Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Hello all my friends and fam! This week I headed south on the south island, attempting to see it before we get too far into fall and the weather turns colder. I had a $1 naked bus ticket from Christchurch to Wanaka last Thursday, and I haven't moved far since!

Wanaka was an amazing town, it is outdoorsey and has heaps of tramping and trails, but isn't as action packed and busy as Queenstown, just 100 km away, the 'adventure capital of the world', where bunjey jumping and extreme sports are common. I loved the relaxed feel of Wanaka, and its on the shore of Lake Wanaka, one of the largest lakes in the country. This time of year the water is a wee bit chilly, but it didn't stop me from a few swims in the mornings, it sure was a good way to wake up! I stayed at a neat backpackers called Wanaka Bakpaka, with a cozy living space and great big windows with views of the lake. I intended to stay two nights, but added a third and then a fourth!

The second day I was in Wanaka, I ran into Tal and Galil from Israel, who I had met previously in Australia. It was a random chance meeting, but I was so excited to see them they seamed like old friends! As I was traveling alone for a few days, seeing a farmilar face was great... The next day I tagged along with them to do the 4 hr Rob Roy Track, up to Rob Roy glacier. My leg was of course bugging me, but it was a good test to prove I could do it, and once I got hiking the sharp pains weren't as frequent. The next day I rented a bike and biked some lovely lakeside tracks, as well as took a walk and read beside the lake for some time. In the afternoon I went to the local cinema with Tal and Galil, and saw Marley and Me. It was a great family film about a dog, and I would highly reccomend it! The cinema was unique with all couches and odd seats, and searved warm chocolate chip cookies at the intermission :-)

I registered for WWOOF NZ (willing workers on organic farms) earlier in the week, and had contacted a few hosts around Wanaka inquiring about working for the week. The organization is worldwide and is quite popular in NZ, in which travelers work, normally 4 hours per day, in exchange for accomodation and food. Anway, I recieved an e-mail from a woman in Makaroa, 65km from Wanaka on the other side of Lake Wanaka, that afternoon, saying she was coming into town and if I still wanted to stay with her she could pick me up that afternoon. I decided to jump on the oppertunity, I hadn't booked anything yet and loved the Wanaka area. So Heather picked me up Sunday night, and I have been in Makaroa for the week. It is a beautiful little valley, with around 100 residents, and so lovely! The home I am staying in is surrounded by bush, and it is so great to have my own room and big bed to sleep in! Heather has been an amazing host, she lives alone but her kids spend the weekends here, and she has traveled a lot herself so it has been great to chat with her. I did some weeding, pulling ragwoods from her fields and weeding her organic veggie garden, as well as cleaning the cottage, a small B&B rented out, and household chores. I feel like I am getting the better end of the deal, but she said the same today!

Heather works at the local DOC, and reccomended a hut to me. I spent last night (Wednesday) at Brewster Hut, which was absolutly amazing. It was a good haul up there, gaining 1000 m in elevation in just 2.5 k. The hut is well above the bushline, with gorgous views of Brewster glacier, an amazing sunset over the mountains of the West Coast, and so many stars at night! It was very worthwhile to go there, I got to the hut at noon, and spent the day reclining on the deck soaking in the sun. There were just two other people there for the night, and I decided to sleep out on the porch. It turned out to be a chilly night, and at 2am I went inside, but it was well below freezing. When I woke up everything was frosty and my drinking bottle, left outside, was frozen. My leg held up, although I felt many sharp pains. I have a doctor's appt. tomorrow in Queenstown and I will keep you posted on the status of what I think is a stress fracture...

I took many great photos this week, but unfortunatly I left my camera cord in Christchurch, so it will be two more weeks before I can add them. But I 'borrowed' a few from the internet for the meantime. Stay tuned :-)

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