Lake Tekapo

I arrived on the coach and walked a short distance to my hostel, leaving my bag there for a few hours as it was still too early to check-in. After exploring for a while, I went back and tried to check in, but the girl on the reception desk was struggling to find me. "Are you sure you booked this hostel?", she politely asked. I checked my reservation email. Turns out I was in the wrong one! Just another day in the life of a capable, experienced backpacker...

When I did arrive in the hostel I'd actually booked, I walked into the dorm, dumped my bag and there was a girl asleep in one of the bunks. She woke as I entered and the very first words she uttered to me - no "hi" or anything - was "have you got a cigarette?". No. No I don't have a cigarette you impolite moocher.

Lake Tekapo is a huge draw for tourists due to the stunning turquoise colour of the water. This is caused by 'glacial flour' suspended in the water, which is produced by rocks grinding together and producing a very fine powder as they are dragged down by glaciers in the alps. The resulting effect is quite remarkable.

As you walk around you can't fail to notice the huge amount of asian tourists everywhere! Evidently New Zealand in particular is high on the list of places to visit, and quite frankly I can see why! Everywhere you look, even on the coach in between places you're blown away by the scenery, it really is fantastic.

While the lake was undeniably beautiful, once I'd seen it and walked around for a bit I felt like I'd done all I needed to do there. There's not an awful lot else to see in the immediate area. I believe there are other trails for hiking, but I was pacing myself for treks I had planned for later in the trip! I did get to see a statue of a collie... I bet none of you can claim that.

On the morning I was due to leave, I was waiting for my coach as per usual, when one pulled into the carpark bound for a different destination. Nothing unusual there, I was being patient and waiting for mine which was still due. But someone else waiting for the same bus as me asked the driver that had just arrived where the other coach was. He said he'd seen it pass him at a stop he'd made back down the road. This caused mass panic and many phonecalls from the driver to dispatch in an attempt to locate the other coach. It turns out all that mayhem was for nothing as the other coach calmly pulled up five minutes later. The other passengers and I boarded, and relaxed into our seats as we headed off in the direction of Mount Cook.