This weekend we went to the Hokitika Wildfoods Festival! It's about 10 minutes away from Greymouth on the West Coast, so we left Friday early evening and drove the sweet sweet Chariot through Arthur's Pass. Along the 4 hour drive, we stopped at the battle ground of where the battle happens in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. This is me screaming "For Narnia!!!"This is the sunset as we were about an hour from Hokitika. It was quite nice.
We got to Hokitika and drove around aimlessly until we found our campsite on Beach Street. It was dark and we were dreading having to set up our tents, but fortunately we ran into some of our friends from school and stayed in their 20-person tent! (I think it was technically an 8-person tent, but it had plenty of room with 15 people.) Our campsite was right on the beach so we walked 10 feet from our tent and could see huge bonfires lining the shoreline with people clustered around the fire, the soft dark sand under our feet and the waves crashing on the sand. It was an amazing sight.
On Saturday morning, Julia, Lori and I walked down the street to a nice eatery and I got a great hot chocolate (because New Zealand has the best hot chocolates in the world). When we got back to the tent the rest of the group was starting to wake up and we got ready to go to the festival! All 5 Mizzou girls wore tiger ears and tails, but that was nothing compared to some of the incredible costumes we saw when we finally got to the festival! There were Ninja Turtles, Telletubbies, brigades of ballerinas in tutus (male and female), Power Rangers, and tons of other colorful people!
At the Wildfoods Festival I ate:
Waffles with blackberries and cream
A pickled Huhu Grub
Ice cream with strawberries and chocolate
Kahlua and Milk
Corn on the cob
Bacon and onion sandwich
There were bands playing all day at 2 or 3 different stages and we spent a decent amount of time lying in the grass and soaking up the west coast sunshine. When we were finished trying weird foods, we went back to the beach and played around; Jen taught us the waltz and there was a dog that kept barking for us to throw rocks for it to pretend to chase.
After dinner we went back to the beach and watched the sunset.
There was a dance later that evening back in one of the tents where the festival took place where we grooved and swing danced and flipped. We spent the night on the beach again walking from bonfire to bonfire under the clear sky and bright moon.
In the morning we bought a much needed breakfast of eggs, toast, baked beans, sausages, bacon, and hot sauce. I bought a nice sling purse and a ring at the market along the street and then we piled back into the Chariot and made our way back through the pass back to Lincoln (and got passed by a whopping 100 cars along the way!)
If you ever have a chance and are in New Zealand in March, you must go to the Hokitika Wild Foods Festival! I hope all is well!