the vineyard towa…
The prize giving!
The prize giving!
YUM!!!!!  FLAT WHITE!
YUM!!!!! FLAT WHITE!
Where I had many glasses of wine w…
Where I had many glasses of wine …
Thats me rock climbing!
That's me rock climbing!
I loved this!
I loved this!
More rock climbing.
More rock climbing.
I made it to the top!  Woo hoo!
I made it to the top! Woo hoo!
Rich, the Wanaka Rock man.
Rich, the Wanaka Rock man.
Phil (England) at The White House…
Phil (England) at "The White Hous…
Wanaka
photo by: Koralifix