You’ll have to forgive our hiatus. We’ve been in the woods.
November has been a full month of experiencing New Zealand in the raw. Kristin’s brother Kyle came for a visit and we took a three-week tour of majority of the south island. Here’s a photo recap to keep this update as visual and unwordy as possible for those on lunch break, reading while driving, or in the middle of another Breaking Bad episode.
Land, ho! Kayaked roughly 6 hours into the Abel Tasman (a popular NZ national park) amid high seas and windy weather. At one point of second guessing our decision to brave the ‘Mad Mile’ last stretch around the corner, a couple seals came a swimming right under and around our kayaks, jumping to and fro, making us look like foolish humans. We paddled on. Eventually we reached land, exhausted and cold. We made a fire, cooked some beans and rice and camped under the stars.
The sea was glass as we walked out with our packs the next day.
Biked a wine trail in the Sauvignon Blanc capital of the world [Blenheim] amid pouring rain.
[No photos due to rain or too much wine.]
Sailed the dolphin-congested waters of the Akaroa peninsula harbor just outside of Christchurch. We saw two. I steer the ship effortlessly as the American tourists behind me crap their pants.
Castle Hill – final battle scene in Chronicles of Narnia movie
Motukiekie Beach with some island shrubbery dubbery
That’s a glacier. And we match.
Somewhere in the mountains I can’t remember.
Wharariki Beach – the very tip of the South Island. That’s Kristin down there.
Cape Farewell – very top of South Island.
NZ famous Fergburgers in Queenstown.
Hokitika Gorge – Glacial blue water. Makes you thirsty just lookin.
Lake Hawea near Wanaka. This is real.
Lake Pukaki. More Kool Aid water.
Mountain biking in Queenstown. An unfortunate incident occurred after this photo involving the mountain and Kyle’s shoulder. He lives to tell the story.
We quickly found out that pool floaties, although cheap and brightly colored, make terrible sleeping mats and easily puncture.
Our good friends Mike and Hilary, who were our neighbors back in Minneapolis, are living in NZ as well and have been home away from home. We’ve dined and drank and laughed and seen and shared some moments together here and there. We have a great opportunity to stay with them for the next month and we’re taking it.
I won’t lie that it has sometimes been more stressful than I’d hoped, living as so-called ‘dirtbags’ here. I thought that getting away meant more freedom and time, less responsibility and stress. While we’ve had some of that, it’s also taken lots of planning to move around the country and see things as we have. We’re constantly having to think about what’s next. Where are we staying? Where’s our next meal coming from? What are we going to do in Australia? What do we want to do when we get home? Good questions. Questions that we feel God has met us in, with twists and turns from day to day and month to month. So we’ve tried to make sure we soak in the mountains and oceans and lakes and forests and make time to answer the big life questions while at times trying not to answer any questions at all.