The following day with brekkie in my tummy and my rucksack on the bus, we headed off about 9 towards Wanaka. We hopped off at Mirror Lake taking a 40ish minute walk to find the lake. We managed to find a clearing amongst the trees into the lake to see the spectacular view with the snowy mountains behind. Due to the lack of time, we could only to part of the loop, where I feel we missed out on the best view but instead we rushed back. It was just one of the English girls and myself that did the walk out of our group, where time flew as we hiked around sharing information about our lives.
Soon enough we were back on the road taking the most incredible route I think I have ever been on. The sun was shining in the bright blue, cloudless sky and the mountains reflecting into glistening, still blue lake. It was just so picturesque, where we stopped a couple of times for photos. We drove over bridges and side by side the mountains to the town of Wanaka.
When we arrived, we checked in, again for an upgraded room so just the four of us could be together. We chose to go for a walk around town and to the lake side of Lake Wanaka, where photos were taken. Opposite the lake were several restaurants and bar, where we took a seat in the blazing sun and a pint of refreshing water.
After a while, two of us headed back to the room to chill, while the other two girls stayed there, meeting some friends of theirs.
In the evening, we climbed down to the bottom of the stairs to the large bar area to join some of the others on our bus and consume a free drink. The bar had organised a ‘boozy bingo’ for everyone, where we had four games of bingo with a slight twist. There were certain numbers where different things had to be shouted out to receive a watery black Sambuca. One of the girls had to snorted salt and others did naked head or tails to win a prize. Then I played pool with the driver, where I surprisingly did better than I thought I would as I hadn’t played in a long time. I didn’t win though.
On the dance floor the tunes blasted out of the speakers, gathering many dancers and a limbo competition, where I joined them. One drunken guy took a liking to me, which was hilarious, and offered a jug of beer and his Zoo York hat. However, I wasn’t interested and turned myself into to bed not long after.
Waking up super early, I gathered my stuff together, made some breakfast and mounted on the bus. After much confusion and many late comers, we left to be dropped off at either the doorway to the mountain walk or puzzling world. I decided to go to puzzling world as many backpackers had told me how good the place was.
Here there were two areas: one an optical illusion room and a maze challenge outside. We started we the optical illusions where there were many holographic pictures, trying to change perspective. There we a disorientating room, which was on a slope we different things on the wall to make you feel like you were falling, As a result, we were trying to get up what seemed like a mountainous hill but collapsing to the wall instead. It was so strange but also amazing how this can change our brain, making us think differently to the reality. Also inside this room was a chair slide and mirrors just to add to the confusion. Next was a room with loads of famous faces, jutting out of the wall, staring at you wherever you moved. Actually, when you take a closer look the faces were moulded inwards. Befuddling! Through a little window, there was a room again on a slope which, when I person walked closer to you it looked like they were getting bigger as there head got closer to ceiling. Around were lots of optical illusion posters with animals and faces, sculptures with floating ball and water flowing mid-air. It was incredible.
We took a bit of a rest in the canteen room, drinking our coffees, playing a 3D tic-tac-toe and solving puzzles which were provided on the tables.
Then five of the stay passengers ( an English girl, an irish girl, an dutch guy, a german guy and myself) took on the challenge of the maze. In my head, I was, like “This will be easy, looks pretty simple, can’t take too long”. How wrong was I? I haven’t done a maze since I was a child so it was great feeling like a kid again. The aim of the maze was to climb the four coloured towers in each corner of the maze and then return to the start. Easy! We thought we would take on the closest tower first. Ha! This was the one we ended up getting to last. We took corners, getting lost, falling into dead-ends, climbing the bridges where we could see the maze from above. However, this didn’t help us as there were many passages going under them so we could figure out the route. There were even different sides of the bridges; meaning couldn’t go down the staircase we wanted to. We did after a lot of winding in and out to find the entrance to each tower. We thought that was the easy bit; however, we were so wrong. Trying to work out how to get back to the start was a challenge in itself, having to go over the other side of the maze, just to come back to follow the paths out. Eventually, after about 50 minute we completely the maze. Success! It actually felt like a great achievement and it was way more exhilarating than expected. I always like a challenge and stimulating my brain until it explodes.
We stayed at Puzzling world a wee longer just to unwind. Before leaving, I went to the toilet, which might be slightly unusual to write about but as I followed the signs, in front of me was an illusion. There was a wooden bench on each side with several holes acting as toilet seats in the roman era. On the back wall was a painting of peasants using the holes to do their business in. It was so peculiar but also such a great idea. The actual bathrooms were through a side door.