January passed so quick - one of the most active and adventurous trips ever – New Zealand was a blast!
I started the trip in Auckland, after a day exploring the city with a friend of a friend I met in Australia, I jumped in Tim's awesome Camper to finally experience the Vanlife, which I always wanted so badly!! We made our way up o the Bay of Islands, which kinda turned out being a fail as it probably is the most spectacular if you see the scenery from out of a helicopter or boat. But after that flop things only could start to become good – loved the hot water beach in Coramandel and the walk to the Cathedral Cove! The next day I sent the boys to Hobbiton where they came out like the happiest little kids smiling over the whole face! After a night on a pretty cool Campground called Reid's Farm visited Rotorua and Wai-o-Tapu, where we also swam in a river uniting a hot(!) and cold stream before we made our way through the forest over some roots and rocks and some climbing to get right next to a massive waterfall, swam like 200 metres in Lake Taupo to get to some Maori carved rocks and jumped from a 10 metre high cliff (me not until the second time haha) the day after! Time to relax deserved: strolling through the streets of the Art Deco city of Napier, finally throwing a ball again at the Ocean beach and seeing the boys finding out about more and more things they have in common – if you ask me they were just made for each other, no doubt they gonna have awesome travels without me as the third wheel haha. But for one big adventure they had to have my by their side – Tongariro Crossing including Mount Doom ! One of the coolest things I've ever done, more or less fun at some points hiking/crawling/falling up and down the massive volcano, hurt myself a bunch, still an exhausting but amazing day!!! Celebrated that one and my end on the north Island the last night in Wellington before heading to the south Island a little bit nd shit – Call it what you wanna call it, I'm a fucking alcoholic...
South Island I started with my dear Pauline who I met in Auckland and also in Wellington before. After the first 5 minutes in our rental car picked up our first hitchhikers on the way to Nelson and spent some nice time with them hiking in the Abel Tasman and enjoying life in Takaka. Spotting a seal whilst kayaking put the north of the south a cherry on top – next mission: honour my beloved cat by going to Franz Josef Glacier (where unfortunately the main walking path to the glacier was closed...) and Fox Glacier. Further south along lake Wanaka (fucking freezing cold I remember) and Wanaka town (which Pauline and I fell in love with) to lovely Queenstown! After that ourselves felt ready for new adventures what meant exploring Fiordland National Park! Drove to Milford sound, which was more semi cool, also because silly us forgot to fill up some fuel why we had to fear not to make our way back but live in the wilderness for the rest of our days. Furtunately Campground life is awesome and with our charming smiles we got a lift to go for some tracks (Lake Marian&Key Summit) – pretty amazing day!!! And luck stayed with us: after driving for almost ¾ of the day (with a filled up tank again), being 100% convinced that it was Sunday until the Radio-Speaker-Woman finally opened our eyes and enlightened us that it was actually Saturday we decided to drive until night to check in a hostel (after ages of searching), chug a bottle of wine and go out to be part of student city Dunedin's nighlife which was fun (other than waking up the next morning)! After a long day driving again (because of several too-fucking-tired-stops and a nap at a beautiful beach getting a less beautiful sunburn) we ended up at an awesome campsite at Geroge(?) lake, close to lake Tekapo, from which one we made our way to Mt.Cook with some stops at the most breathtaking lakes and a wonderful lavender field! Having a perfect backpacker dinner on a blanket next to a small river at a biiig campsite with some wine, a doubie and good talks it was almost time to say goodbye, first to faithful Filipa and then to my lovely Swiss doudou Pauline after a last day in Christchurch (New Brighton)...
More pictures r up on Instaaaa ...
...time for two random stories?
I met so many known faces (well, half of them at least knew mine...) it was crazy!
First at a hot water stream close to Wai-o-Tapu where some Israeli guys remembered me, as well as Sara,Vanesh&Swanni from nights out in the PO in Moree, then played is it her/is it not her with Ramona&Anna from my hometown just having a quick random stop at a lake because it looked so beautiful (and I apparently pretty different than like 9 months ago...), ran into Emilie, the first person I met on my first day in Australia drinking some Goon in the Ubar, just in a hostel in Queenstown where she's apparently working and last but not least Canadian guy recognized me, also from my first days in Melboune.
Left me standing there don't know what to say but smiling all over the face – isn't it crazy how big and still small the world is?! Loved seeing all these people again – destiny is pretty amazing sometimes!
Once again I had to think a lot of my beloved friend Veronika being on top of the Key Summit Track, I don't know why, maybe she just represents inspiration for me, and maybe because she often reveals some beautiful quotes of her grandmother... So, there was this old lady on top of the Mountain (where I arrived sweating and breathing like a dying walrus, 86(!!!) years old, and we just started a conversation. This impressing woman walks up to exactly that spot since 30 years, every year on birthday, having lunch with her two friends, having a toast with champagne, just the loveliest humour and lots of pepper in her ass (do you have that saying in English?)! Anyways, she said she probably won't make it the next year (what she apparently also did say the past 6 years), but if your around the Fiordland National Park on the 30th of January please go up there and give her a big hug and my dearest birthday greetings – Chapeau to this Lady !
“I wish you all to have such a good life and feeling as I do at my age. I laugh everyday and that means my life has been very succesful.” - Veronikas Grandma
New Zealand, you left me speechless...I can't get over the fast change of beautiful landscapes when you drive through the country, as well on the north as on the southern Island! No doubt left that NZ's nature is just crazy amazing and a very special one of a kind! Both of my roadtrips were just awesome and I can only thank my travelbuddys for making this part of my trip an experience that will definitely be stuck in my mind forever – I had a blast!
Lots of love from Hobart Airport,