Friday, 12 September:
We (Karin, Becky, Brianna, Brianna's sister Nicole, and I) headed out at about 3. Just before this, Amy and I had attempted to book our stopover, with limited (aka no) success (for some unknown reason it was going to be much more expensive for her than for me). We began coming into the area of Central Otago, and at this point the scenery was getting really beautiful. I took out my camera, naturally. I went to turn it on - and nothing happened. I thought, well shit, I just recharged these batteries, maybe they've had it. Just to check, I put Nicole's batteries (which were definitely working) in, and pressed the on button. Nothing. I think a little piece of me might have died a little right then. Just think: a whole weekend with no camera, or maybe just a disposable camera, which is pretty much the same thing. I knew Wanaka was supposed to be gorgeous, but without being able to take hundreds of pictures, how would it be? It certainly felt different. I had to make every memory count. We arrived in town around 7 and got bunks at the Lakefront Holiday Park ($18 a night). We then went to New World to get dinner supplies: pasta, sauce, bacon, garlic bread; the essentials. We made a nice shared meal and called it an early night.
Saturday, 13 September:
I woke up and had a kiwifruit and porridge, which was apparently a mistake. I almost immediately got some terrible indigestion, and we were supposed to be doing a day hike. We compromised and did Puzzling World first. It was fantastic. There were holograms, illusion rooms, and a giant maze which Karin and I rocked. I felt kind of terrible at times but still had fun. Then we went back to New World so I could get saltines and ginger beer. After eating those, I felt fine. We then went on the Minaret Burn track up until the beach. It was beautiful, and relatively gently sloped. It was a nice 3-4 hour walk. We then went back to the rooms and went out to eat at Red Burger. We came back and waited a little while before going to watch the All Blacks game at a bar. But by this time I had lost the battle against sleep and didn't feel like going out, so I got a shower and slept, along with Becky.
Sunday, 14 September:
We had booked a horse trek for 1:30 or so, but hadn't made plans for the morning. We drove down to the lakefront. Becky and I wanted to rent an aqua bike or something but it was dreadfully windy, so we just hung out by the beach instead. I climbed a tree, and called my parents to see if I could replace my camera ASAP (it was a go). Eventually we drove out to the horse trek. It was a 2-hour one, on Appaloosas in Western saddles. I rode a horse named Wattie (not named after the food company, btw) who was pretty cool. Brianna and I were the only experienced riders. We rode in the back. Sometimes the beginners got to trot; Brianna and I held back and cantered to catch up. I got to jump over a small rock and Wattie did a little happy-to-be-running buck. Later Brianna's overcoat that they gave us dropped off her saddle and Wattie did a side leap. I lost a stirrup but nothing else. It was a really awesome time. It was in the beautiful Cardrona Valley. We rode all the way to the Cardrona Ski Field road. We could see the ski field, and Crown Peak. Sweet as! Oh yes, and that morning, Karin ran over her glasses in the car. So basically there was a bunch of bad luck, but it was still a fantastic weekend. Becky drove home. Wanaka is, indeed, one of the most beautiful places ever. I did replace my camera on Monday (couldn't go any longer without) and will be going back through Wanaka briefly in a couple of weeks. So there should be pictures.