So i was trying to make a cup of noodles, but I just cant get the scene from episode of little bear out of my head. Little bear taking a bath with his father...ok yeah thats wierd, but then mom gets in fully clothed! Maby they are trying to send the message that it is possible to conserve water by washing your body and clothes at the same time, but only if your entire bear family is there with you but they are naked. Fuck. See it doesnt make any sense.
Tomorrow, we will all be going our separate ways. I will be on a bus to Christchurch in pursuit of putting numbers in my bank account, Jay and Trav will be headed for Dunedin and Curt will be catching a bus out of here the next day to find a more permanent locale.
Lets do a brief recap of what has happened since we FINALLY escaped Te Anau. We made it to the Milford Sounds on literally, the worst day possible. It was pouring rain. Like abso-fuckin-lutly record breaking pouring rain. But we kayaked anyways. If you ask anyone about visiting the sounds, they will always say you have to visit it twice. Once when its nice out, and once when its bad out. Well if had to go when it was bad out, im glad we saw it at its worst. There were not hundreds of waterfalls, but thousands. Everywhere you look there is water careening hundreds of feet off the steep cliffs and crags of the fiord. Its amazing, it really is. I've never felt so intimidated as from the pure erosive power that a little rainfall can posses in the fiord. So yeah, it was raining, but it was the worst of the worst, meaning it was the best the worst had to offer.
After the sounds, we junked the Subie, but not before getting a few satisfying kicks in. She was a good car...well not really, but thats what you should say anyways. We then bused to Invercargil and made plans to go to Stewart Island in the morning. Got ready to go and had the easiest hitching experience to get to our ferry ever.
We walked in the food store to stock up for the trip with our packs on.
"Where you guys from"
"Cool, where are you going"
"Trying to get to the ferry to Stewart Island"
"I've got an hour before my flight, wanna lift?"
Magic, serious magic, no thumbing no waiting no asking no anything, AND he watched over our packs while we food shopped. Pure gentleman really.
So Stewart Island is kind of special. Its remote, its wild, its basically everything we have pictured this trip to be. But its more than that, its been THE destination from day one. We really thought we would have been here forty days ago, but kept getting side tracked on the way down. We finally made it.
The ferry over was wild. There were freakin waves bigger than the boat, which kinda added to the mystic. We pulled up and the skys cleared, we made it. We landed on the only town on the island Oban, which really is just a quite, quaint little harbor town, slightly reminiscent of Maine. Went to the DOC, got our camping passes and started the trek.
Stewart Island is notorious for rain, and the track is notorious for mud. The parts that aren't mud are boardwalked. So it turns into this weird Jersey Shore meets muddy pit type thing. The whole thing is kinda bazaar. We come here looking for rugged terrain and solitude, and here we are, walking up a thousand flights of boardwalked stairs. Yeah, I'll be honest, although I loved the scenery and the feeling of being on Stewart Island, the track sucked for me. I was pretty sick the whole time and felt weak-as when I was hiking. I also now know that I have a chronic knee problem from when I twisted my knee on the AT. It hurts the most going up and down stairs, of which there were plenty, and got worse throughout the track.
Soo I basically got my ass kicked on a boardwalked track. Its strange, after the AT which was almost 100k and 7 days, all I wanted to do was keep hiking. I felt like I was one with my pack and could hike forever. But here I was, on a 3 day 32k track begging for mercy. Kinda embarrassing really.
Whatever, I'll be back one day. Stewart Island IS beautiful, remote and rugged. The campsites were amazingly beautiful and were really enjoyable(I also wasn't moving). So basically the trek was a little rough yeah, but that didn't spoil what Stewart Island had to offer. And to boot, we couldn't have asked for better weather. We got three sunny days from a temperate rain forest which is pretty impressive in itself.
Oh yeah, we got to talk to some guys on the island that are filming a great white shark movie around the island, sweeeeet-as!
So were back in Invercargill, about to split up. It has been awesome, I will miss travelling with all these dilbros, but we couldn't have ended it without going to Stewart Island. Perfect. We are going to see each other here and there in the next month or two, but it will be nice to start to act autonomously and my own thing for awhile.
So yeah, off to Picton I go!
Welcome to Stewart Island
Cold and wet...but not walking!
Candle...I obviously have been messing around with my camera a bit
Yeauuuup. Two updates in like 2 days?! What?! What must be going on that is so interesting. Well not really anything but lots.
Shit has hit the fan for Captain Nate America and the rebel forces. Its pissing rain, and today the car decided it would be good time to die. So yup, halfway between Queenstown and Te Anu on our way to the Milford Sounds, the last squirt of petrol went in the engine, totally frying the nanomodulater and annihilated the exterior defribulator. Now she won't go...bummer.
Pushed it across the road in to a grassy nook, packed our packs and hitched a ride to Te Anu. So here we are at the gateway to the Fiordlands, cold and very wet, kinda wondering what the eff to do. We are getting her towed to a dump tomorrow i think, but this this whole scenario is getting pretttty pricey for us. Oh well, life goes on.
Because of the rain the road to Milford sound is closed because of flooding and landslides, and will be for a few days. That means no Routeburn track even if we could find away to get there(we loose our money too!). Good news is we pushed our kayak trip back, so we can figure out the car and go when it is sunny out. We are still gonna try hitch/bus Stewart Island, but then I definitely need to find work right afterwards as my funds are going to running slim, and I need to recharge for Australia.
