Outdoor Capital of the World!!

Trip Start Oct 12, 2011
Trip End Aug 07, 2012

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What I did
Allan Birket
Ian Macellen ie Gandalf
Down Hill Mountainbiking
Swimming in cold Lake

Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Sunday, April 8, 2012

Queenstown walking biking hitching to Milford & doubtful sound

Now then we have arrived in the QT Queenstown and feeling a bit tired of ourselves!! but by now nearly 10 days rest and the legs still ache after walking up 2 flights of stairs a long recovery I know! Well the past few days we have Downhill Mountain biked, walked the park, swam in the clearest but most coldest massive Lake Wakitipu and amongst that rested a little washed our cloths 3 times to make sure, visited a pie shop in Arrow town very nice! Thank you Allan and ate mega steak thanks again Allan. And oh booked our return home ticket from Cuba very excited just trying to work out how we get to Cuba from here oooo!!!!!.

Back to today though we have just lost 4kg from our luggage hopefully not lost but sent home on the slow boat. So we have a plan to go off tramping to Milford sound on the route burn track so back to the epic exercise and trucking with the ruck sacs hopefully not too over laden!! This track takes you from Glenorchy which is 49km from Queenstown the other end of the same lake! Big lake! Anyway Glenorchy to 'the divide' or the road near Milford sound, is a 33km walk over a 1300m pass should be fun and in the nature as they call it. Now how to get to Glenorchy if I wasn’t mistaken a young Frenchman told me he was Hijacking a car to QT from Wanaka, I think he meant Hitchhiking not hijacking but I didn’t tell him of his mistake. Either way we will hopefully be Hitching down the 49km lake road one of the best drives in the world to glenorchy to start our treck. After the walk we will hitch through the homer tunnel to Milford sound then do a ferry tour. So here we go.

We got picked up after an hour of waiting in the sun by a nice German couple who luckily enjoyed stopping every so often for photo ops so we got some great views. We settled in at a great little campsite and chilled for the evening, we got chatting to a great Australian couple, who very kindly the next day offered to take us up to the camp site, which they did. It was a great little camp site and whilst waving goodbye … we suddenly realised I (Gen) had left a bag with all our most important belongings, at first I thought it was  just our cooking things then 2 secs later I thought no its our purse as well then the camera too!!! Oh and a jacket, Ahhhhhh what the *"$%^&^&&* we ran after them but they were long gone. We grabbed our stuff and walked out after them, we managed to get picked up and got back to Glenorchy, where we checked in all the shops there’s 2 shops!, but no sign so we decided to split up Dan would wait in Glenorchy and I would go to Queenstown and try and find them, we knew a few details but no number or email. I got a lift in by a bin man which was quite interesting in the truck not his personal car.  Any way to cut a very long worrying story short the couple had realised I had left our stuff, when they had got to shotover jet past Queenstown and out-of-this-world-kind brought it all the way back up to glenorchy only about 170km+ I would think. I thought they were going to be so mad which would only be normal but these guys were the kindest nicest couple ever!!! We couldn’t thank them enough!! They are good stars and good karma is on their way!!! Thanks guys!!

(Dan’s view) I nearly lost my voice shouting possible remedies to Gens near loss of brain in losing the only bag of stuff she was actually in charge of, I had fully placed inside and taken out both big rucksacs during our hijacking the van. Gen on the other hand had left with nothing at all. I had also been gifted with about 4.5 hours of sitting by a roadside while gen ran around QT like a mad women. Its very lucky I know this lady well (gen) as I just so happened to have booked the entire walk 1 day further ahead as if pre-empting the day I had to sit by the road side. Whatever the misfortune and/or hardship I had and still endure however will never be matched by that of our saviours and transport deliverers as they truly are great people can’t imagine having to go into a police station explaining a stranger left a bag of worldly goods in the back of the van and not knowing entirely who or where they are to be found…. Great day nothing lost but a few tears sweat and humility well done genevieve… never to be forgot. Hope we are this lucky if it happens again.   

We were back where we started in glenorchy so back to the campsite and ready to try again tomorrow this time not forgetting anything!! We got a lift with a couple who lived just down from the Routeburn track and took us to the start. We headed off for our walk. Not much to say great views enjoy the pictures……………oh the sand flies are real bad, campsites are amazing and the little bloody mice ate through our tent. Also saw 4 keas in the jungle like forests we walked 33km the forests are so extensive it’s a must do great walk.

Divide to Milford sound hitchhike -5 mins waiting.

We got picked up by an Argentinian couple who said we looked very tired – we felt very bad for being so smelly(we know what its like to pick up smelly hitchhikers)  they also had a gorgeous jeep. We were in luxury. It was a stunning drive to milford. And we saw a Kea (the newzealand parrot) on the way, which was really cool. We arrived the little village, and headed over to our accommodation which was at the Milford lodge and our room was really nice though and very warm, we headed into town for some food at the one and only pub and my body was oddly craving for meat so I had a chicken steak burger, which was amazing!! We headed back and saw they were looking for woofers (working for accomo and food) but needed to speak to the boss in the morning, which we did and we could start then and there – so we moved all our bits to the staff accomo and I began housekeeping and Dan general cleaning of the lodge. We then enjoyed 3 days the sweet part of the bargain food, good food and as much as we wanted!!! We enjoyed loads of fruit and veg to make us feel better dan ate 2 full avocados tuna broccoli salami, yogs mega bacon breakfast made a cake macaroni cheese roastie dinner. We went for walks, ate, rested and recovered. There was a colony of glow worms by the lodge which were really cool so we went to visit them at night.  We rescued a massive stick insect stuck on a spiders web great!!? Getting loads of work done at the lodge meeting people and feeling loads better after our walk.

On our last day in Milford we went on the Milford cruse and discovery centre underwater stuff. After the cruise gen was like you owe me while walking up to our pre cruise photo and I was like ugh?? Well standing there was Haley Jones from school gens known her for well since primary school!! And she works for the cruise company!!! So I owe gen 1 pint as we had made a bet we would see someone from home off the cuff without knowing it I think gen knew Haley was staying in NZ either way great to see someone from home if not for a short time. As after the cruise we had a lift with our boss to te anau where we did the 2 day luxury doubtful sound cruise how lucky are we doing a cruise of both visitor fiords in NZ really well worth the trip food was epic. After this cruise we went back to QT did the shotover jet boat ride sold our bikes had a beer with Allan we miss you lots then up to Christ church stayed with Cathy, Jay and baby Rhiannon for 2 nights thank you so so much really great catching up with you from Chamonix 05 happy days. We then headed to picton ferry to wellington then 3 nights later past palmerston north to fielding to see maggi and james sagar where we are to day. If your still reading this and following our story then well done!!!  10 days till we leave NZ for the big BA (Buenos Aires) Argentina. Might go swim hot pools Geysers hot beaches Mountain bike Rotorua see some massive trees and perhaps walk some more and send parcels home but that’s all for now folks thanks for reading…….
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