Finishing the hike was a great feeling, partly because I knew it was a nice accomplishment but also because I was looking forward to clean clothes, a shower and a good meal. After getting cleaned up, both Nuria and I knew we were not interested in cooking at all, so we went in search of a place to eat. Now if you can imagine, at a national park, there are not going to be many places to choose from. In fact, we ended up back where our journey began, at our kayak rental place which also had an outdoor trailer where you could order burgers, sweet potato fries, deep-fried pineapples, brownies and more (all surprisingly good). I was starving and had one of almost everything and it was all awesome!
After Nuria and I had gotten our food, another girl sat down at the table adjacent to us with her order. Realizing she was eating alone, I asked if she had just done the hike as well. She responded with "I'm sorry, I don't speak/understand English very well..." Strike 1...Ha! But what I realized in that one sentence was that while she didn't speak English very well (not bad really), from her accent, I could tell she was from a Spanish speaking country...and so was Nuria, which got them talking (and me as well as I'd been using my time with Nuria to practice my Spanish for a potential future excursion to South America).
Long story short, Nuria, myself and Mariella (from Uruguay) spent the next hour chatting and all got along very well (well, from what I could tell they were saying in Spanish...). We learned that Mariella was traveling for the next few weeks in New Zealand and would be in Queenstown in a few days like us, so we made tentative plans to possibly meet up there.