Mind warp in time and space continuum

Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
Trip End Feb 26, 2011

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Where I stayed
White Horse Hill

Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Monday, November 8, 2010

We were woken up at 8.30am by the local DOC warden banging on our window requesting camping fees. Andrew fumbled about and found the money bag and paid up for 2 nights, we managed to get back to sleep in no rush to get up as it was really cloudy and it would be nice to sleep off the drumming hangovers that we both had.  A few hours later we opened our eyes and the van was stifling the sun had forced its way through the cloud and it was a beautiful day.  We sat on the camp chairs looking up at the most amazing snow covered peaks and had the laziest morning of our trip so far.  We couldn't tear ourselves away so drank about 5 cups of tea each with bacon and egg butties just dosing in the sun – it was very surreal to be doing that in November so we just savoured it as our time in New Zealand is quickly coming to an end.

As it got past noon we had to make a move so drove to the Taman Valley again to visit the Blue Pools and see the glacier itself.  The Blue Pools were definitely green and not very impressive on their own but the Glacier lake further along the track had great views and some fairly big icebergs floating around it.  The Tasman Glacier itself again was full of rocks, a result of it actually melting from the top down leaving the last 5 kilometres or so basically horizontal.  On the way back through the village we stopped at the Sir Edmund Hillary Centre which had been recommended to us by Rorie and Emer.  It adjoins the Hermitage Hotel, questionably the most famous hotel in New Zealand that has been welcoming visitors for over 100 years.

We paid 26 Dollars each for the 'Explorer Pass’ which entitles you to watch all the films in the cinema and access to the museum for a full 24 hours.  The museum itself is quite tiny and has memorabilia from both the Everest and Antarctica expeditions amongst loads of other interesting stuff about the history of the hotel and the mountain itself.  The best thing though was both the documentary about Sir Ed’s life and achievements and the cinema where we watched 4 short films including subjects such as black holes, infinity and space plus a ‘bird’s eye’ view of some of the peaks that make up the Southern Alps. 

Before we visited we weren’t really aware of a lot of Sir Edmund Hillary’s history and the extent of the dedication that he gave to climbing and surmounting the unachievable.  Equally we didn’t know about the philanthropic work that he used his fame to pursue and carry out.  It was a great film and I must admit I got quite choked in parts too.

We did spend hours here and still didn’t get to see everything but as we were getting hungry, it was 7.30 by this stage, we vowed to return in the morning.  Some of the more crazy stuff we learned was that ‘Super massive’ black holes can have matter 300 million times the size of the sun condensed into space no bigger than a finger nail and that there is indeed one in our own Milky Way  and at the very edge of a black hole time is slowed down due to gravitational pull and objects are somehow stretched.  Their very being challenges all our known laws of physics and hence once again in the space of two days our minds were warped.  Plus there are 200 Billion galaxies out there each containing millions of stars – chance is that there are a few like our own.

We got back to the camp ground and cooked a red curry.  We are now on ‘eat up’ as we only have 4 days left until we give the van back so I also ate a tin of peach halves that had been lurking around the back of the cupboard for ages.  We sat out boring our French neighbour about the sky until about 10pm when even the blanket that I had around me wasn’t warm enough so we crawled in to the van safe in the knowledge that we were fully paid up members and we wouldn’t be getting a visit from the not so friendly DOC man in the morning.
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Cheryl Chin on

Heya guys,
NZ looks ace....very picture perfect!!! Extremely interesting about the billions of galaxies n stars - does this mean that somewhere out there could be a parallel planet on which another Andy n E could be travelling an equally inspiring trip as you? (rhetorical question of course) X X lv n hugs C

Stevie Z on

Dang New Zealand is so boring. Where u go next?

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