Heading back to the north island

Trip Start Jan 06, 2007
Trip End Jun 20, 2007

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Monday, January 29, 2007

Wow! This place is truly amazing! It is going to be very hard to leave! We fly to Bangkok on Wed. and will go to Thialand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Well I guess I will start with the Routeburn. We started the routeburn in glenarchy, it's in Aspiring Nat'l Park. 5 days. big packs. 1st night hiked in, did a side hike-crossed a very cold river to start it-then through beech wood-the side hike was called "the north branch" -went into the next valley, saw a huge rock slide-sounded much bigger than it was. finished the book "the tale of desperauex" which is about a brave little mouse with big ears. Ironically, that night we kept alittle food in the tent since we didn't have to worry about bears. that night, a mouse decided to join us, ate a hole through our tent. i kept hearing him, and then i saw him climb down the side of the tent. i screamed, and bob thought i was hallucinating-b/c i just read a book about a mouse. we had to evacuate at 3AM and go through everything! he snuck out and we stuck a sock in our new hole. didn't sleep so great that night-go figure. the next day was alittle misty rain, and we took our time to the "falls hut" and meet the hut warden, john, on the way. He told us a great story about "israeli falls"- a couple got off the track-both from israel, but they didn't know each other. they had to jump across a sketchy part of the falls and the man was helping the woman, and she didn't quite make it. they botth tumbled down the falls and were stranded on a very small ledge over a 80 ft. drop. they were stranded for 6 days, they had a small mirror to signal people and some one with a large zoom on their camera saw them, and had a heli. come and rescue them. teh warden said" there's a romantic side of the story since they got married right after and had a child exactly 9 months later, not from the wedding"! John also played alittle joke on us-had us chew up a leaf said it tasted like chocolate, but it burned alittle and it was a pepper plant-hear that is a typical kiwi trick, so beware of the pepper plant! John was a super nice guy-an electrician in the off season-so bob and i went over for some spicy orange drink with ginger snap "buscuits". that day we were super lucky, it dumped rain like crazy. we got to sit and watch about 50 waterfalls develop on the sides of the mountains, everywhere you looked! it was amazing! the next day was about 9 miles over Harris pass. our packs got heavier with the incline i think. we dropped the packs to do a 2 hour side hike up "conical hill". this "hill" went to the top of the pass, and the views felt like we were sitting on top of the world! then a crazy misty fog rolled in and it was a bit ghostly hike until we came around a ridge and saw mackensie hut by a big blue gren lake. we met some wonderful Ozzie's there-two spent a winter in Beaver Creek-traded some ski stories. also meet brian from cali. a science school teacher-very soft spoken, compassionate, adn a marathon hiker. he's hitched all over new zealand-true keroac style! we all got on the subject of the war- and we were amazed by the sympathies that were expressed by these people. they had seen t.v. shows about all of the injuries and felt like the U.S. is always under a microscope. made us feel- i guess not so ashamed of this war? we didn't sleep with any food after that 1st night, learning curve! the next hike was to howden hut-very easy hike-went by a 174 meter water fall-really beautiful. meet a great family from vermont, living in auckland for 6 months-they invited us to thier house when we fly into N.Y.C. to extend our 6 month honeymoon. very tempting! they had 3 red haired kids-very animated-made us laugh alot!spent the better part of the next morning enjoying jack keroac's "dharma bums". it was spitting rain, so we hiked out to meet our little bus only to go back to Queenstown, so we could turn around and come back to that area the next day to check out milford sound. we camped on lake gunn, and meet some great guys that had caught 3 18" brown and rainbow trout in a small Zodiac boat! bob wanted a fishing pole(and license) then! if we didn't get enough of the mice already, we had them scurrying all over the tent and one even slide down the side of the tent! the next day, we discovered one had gotten into the car and enjoyed a wide variety of our food! then off to milford sound to take a cruise. we cruised out to the ocean and saw a seal catch a baracuda, i hope you can view the movie-it was amazing! then up the east coast, saw albatrose(big bird-looks like a seagull-very overgrown seagull) and more seals. we stopped at this place  called Moeraki to check out these Te Kaihinaki boulders on the beach-they loked like scoops of ice cream! so many crazy beaches here! now we are in Picton and need to go catch our ferry across to the north island! we love you all!~ loved reading the replies too! miss you. love you. mean it (props to alaina!)
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