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Published: February 2nd 2006
hey everybody, again, its been a while since the last post. people have been asking daily for pictures and wanting to hear stories of the last 3 weeks. so we decided to wait and make one big pic post of some of the most spectacular things weve seen, which have happened the last little while. through fire, rain, sand and ice, weve experienced more than we could have asked for in New Zealand.
as you all know, we spend a while in the city of Queenstown. we did finally leave and made our way up what is supposed to be the most beautiful part of new zealand: the west coast. we headed back to Wanaka through the Crown Range, (a twisty turny uphill road, recommended to us) and stayed the night at a familiar spot, in the mountains. we did a 5 hour, 8km trek to the Rob Roy Glacier, near where we camped. we were met at the top by the local but beautiful pest, the Kea bird. we snapped a couple of pictures and made our way back, ready for the open road. we stopped at Puzzle World on the way out of Wanaka, on the way to Fox Glacier.
we drove along the west coast, a change of scenery with the ocean on our left and mountains on our right for 5 hours. that was probably the most beautiful drive while being here. we camped for the night and got up early for a day on the Fox Glacier. after an hour hike, a guide and our crampons, we were on the glacier. everyday the glacier moves slightly, and new stairs and walkways have to be carved daily. Graham our guide carved his way through and we saw some amazing natural formations in the gigantic ice piece. the whole day was spent on the glacier, including a meal sitting on pure ice. it still blows our minds that we were on a glacier, and made it safely on and off. some crevases in the ice go down for 40 metres, and easily could be fatal. someone with us slipped and scratched their leg pretty bad on the razor sharp ice. we hope the pictures do justice.
after the sunburn and sore feet, we relaxed by a camp ground and saw a spectacular sunset outside of Hokitika. we made our way into town the next morning and had a beach day, which included a wizard fight and some classic baguette sandwiches. it had a grand bend feel, and we were lucky for the great weather. afterwhich we made our way through Arthurs Pass to a city bearing the same name. here we camped and arose for a hike called Avalanche Peak. now this was no babies walk. imagine climbing up the CN Tower 5 times on jagged, flat rock faces...then back down. at the summit we were greeted with a 360 view of mountain ranges, glaciers, and more Keas. that was a proud day for us, as it wasnt an easy task.
heading east through the rock formations of arthurs pass, we were off to christchurch. we happened to stroll into town for the world busker festival. hundreds of buskers from around the world in one city. we e-mailed our mana friends, and through fate, we were all in the same city at the same time. we met up with Sebastian and Anne from Germany, and Umut from Turkey, wonderful people. we had a great night and shared stories from the last 2 months of eachothers travels.
we actually all shared a room on mana, so it was unbelievable to be together again for a night. its a small world afterall.
we rode the vomit comet (intercity coachlines) through Kaikoura to Nelson: the gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park. we stayed at an amazing hostel: Paradiso, full of beach bums and finally, a bed. we bought clippers and decided on some extreme haircuts. we suntanned for 2 days resting up for our last great walk. arriving at the walk our spirits were low as the forecast called for rain. deSpeights the weather, the walk was a breeze. each day ended with a beach campsite. the terrain was level, the days were short, and in the end we should have made it our first walk...not tongariro. oi.
after 4 days and 3 nights on the trail, we saw a friend of ours from Queenstown. we have seen her at 3 random locations around the south island. her female company always made us smile. *sigh*
we headed to picton, the gateway to the north. we had to wait several hours for our ferry to arrive. it gave us time to reflect on our days spent in the south island. after a short fireworks display, we were headed to the north for 1:30am. we napped on the ferry, and prepared for the night ahead. ever though this might sound unorganized, we planned to sleep in a park in wellington which we were familiar with. after gaining a new respect for street people, we awoke to sprinkler systems and morning joggers, and checked into our favorite hostel. this is where we stayed back in december for a week, and we were happy to be back. we shared a 6 bed dorm room with 3 argentinian gals, whom we became good friends with.
we now sit in taupo, where we should be skydiving as we type this. we have been blessed with taupos weather 4 times, cancelling out on the cheapest skydive in new zealand. by the time most of you read this we will be on the plane to the land of OZ, Australia.
looking back on 2 years of planning, money saved, and dreams of this trip, its hard to believe our New Zealand trip has come to an end. its cost us more than expected, but we wouldnt have spent the money any other way. weve been graced with new zealand's beauty, seeing things that most will never get a chance to. we've been on the snowy cloudy peaks of Tongariro, the tropical golden beaches of Abel Tasman, scaled the Fox Glacier, camped in the mountains, swam in the ocean, bungy jumped 3 times in one day, seen the real Middle Earth, experienced cultural unity, and matured as individuals...oh, and king kong is badass.
this whole experience will not hit us till its over, this place we've called home for 3 months. we'll see you in OZ, enjoy the pictures and this gigantic journal entry. we are glad we could share our journey with you along the way.
enjoy the pictures guy.
cheers from New Zealand,
andy, dan and mike.
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