Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Deep South Journey

a pretty stormy day on lake wanaka. i took this photo from the city center right along the lake.
pretty souther beach in the catlins. i was hitching this day and the woman, who lived in the area, insisted she stop the car for me to get this touristy shot.
in the catlins at a long sandy beach with sea lions laying around. this is a random family i took a pic of but i kinda liked it :-)
hitching along the southern scenic route.
what a pretty morning in queenstown.

Hope you had a happy Easter!

Its been nearly two weeks since I last wrote, and I have spent that time hitching around the southern end of the south island. After Wanaka, I hitched over to Queenstown. It was a bit much for me really, very touristy with lots of attempts to get one to spend lots of money. But I had to stick around for awhile while I saw the doctor, waited over the weekend b/c the x-ray machine was down, and waited again for the doctor to review my case. Finally I got a positive outlook, after the initial threat of a cast and going home. The final conclusion was that I do indeed have a stress fracture of my fibula, but b/c it isn’t a major weight bearing bone I can be allowed to continue traveling, with NO running or tramping for the time being. I will see another doctor in a couple of weeks to check on how the healing is going…

I was happy to get out of Queenstown, and I happened to leave on my birthday, April 9th. I hitched a ride down to Te Anau, and ended up staying with three nice Canadians for the whole day, driving on to Milford Sounds and doing a 2 hour cruise there. It was a beautiful day, and the drive and cruise was gorgeous. I don’t know how many times that day I said ‘This reminds me of home…’ because there was fresh snow on the mountains and we were on the water. After Te Anau, I decided I had enough time to hitch the entire 440km Southern Scenic Route, which travels along fjordland down to Invercargill, and then up to Dunedin via the Catlins. I had a great time seeing the sights and meetings some great people! You get to meet so many people hitching, and I never felt unsafe. One kiwi couple bought me lunch at a cafĂ© in the Catlins one day, and they sent me on my way again with a muffin and chocolate chip cookie J I was picked up by a mix of people though, from the Check Rebublic, Malaysia, Australia, NZ, … mostly families or couples.

After a night in Dunedin, a big college town on the eastern coast, I took a bus today back to Queenstown, picked up my tramping gear I had stored, and hitched over to Arrowtown, about 20km outside of the city. It is a very nice little place where I am now, the fall colors are in full form. I did a lovely 2 hour walk once I got here before dark, it was the first hike I have done in nearly two weeks, and it felt great to get out! I was in the best shape of my life three weeks ago… and its surprising how quickly that can change! But my leg didn’t hurt much during the walk. Comparing it to how it felt three weeks ago I do think it has improved, slowly but surely, and hopefully another three-five weeks of relative rest will do the trick!

Tomorrow I am headed back to Wanaka, my favorite place, for one last night, before bussing it back to Christchurch and flying to the North Island for a weekend reunion in Auckland with a handful of my Outward Bound watchmates!

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