To the Land of Adventure and Beyond! Jessica's Great Journey to New Zealand. travel blog

Uggggggghhhhhh....Nooooooo sleeeeeeeeep. I'm SO tired. We've been running and running and running, from activity to activity to activity, since we landed. I don't even know what day it is and forget about trying to get to a computer. People here don't have computers at home...they all use internet cafes...and the internet in this country, in general, is super slow. With our limited breaks in-between scheduled activities, dinners, etc., I haven't been able to get to a computer to blog, so I guess I'm keeping this journal by hand for now and I'll update entries online when I get home. Sorry, people. I'm having the time of my life.

Today, we drove through Tanogario National Park from Lake Taupo to Wellington, NZ's capital at the south end of the North Island. To get here, we drove through volcanic landscape made famous in the Lord of the Rings series, passing by Mount Ruapehu. Wellington is our last stop on the North Island and my first opportunity for a break, as I didn't sign up for any of the offered optional activities here. On our way into town, we dropped several people off at a four-wheeling activity, Megan included, and the rest of us stopped at Mount Victoria, high above Wellington, to take pictures. Wellington is nicknamed "Windy Welly" and from atop Mount Victoria, windy is an understatement. The road to get there was our driver got us around those hairpin turns in a coach is a mystery to me. We saw houses along the way propped high on cliffs, with driveways at street level and elevators to take the owners up to their houses. Odd. From atop Mount Victoria, I had impressive, 360-degree views of the harbour and steep hills. When we got to our hotel, we unloaded the suitcases and I plopped down in my bed, exhausted. Then I walked around town, stopping at an internet cafe to have a quick Facebook fix. It's nice to have a moment to breathe.

Tonight, we have an included group dinner at a restaurant called Blend. Barnaby, our tour guide extraordinaire, told us to dress to impress, so I'm wearing a little red dress and heels. After dinner, we stayed at Blend for a bit to drink as a group and then the bartenders introduced some games. For one, the guys had to stand up on a high table all in a row and the girls had to stand facing them on the ground below. The girls then had to take a piece of bubble gum and move it through the guys' pants legs, across their crotch and out the other ankle. Whoever did this the fastest won. I was hiding in a corner for this game. lol. I don't know these guys THAT well yet. haha. Megan competed in a dance-on-the-bar contest. She pulled her weight, but ultimately lost to some local girl who decided to get nearly naked. She was disgusting and the people in our tour group were sort of grossed out, so we decided to leave. On the way out the door, some raggedy-looking backpackers told us about a great deal at a bar called "Base." $4 beers all night. Meet us there, they said. So, Danielle, my new friend from Alaska, and I conveyed this information to the rest of our group and we took them on a mile-long trek through the city to find "Base." When we got there, one of the guys, Antonio, from Australia, started laughing at us. "Base" was, in fact, not a bar, but a hostel for backpackers. The guys were telling us to meet them at their hotel!!!! LOL!!! Gullible American girls, eh? So, after a good laugh, the whole group found another bar, where we partied and danced late into the night. Our day song, "Here it Goes Again," by Ok-Go, came on in the club at Barnaby's request, and we all went nuts, dancing on tables and each other. Another fantabulous night!

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