The Info and Track shuttle bus picked me up from Glenorchy at 10.30am and dropped me off at their shop in Queenstown at about 11.30am. I had booked my bus journey from Queenstown to sleepy Twizel and had about three hours to get a few things done before I got on the bus. After getting food shopping done, buying batteries, topping up my Intercity Flexipass ticket, getting something quick to eat and calling into the Real Journeys office on the wharf (to talk to Angus Small about possible job vacancies), I had about an hour left over before I had to make my way to Twizel. So I paid a quick visit to the Botanical Gardens which were lovely.
The Atomic Travel bus came and I quickly dozed off until we got to the town of Cromwell. This town has an interesting tale to it. As a result of hydro development, which is part of the Upper Clutha Development project, the old retail and commercial area of Cromwell was flooded in order to allow for the creation of Lake Dunstan. A new town centre was located further up the hill. People say that the main street of the old town is still under water at the bottom of the lake. I don’t know if that’s exactly true but maybe someone can clarify this. But it would be fun to think that there’s an old main street submerged by water, like a mini Atlantis!
The road from Tarras to Omarama was gorgeous. I know that we’re not advised to use words like “gorgeous” or “beautiful” when describing things, because it’s too vague a word but there are so many places in New Zealand that are breathtaking and picturesque, that I’m running out of ways to describe the scenery. The road to Omarama wandered right along the foot of the mountains. It weaved around the base of the mountains and to the right, left, behind and in front of you, were tall hills, not in the distance, but right under your nose, so to speak. The base colour of the mountains was brown but there was a layer of golden coloured grass, which gave it a sort of velvety look.
I just love scenery like this and would love to walk across these hills for days. The road continued like this for half an hour and there I was again, the tears were rolling down my cheeks. I absolutely love this country and I have to get back here again to work and live. I was sad that I had to leave because I feel it’s where I belong. I knew I’d have to go back to Amsterdam but I was hoping that I’d have some inkling of a job to go back to.
We stopped for a thirty minute break in Omarama and I got talking to the couple who were sitting at the front of the bus. I was telling them that I was trying to find work in New Zealand and the woman suggested that I try all the skiing areas for a job, which is an idea. I got dropped off at Twizel at 6.20pm. Twizel is a sleepy little town and most people just stop here on their way to Mt. Cook. I had booked a single room in a holiday park, on the outskirts of the town, which was a ten minute walk from the centre.
It was a well equipped holiday park, now called Parklands Holiday Park and my room had twin beds in it. There was a self catering kitchen, a laundry, clean bathrooms and an open living room with a t.v. I needed to do laundry as I was down to my last pair of knickers! I needed four dollars for twenty four minutes in the dryer and I was one dollar short. So I was going to change a twenty dollar note and told the guy at reception that I’d have to change a twenty dollar bill otherwise I’d have to go commando! He said “Oh gosh, well we can’t have that, now can we? I’ll shout you a dollar, instead of breaking a twenty” he said, which was very nice of him. So I “washed the smalls” and got them dried. So that was me, all sorted with laundry for another while.