So, after spending yesterday and doing necessary jobs, it’s time to pack up and head South again. This time my driver is Lolly, and the bus is a lot quieter.
Once we pick up our last passenger from hang gliding, we head out of the National Park and deep into some epic countryside. Our stop tonight is Westport, and it’s mostly just a stop due to the distance between Abel and Franz.
For Activities, we have the choice between surfing, or a walk alongside Westport’s Cliffs to see their protected seal colony. I choose seals mostly because I’m not interested is surfing again, and wouldn’t mind seeing some more seals.
It’s windy, but not too cold to walk. It’s around 40 minutes with a few minor hills – the colony is at the very end, but a few of us get caught just before when we spot seals hiding in a small outcrop. The longer you look, the more you could spot.
When we finally pulled ourselves away, we made it to the main section, where they were a lot easier to find.
The smell of fish and other waste was awful, but they were so cool to see up close. Especially all the pups that were running around – it’s breeding season so they’re currently very young and adorable.
The surfers still weren’t back when we made it to the bus, so Lolly dug out a bat and ball and a few of us played a game of Cricket-Rounder’s to waste time. This is where people stand in a circle and try to hit your legs with the ball. You have to use the bat to hit the ball away and towards another person. If someone catches the ball before it hits the ground or succeeds in hitting you, they get the bat.
Our hostel in Westport is the TripInn, which clearly started life as a beautiful Victorian house. Our room are in the building next door, and quite nice for $31.
In the evening, Lolly promised us a Scavenger Hunt, so we had free time until 8. I chose to use this time to finally follow through on my dream of 18 months. Multi-coloured hair.
Originally, I was going to get a professional to put in pastels, but realised how pricy that was. But if I did it myself it wouldn’t last very long. In the end, I decided I’d go with Ultra Bright’s stronger colours since they’d probably become pastel in a week. The plan was pink on the bottom, purple in the middle, and blue on top. Figured that was easy enough to do solo, and although I have a few bare areas where I didn’t grab the roots (especially near the back), when I revealed the new look at 8pm, everyone loved it. It’s not perfect, but considering it was done in a hostel with inferior equipment and no aid, I think I did a pretty good job. Now everyone wants the rest of my dye to give themselves streaks.
Lolly runs a scavenger hunt every time she’s in Westport, and once she splits the (willing) participants into 3 steams, she lists what we need to find:
Get photos of: A hongi, 3 Westport Attractions, team doing a 10-person pyramid, a Stray promotion, a mullet, long arming, and a free shot.
Items: A present for the bartender, an item of clothing not from your group, and a local.
Additional: The difference between a seal/sealion, the best dressed team and the team performing a haka.
We managed to get the pyramid by joining forces with another team, grabbed a shirt out of the free box, took a photo of us lifting the Stray Bus, and had two of the group perform a hongi, and then split up to collect the rest. My group had to get 3 attractions, a mullet and a local. Our first attraction was a band collecting for charity in a truck, the second was the coal museum and the third was the theatre. We also managed to find a gentleman with a mullet and get a photo. As for the local, I was reluctant to ask a stranger, so bought the ‘local’ paper – it got a laugh out of the team anyway.
The other team managed to get photo and video of everything else – and all we had to worry about was being best dressed and the haka. We actually had a stroke of luck – the rest of my team walked into the bar we were supposed to meet and asked if they had any costumes we could borrow, and bagged 2 Santa costumes. I had to leg it back for my novelty Santa sunglasses to join in!
When the deadline arrived, the great war of who had the best item began. It didn’t help that 3 friends had been separated, and all 3 were fiercely competitive. It was neck and neck for a good while, and all came down to the haka…
We did ours to the charity band performing Merry Christmas, and won by 2 points! All hail Archie’s Elves!