1/2/10 - To Kaikoura on the bus

Finished off yesterday with a walk out of town for an hour or so until I found a pub for locals and drank my first reasonably priced pint. Next door was a fish and chip shop where I had chips and a hot dog which over here means battered sausage on a stick.

On return to the hostel I learned that the Murray v Federer final of the Australian Open was on at 9 so I joined a Londoner and a Brazilian to watch Murray getting stuffed on the biggest projector screen I've ever seen outside of a cinema, then off to bed to make sure I caught the bus.

The next day was the start of my travels on The Kiwi Experience bus and I was somewhat apprehensive thinking it would be full of gap year teenagers overly excited about being out of the house but I was pleased to find that this wasn't the case. I got chatting with Adam from Edinburgh and Becky from Oxford who were both friendly and we spent the afternoon together Whale watching. We saw 2 Albatross and 4 whales although I failed to get even an average picture of any of them. Back in the gift shop I took a picture of a postcard because I had seen a whale and my rubbish photography skills shouldn't get in the way of me proving it.

That evening I had fantastic fun with my new friends from the bus: Ben, 19 overly excited about himself; Erin and Heather, posh; Roger, Alexi Lalas at 18 great person and a few others.

I bought a venison sausage and some lamb kebabs for a barbecue and a couple of drinks, soon enough the couple of beers turned in to drinking games, mostly my fault because I had bought a 3 litre box of wine that I found to be 5.8% - devastating but it meant I didn't mind sharing and a few people chipped in a couple of quid. We used the gecko rule and it was fun watching other peoples' reactions to a whole table suddenly flinging themselves at various surfaces.

When the crap wine ran out we walked down the small path to the seafront and found a pub that was still open where I met an Irish man, Bryan, who had been in my hostel in Christchurch and we drank more and flung ourselves at more surfaces. Ben was quite annoyingly young so when one of Bryan's bus mates said he would run in the sea I stitched Ben up and told him that he was our Kiwi bus captain and so had to defend our honour by downing his drink on the count of three then beating the other bus's man to run in the sea naked. Before he could think I started the countdown and he was away. Ben returned later, wet and feeling very proud of himself, I felt a bit mean so I toasted him and gave him some beer from my jug. Shortly after that most of the group left to see how many of them could fit in a phone box, I stayed and played pool because I do like a beer.