Thursday, April 29, 2010

Aotearoa part 4

Our first hut
Near the peak at a waterfall fed lake
on the way to the first hut
Treacherous part on the way to the peak
Group shot of us ready to take on the track

Finally, the last part of my holiday travels across NZ end at the Routeburn Track in Fiordland National Park.

My host parents, host brother, and I drove up to Te Anau (T-OW-NOW) to stay for the day before the big hike and my host dad also had business to attend to there. Te Anau is a town that has been working on increasing tourism to compete with the likes of Queenstown, but its doubtful that it will ever happen. It is a BEAUTIFUL place right on incredible fiords, but there is only one road to get in AND out of the town. However, it is also a very popular place for people to have vacation houses in and is still considered a big destination on the South Island. We ate the cheese rolls that I had rolled at school a couple of weeks before and it was a long enough time for them to not seem appalling to me anymore. When we woke up the next morning we got our heavy packs together and went to meet the rest of the people we were going with. Me, Pip (host dad), Liam (host brother), Eric (family friend), Nika (Eric's daughter and my friend), Julia (Nika's sister), and then 2 of Julia's friends in all.

We drove up to the start of the track all very excited for the tramp and our last few days of holiday. We assessed our haul of lollies for the next three days and decided it would be enough and then we were off. It took us about 5 minutes before we started to sing sing-a-long-songs and then about another 10 minutes before we stopped singing because of what we saw infront of us: spectacular snow capped mountains. Just like out of Lord of the Rings ae?- I thought to myself. Its really hard to describe though. Just imagine yourself walking up to the top of a mountain with all you need on your back surrounded by untouched national park filled with mountains, fiords, endless amounts of waterfalls and streams , and basically just pure mother nature. Pictures can help with it, but it really does not compare at all to the feeling you get while you are there.

The huts that we stayed at, housed 50 people and were extremely nice. The Routeburn Track along with all the other tracks surrounding that area in Fiordland National Park are world class and in turn attracts people from all over the world. So in the huts I got to meet people from Aussie, USA, parts of Asia, Germany, and more. Everyone is there for the same reason and can all sit down, relax, and enjoy the other peoples company for the night before their long day of hiking the next early morning. Our group spent most of our time playing charades, cards, scrabble, and other funny little games. 

The second day of our hike took us to the very top of the mountain where we were supposed to get some pretty spectacular views, however the weather was not on our side and we were stuck in a cloud the whole time. This was no matter because the day before was amazing enough for me and it was quite an eerily cool feeling to be up so high yet not quite knowing where you are. It was definitely a climb that day to make it to the top but we made and and had a very deserving marmite and cheese sandwhich. O yes! BREAKING NEWS: i like marmite and vegemite now. O and i guess while I am at it with breaking news I might as well say that I have also learned my schools haka for rugby and I also know the NZ national anthem in English and Maori. I am very happy with all of this.... anyways we later made it to our next hut and resumed our fun games and all that shizz. We made a delicious curry dinner and had lots of hot chocolate (we packed a whole lot of stuff).

There is not much to write about here because it was mostly the same thing for the 3 days but what I can say is that these 3 days held some of the most breath taking views that anyone could ever see in their life and that I am a very very lucky person to have been able to go there. This was the best tramp of all and will be one of the major things that sticks out to me in my memories on NZ

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