I asked the hostel staff for best place to hitchhike to Queenstown and they gave me directions of the road which goes straight there from the town. It was about 15 minutes of walk from the hostel.
It was around 9am and I reached the place where I had to start hitching. Then I saw T (Chinese girl) with whom I hitchhiked to Mt. Cook the other day and she was also hitchhiking to Wanaka with another Chinese girl from her hostel. After catching up I told her the same thing I was told couple of days before that we should ride separately and I stood away like 70 meters and put down my backpack, grocery bag and the sign. Locals were like sorry mate and people walking by were wishing me good luck. Some found my sign funny and smiled when they read it. I was there for about 15 minutes and could still see T as they were signaling to the vehicles. Then another hitchhiker joined in, she passed T and I was like another competitive day. When she was crossing me she screamed “Hello Hitchhiker” she was the same hitchhiker which I met near the lake and the day before, the guy was traveling elsewhere today. She said competition is on and she will reach Queenstown before me and then continued walking.
One camper van stopped where T was standing and after talking with the driver she started waving towards me. I ran back and she said camper van has only one spot and I can go. I thanked her and got in the Van, the guy was a kid (V) from Germany who had just finished high school and been working and travelling around NZ from last eight months. Luckily he was also going to Queenstown so just one direct ride to destination. He was a good kid, a decade younger than me so I was lecturing him the whole time.
I saw the hitchhiker girl waving and asked V to slow down and rolled the window down and screamed see you in Queenstown.
It was a scenic drive from Wanaka to Queenstown and the 21 year old camper van added more fun to it. We reached there early in the day, V also stayed in the same hostel and walked around the town in the evening. We bumped into the hitchhiker girl again. I told her I won this time. While walking around the town we noticed a huge line in front of this burger place and wondered what the fuss is all about and thought about trying it about the next day.
Time we went to the burger place it was not that busy but still took us about 30 minutes to get the burger in hand. It was worth all the wait, best Burger I ever ate, it was huge weighed almost a kilo. V had ham and I tried chicken, he was also all over it. We ate in silence, didn’t speak a word for few minutes as were hungry and it was delicious.
We planned to drive to the next town Glenorchy, we were walking towards the van and bumped into M, she was also moving to the same hostel and asked her if she was interested in going to Glenorchy, she said she will see us later.
Van didn’t start, battery died. It was an adventure finding the new battery and replacing it. We went ahead with the drive after the battery fiasco and I am glad we did, it was insanely beautiful. Driving on the mountain and a calm pristine blue lake on the side and no vehicle in sight just pure wilderness. No wonder they call the town as Paradise land.
We met M in the hostel common room and she again wanted to go for a drink, challenging poor kid’s German genes. It was my send off, We went around the town and nothing was open and after contemplating various options we settled for ice cream and surprisingly it was owned by Argentinians people which made M’s day.
Next day I got up early and walked for a while to find a good spot for hitchhiking up north. Queenstown roads are windy and narrow, its a town spread over mountains so it was hard to find a spot where people could see me waving and space to pull over. After walking about 30 minutes I thought of buying a plane ticket leaving two days later rather than doing this for next three days. It was a cloudy morning, I stopped and thought about it more few minutes and decided to walk back to the town. I booked my hostel for next two days and the flight to Auckland. I just wanted to do nothing, it was that type of day. I booked the hostel which was bit away from town center because previous was too crowded.
I told M and V that I am still here for next couple of days so we went to the best burger place in the world again and to a music show by a traveler who has been hitchhiking and traveling from last two years and does music shows and photography wherever he goes, It was good.
Meanwhile I experienced my third earthquake in New Zealand and it was very early in the morning, I was sleeping on the top bunk and it started shaking and It woke me up. I could not understand what is going on, was too sleepy just looked around and then went back to sleep, later that day roommate asked me if I experienced the earthquake and I was like oh yes, that was the earthquake.