Enjoy the backlog of pictures and the car folly!
Update: Alright so the phone lines, cell towers and Internet is out today and I wasn't able to post the blog. Crashed while talking to father Maier...sorry dad! It is still raining, and now the road that we came in on is closed as well, so we actually can't physically go anywhere. Hopefully we will be able to get to our car and get it towed tomorrow.
Hmm lets see its been a wild day. I have probably watched over a hundred music videos. Reminiscing about the glory days at 3 Prospect dancing around in the living room like idiots while saying boosh. I also ate a pie and accidentally turned my loafers into toast next to the heater. Also thinking about sewing up the holes in my jeans. So yeah pretty productive day! The pie shop was run by a really cool lady that reminds me so much of Sue who I worked for in Picton. If you read this Sue, I found you a long lost relative in Te Anu.
Being honest, I'm pretty bored and mildly frustrated right now. Everything is closing early in town and there is not too much to do when it is pouring rain. But yeah on the plus side its pretty nice being at least dry and warm (we decided to leave the tents in the car). I'm also reading a book right now called the Bone Man of Binares, its pretty rad. Its kinda a diary of a traveller in the 70's, who is touring southeast asia and india. India just made my next tick list for travel.
Thinking alot about what I want to do when I get home. Currently, I wanna move somewhere cheap in the city, and become a famous geologist/bike messenger. Who knows though. Last month I wanted to buy a boat and sail it across the Atlantic. Last week I was going to build a house in the mountains with Jay. I'm starting to realize that there are alot of things that I could do that would make me really happy, the possibilities are adding up. Maybe I don't really know what I want to do, but I know where I want to live. Nowhere really feels like home like the east coast, I miss it man. Nothing is like it.
Update 2: Bridges out in both directions, trapped in Te Anu for at least 3 days. Going to the main attraction in town tomorrow, the trout observatory. This is starting to cost us alot of money.
Morning Hike Somewhere
I stayed up till like 2 in the morning feeding the kittens that were trying to jump into the car. Surprising right?
The best part of my morning
We won the rap battle so they couldn't hitch hike on our turf
So here we are...in Queenstown, just sitting here pondering life and my almost obsessive use of ellipse. One might think this is quite dull in the adventure capital of the world, but nothing is quite adventurous as delving into ones own mind!
Alright, well seriously, we can't afford to jump out of a plane or blow anything up but we can afford to get drunk one time(we really haven't drank since we left picton). So Queenstown, the party capital of New Zealand, has been treating us very well. It is a bit rainy today, which has almost been nice pause to file tax returns and make some travel plans.
Last time I wrote we were in Christchurch for the blues and jazz...here is the jist of what has been going on since then:
We drove back toward the West Coast via Aurther's Pass. Stopped along the way for a few days to do a bit of bouldering in the land of Castle Hill, and lived in a poorly equipped shack for exactly one night. Cave Stream. We then proceeded onward back to the West Coast, and ended up in Greymouth. Did a brewery tour, and then shortly afterwards visited the pancake rocks. Made knives from hot steel in barrytown. Drove south, saw some glaciers, while simultaneously braking down a whole bunch. Travelled to Haast, were we got the grim news that our car has a very terminal sickness, but cheered ourselves up by sleeping in beds and taking showers. Journeyed through Mt. Aspiring National Park on our way to Wanaka and Queenstown. Went to Arrowtown, felt very homish and atumnal, while taking in a talent contest for ill-advised eightyearolds. Now we are back in Queenstown.
That is the somewhat patchy version of what we have been up to. We are in good spirits and are currently staying in a hostel with beds. As much as I love sleeping in a tent every night, which I might add I really do, it is nice to be indoors and clean. Tomorrow we are back on the road, and heading towards Milford Sounds were we are going to do a twilight kayak of the sounds, and then do a short track called the Routeburn. Hopefully then we will plunge down to Stewart Island if our car allows us and do a bit of trekking there as well.
The car problem is interesting. I feel like having two really pitiful cars has taught me so much as too what makes these little machines run. Heres the problem, in laymans terms for all you non-mechanics out there. We have a cracked head, which is leaking exhaust fumes into the radiator. That intern pressurises the radiator and spits out all the coolant and water. Because of this the car overheats like mad. Solution? We have to carry around gallons and gallons of water with to constantly refill the radiator. Its currently losing about a liter of water per 10k which is almost kind of impressive. But it still moves, and even though the engine will keep getting worse and eventually lose all its compression, it will get around for now.
Alrighty, last but certainly not least a meeting of epic proportions. Come June 1st I will be reunited with my brother Sean Marshall in Australia, who I have not seen since we were separated and taken from mother wolf at birth. I am so excited to connect physically with someone from home, especially sean, instead of through electronics.
Basically, its gonna be the raddest ten day surf trip known to man.
I am so excited.
Thanks for reading the ramble, miss you all lots!
Sunrise circa Castle Hill
We found this really sweet shelter....so we used it.
The pancake rocks are so much more interesting after a brewery tour
Boys and knifes are like McChickens and Frenchfries
Along with making knifes, Stevens house had a gigantic swing, minature ponies, ax throwing and a parrot. This is the swing.
Terminus end of a very large glacier
Hospital for cars
Inside a tree
Mt. Hooker Campsite
Did, we indulge just a little bit in Queenstown? yueeaaappp