(Day 21) Franz Josef Glacier
Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be too laid back in your planning. With a shocking hangover I eventually get myself out of bed and to the reception at 10am hoping to book on the day’s glacier walk. Clear skies are predicted, making it a perfect day to negotiate the world famous Franz Josef glacier. But, unfortunately for me, the trips are all fully booked, which means I will need to spend an extra night here if I am going to be able to do the hike. Louise, the Scottish girl working on reception, manages to book me onto a tour for the following day and also tells me that one of the places I was planning to stop off at after Franz Josef isn’t really worth bothering with, and that therefore an extra day in Franz Josef is no disaster.
With no trips booked I need no excuse to spend a lazy day doing nothing and sleeping off my red wine hangover in the Montrose Hostel across the road, which is one of the few places I have seen with free internet.
Rested, I bump into Tony who was one of the twelve in the ‘Dorm-mented’ room in Queenstown and also went down to Dunedin with me on the ‘rugby special’ along with Tim Nice But Dim and the English blamanchettes. He confirms that I wasn’t imagining it when I thought I saw another of the English lads in our crazy Queenstown dorm peeing into a water bottle in the middle of the night on my last night there, most of it missing the bottle and splashing all over his Welsh mate. I don’t know what it was about room 112 at Nomads but there was certainly some very odd night time behaviour from the Welsh and English boys. I even saw some suspiciously gay night time hugging going on in there in the dark.
South Africa look brilliant as they thrash Namibia 87-0. It is nearly five quid a pint down at the popular local, the Landing, so I make one Speights last me the game and allow myself a gulp every time South Africa score a try. I think I get ten swigs in total.
Thinking the worst of my dorm-mented days are now left behind me in Queenstown, I am awoken at 2am by the return home of the Swedish girl who is sharing the dorm and a very tall mystery bloke, who sounds, judging by his overuse of ‘sshh’, suspiciously Dutch. In and out of the room they walk several times until I am fully awake from the banging doors and the lights being switched on and off. And then the in and out becomes literal as they start to have sex on the blonde Svenska’s bed. I decide to let them get on with it without complaining and pull a pillow over my head, but I just can’t get to sleep. This is the same young lady who told me earlier in the day that she had agreed to meet this bloke but she ‘didn’t know why, because she wasn’t interested in him’. Women, hey!? I don’t know whether half of them are compulsive liars or just so mixed up in the head that they make it all up, according to their hormones, as they go along. Anyway, the slurping and vibrating bed frame noises continue for quite some time until both of them pay visits to the toilet and bang more doors. It is probably 5am by now, and I haven’t slept more than 30 minutes all night and have a glacier hike in the morning. Next, the sex is replaced by walrus-like snoring and I really can’t sleep at all. I am tempted to just bludgeon them both to death and be done with it. Finally at 6.30, the lad pops out to the toilet and comes back in ready for another session. It is now light and I am fuming. Maybe it’s a bit out of order on my part but I tell him, with a few choice expletives, that as he’s kept me awake all night, if I hear him again I will knock him into the middle of next week. He doesn’t say a word and sulks off home to his hostel shortly afterwards. I manage to get about 2 hours’ sleep before it is time to get up for my glacier walk.
This dorm-mented behaviour is doing my head in, but I don’t see that I really have any other option. It is too cold to camp on the South Island and motel rooms will set me back nearly 50 quid per night. I also can’t afford a camper van on my Todd, as they have jacked up the prices for the world cup well beyond my means.
After Argentina and New Zealand I hope I never see another youth hostel bunk bed again in my life.
South Africa 87 Namibia 0