Well folks, surprise, surprise… We are back into it! If your poison was simply to follow us on our Camino adventure, then now is your chance to bail out. (unfollow us, or whatever you have to do). Otherwise feel free to see what unfolds on our next “little” adventure. We say “little” as this adventure takes place on our “doorstep” (New Zealand) rather than across the other side of the world in Europe and will only last 14 days 😦 not 8 weeks! Also, rather than covering 800km (Ok 800km minus the 20 we cheated by catching a cab!). We will be lucky to cover 100km over 2 walks. The first being the famous Milford track (4 days) and the second being the Routeburn Track (3 days). The latter is highly recommended by the locals and some say is even better than the Milford (We’ll have to see about that!).
We will have a short break between walks and enjoy everything that Queenstown has to offer and will be joined by our 2 lovely daughters over the Easter break (I think we might be taken advantage of?).
Both walks will be attempted as “Independent” walkers. None of this hot showers and 3 course meals that most people opt for with the guided walks run by the Ultimate Hikes Company. (Mind you, they are the ones that will probably be rescued first if we are unlucky to be stranded by a typical NZ natural disaster – let’s hope we don’t see one of these on this Adventure!)
So as an Independent walker, we have to carry all our gear, including food and have chosen to take our own cooking gear, minus the tent, as we get to sleep in huts with approx 50 bunk beds, no showers, no hot water and today’s temperature when we arrived was a cool 10C. Expected overnight lows to be zero! Or lower! Luckily we have our ultra light sleeping bags? Good for… 7C not -7C… Hmmm could be interesting.
We flew into Queenstown late afternoon. A spectacular approach as we could see mountain peaks poking their heads out from above the clouds before descending through the cloud layer and flying down a valley with mountains either side before landing and pulling up just short of the picturesque lake that Queenstown is built around.
After the nervous wait while the NZ customs official finally gave us the nod to allow us to bring in our Aussie made freeze dried camp food. Yum! (A plug for Strive Foods of Tasmania – after road testing the typical freeze dried food that most camping stores have to offer, we came across Strive Foods and found their product to actually be eatable. Unlike the other brands out there!)
Once we were out, we headed straight for Paper Plus? And purchased a local NZ SIM. 5 min later dialled home without worrying about Telstra gouging us with outrageous roaming fees! (We love you Telstra!)
We picked up our cheap car rental (well they picked us up, as being cheap they couldn’t afford a stand in the Queenstown airport). And soon we were off and away in our zippy little Tiida heading for Te Anau.
Note, Jenny is already asleep, I’m waffling on as usual, so need to wrap this up! Tomorrow we start the Milford track so no more blogging for a couple of days and then I’ll tease it out over a couple of days.
Our host, Ray, at the Shakespeare BnB is brilliant and recommended a great restaurant where we enjoyed a “mulled” red wine (Great for warming you up). Before filling up on the local Lamb and Hereford meats cooked to perfection at the Redcliff restaurant.
Off to bed. Apologies for the photo’s. A little slack as haven’t pulled out the camera, so straight off the trusty iPhone.