Posted in Travel

South Island Adventures Part 3: The Routeburn

With various PhD checkpoints approaching (wow – have I already been here 6 months?!) and the accompanying paperwork, proposals, etc., along with the commencement of the new term for undergrads (and me TA’ing not one, but two different courses for the first time), and and a part-time weekend job, I’ve been quite busy lately.  But before I let my blog drop off the face of the Earth completely, I’ll share a little more about my trip.  Which now that I think about it, ended more than a full month ago.  Crazy how time can go so very slow but ridiculously fast at the same time…

7 February: We picked perhaps the worst possible campsite on the South Island.  Well, um, maybe that’s a bit dramatic.  But I definitely won’t go back there (I won’t bad-mouth it online, but if you intend to camp in the Milford Sound area, hit me up for the anti-recommendation).  First of all, parking was a nightmare.  And even more than that, though beautiful, it was a complete wind tunnel.  We had a very cold (remember the snow??) and blustery night’s sleep (if you can call it a night of sleep).  As we packed up that morning, we were a bit apprehensive of the weather (and more frigid nights) we might meet during our three day expedition on the Routeburn Track (the one-way Great Walk that takes you from Fiordland National Park to Mount Aspiring National Park).  Not to mention hiking a full day with heavy packs on practically no sleep.

But instead of attempt to narrate the whole tramp, I will just let a handful of my pictures tell the story (partly because I’ve used my brain way too much lately, partly because I think the pictures tell it better than I could, and partly because I’m just feeling lazy).  I will start out by saying that our weather fears were completely for naught: I don’t think it could have been any better (although we did condense the three day trip into two, as some serious rain was expected on the last night).  It was hard to rank our favorite things on the trip overall because 97% of it was completely amazing – but the Routeburn stood out from the rest and easily topped both of our lists.  Hiking (with packs) for two completely full days (the track is 32km, but we easily did 40 with the extra side trips) over some difficult mountainous terrain is no easy task.  But it transports you into a completely different world – an amazing, exclusive, untouched, gorgeous, and spiritual place that is completely inconceivable until you experience it for yourself – and I hope to go back to that world as often as I can.

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4 thoughts on “South Island Adventures Part 3: The Routeburn

  1. Wonderful. Magical. I hope I can see a little bit of that beauty when I visit! Although I hope we can skip the cold, rain and snow!

    Sent from my iPhone

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  2. If only we would constantly live our lives with an inner beauty rivaling Gods paintings! Amazing. Hope you will be able enjoy the small beauties here at home. No comparison! But you will be more smothered with love! Trade off? I pray so…

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