Published: March 14th 2008March 14th 2008
Again some weeks flew by...
(while reading this listen to 'in rainbows' from radiohead on myspace: perfect!).
So the appointment was 28th of february in Dunedin! And there we were, all four of us..aaand the car!
Miles, ann, annaig and me (USA, France, Belgium).
We didn't know about all the adventures that we would have together yet, but we knew it would be fun!
I was prepared for the coldest and wetest weeks of my whole travel, with an extra sleeping bag and a woolen scarf and beeny.
The summer is almost over, and we are in the South of the South South South!
So we started the first day taking the scenic route around the south of the south island. We saw some pinguins in Nugget point,
some seals and sea lions! The first night we slept in Cannibal bay on the beach with our tents. As soon as we started travelling we
realised that we all had the same priorities: good food, sleeping as cheap as possible and being happy! (rather spending money on cheese,
wine, bread than 1 hot shower...). From the first day, the tune 'happy together' was daily soup (dagelijkse kost, hehe) and
didn't get out of our
playlist untill the last days.
The next day we continued the scenic route, it was raining raining raining. We did a walk on the beach, but a sea lion was on the pad!
The ranger had warned is, never to come closer than four metres, because thay can bite you.. hmmm (see video).
So all day exploring deserted beaches, waterfalls and more of nature's beauty. At night, we didn't know where to sleep, so we thought we will just drive
towards the sea and hope to find a place on an undiscovered beach. But it was dark, raining very hard, and we didn't find any sea. So we stopped the car,
and tried to listen... but we didn't hear any waves... we kept on driving and driving. It must have been around 23.00, when suddenly we found a house.
We stopped and I went to ring the door. A man, named russell, opened the door. I told him, we were completely lost and asked him if we could camp just in his garden (haha, the old eastern europe trick ;)). Of course he invited us into his house!!! And we each got offered a nice
warm, dry bed, with fresh sheets!
Elva and Russell were the best!
The next days, we made our way up to Te Anau were we would start the Kepler track. We found a place next to the river, made a nice campfire and a great meal. We sang some songs with the guitar and went to bed, to be fit for the four day hike! jihaa. (btw: it is in Fiordland, comparable to Norway).
We started the hike in the reverse way, so we would meet less people. The first day we stayed at shallow bay, for me, to be honest, one of the most beautiful place in New-Zealand. There was nobody and we had the whole lake and the hut with open fire all for ourselves. It was perfect. I almost had to cry of seeing something so beautiful, so quiet and so remote!
The second day we ended up staying at the Irish burn hut, where we were attacked by sandflies all the time!!!! grrrr.
The third day was the hardest day because we would climb more than a 1000m. Also the weather wasn't really what it should be. We were walking all the way to the
summit in a big layer of fog. We could hardly see each other. We didn't see any of the nice views but it gave the walk something mystical!
Once we were at the top, everything cleared up and we could see the beautiful fiords! We stayed at the luxmore hut, two hours over the summit and had
a beautiful sunset in the evening.
The last day was sunny all over again and we almost ran down! Straight into the lake where we had a refreshing swim! After that we only had some hours to walk. In the evening we treated ourselves and had a pizza party and laundry party!
After that, the time had come, to go to Milford Sound! The best of the best, as the lonely planet would say!
We stayed at a camping place closeby, next to another beautiful lake. We were so stupid to make a campfire in the rain and try to make sausages and mashed potatoes. It took us four hours in the pouring rain, in the dark, with one tourch... and we succeeded. Mashed potatoes and sausages never tasted any better than that day, believe me.
Ann and Annaig are divers. They
told me there was a very unique spot for diving there, because underneath, the water is warmer seawater, and above there is very cold water from the glacier that fills on top of the seawater. So they would see very exceptional species. I went for snorkling in the freezing water because I don't have a diving license. Anyway, Milford sound was more than worth it. Not really discribable by words, so again I would say: just watch the pictures!
After that, we knew that Queenstown was about 5 hours drive, BUT at the same time we had heard that they had the best burger in the world in Burger Fuel. After a little hesitating (it was already 17.00 o clock and the shop closed at 22.00 we thought) we decided to do a burger race and try to get in time
in Queenstown for a big burger...It was a compromise between not driving more than legal, being VERY hungry and be in time for a juicy burger!
At 21.48h we drove into the city, desperatly looking for Burger Fuel. We asked several times, but nobody knew about it. Turned out, that there wasn't any burger fuel in town, but there
was a Fergburger. And indeed, those were the burger we had heard of! The best one I ever had! ( even better than belgium ones in 't frietkot, but the fries were nog better..off course ;)
The next day we landed in a big depression...It was sunday, we were happily driving along the new-zealanders' roads.. when suddenly... the car broke down!!!!!!!!!!! shit!!! We couldn't call any mechanic because it was sunday. We pitched our tents next to the car and spent the night there. We tried not to worry to much in our sleep. Next day, the towing company came to towe the car back to the city... Hours went by...After that, the mechanic announced us the official dead of our white Ford '96. As dead, as dead can be... The home of Ann and Annaig, where they had lived in for six months had to be left behind for the dismanteler!! shit.... We held a little funeral ceremony ;) and went of to a camping ground to discuss upcoming plans.
The group had to split up, because they had to stay in Wanaka to sort everything out from the car. Me and Miles decided to keep on going on
the west coast, because for me it would be my last days, and I definitly wanted to climb the Fox Glacier!
And that's what I did. Crazy, crazy! Just blue ice...fan-tas-tic!
Now I am in Christchurch. Here I saw Ann and Annaig again, and there are completely over the disaster and ready to leave for Australia.
I, instead am meeting with Anna (Germany), and tomorrow we are flying to.. TONGA! (where the hell?)
Yes an Island (well 170 islands) in the pacific, yet to be discovered.
Bye, bye New-Zealand, hope te see you again.
There are more photos below