On the way back from Milford Sound yesterday we dropped 7 brave group members off at the start of the Routeburn Track which is supposed to be amazing, beautiful, etc., etc. That said, those crazy people had to carry their own food and cooking equipment (for 3 days 2 nights!) and sleep in dorm rooms of up to 24 other smelly trekkers, none of whom would have access to anything but an icy, cold shower for the duration of the trip. Not my style! Except that I really think if I had signed up for it I would have loved it. But that’s besides the point, because I had already decided in August to extend my NZ trip by getting off my bus in Queenstown and jumping on the next one 9 days later. And in the meantime, I would hike the Milford Track, which is supposed to be the best walk in the world? What? I don’t know how they figure these things out either, but it should be nice. And unlike the capable Routeburners…I’m doing a tour with private lodges including hot showers, multi-course meals AND washers/dryers (enabling everyone to bring just 1 pair of trekking clothes, especially helpful since this area is notoriously rainy). I know it sounds like a cop out, but it’s going to be nearly Christmas and my first away from home! Anyway, I’m quite excited.
But that’s besides the point, which is that after dropping off 7 of our group, the rest of us headed onto the tiny lakeside town of Te Anau to enjoy our first 2 nights in the same place since the start of the trip and a completely unscheduled day in between. Not only that, but the campsite happened to be our best yet. We picked up fish and chips for dindin (which is nearly the national food here in NZ) and I proceeded to buy a 24 hour wifi pass… It’s thanks to this that my blog has so many recent posts! It’s extremely, extreeemely rare to find free wifi here in NZ, apparently because all internet is charged by the megabyte since there are very few cables linking this country to the rest of the world. Have you been wondering?
So anyway, I spent much of last night and today getting my affairs in order until deciding enough was enough, it was time to enjoy the bee-you-ti-ful weather! I headed over to the “beach” (very rocky) with some of the others and took a shockingly cold but refreshing swim in the lovely lake and proceeded to bask in the sunshine until dinnertime. Luckily not my night to cook again, so it was ready and waiting once I got back from the warm shower! Warm showers are not exciting to most of you, but here they sometimes cost $2 and are limited to 5-10 minutes so when they’re free and could go on forever it’s a special day.
That’s about it! I didn’t even take any pictures, so here’s a great shot of our bus taken earlier in the tour by one of my co-passengers:
Isn’t it sweet? Our bikes live on top of the blue trailer on the back, on the side of the trailer facing you are our stove tops plus coolers of milk and yogurt for breakfast plus whatever needs to stay cool for lunch or dinner as well as bins of dry food like cereal, bread, sauces and spices! Is this too much detail? Whatever. The other side of the trailer houses our tents and mattress pads. Below the bus is all our stuff and through the tinted windows is our home! Kind of. Nothing like Mara, my truck in Africa, named after the Masai Mara river in Kenya. I still get pangs from missing her…how weird is that? But more on that later, if I ever actually blog about Africa ;)