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kiwi land

enter->wander

sunny 73 °F
View kiwi land->s. island on ggithens's travel map.

standing still and watching days flutter by

christchurch was my destination and is now my home. fortuitous events unfolded as luck intertwined with effort. or that's how i'll spin this yarn. forty-eight hours of job-searching yielded my current position here and i'm all the better for it. a short week after arriving in kiwi land i had lined up a teaching job and was on the road with a little brother of sorts.

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MY TENT :-)

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THE VAN

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we embarked from christchurch heading west over arthur's pass. my first glimpse of the mountains didn't drop my jaw, but a dip in the icy cold water of a cave numbed some body parts that like to be warm. the pain subsided within a few minutes in the glaring sun, and a trio of backpackers were happily tossing a frisbee to and fro.

MT. COOK

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we stayed nearly every night by water, enduring the hideous flies for a morning dip in crystal clear waters. the days i spent marveling at rugged country with snow-capped mountains. we hiked up to a glacier and drank its melting remains. the crisp, smooth liquid lined my throat with refreshment. a taste unrivaled by any corporate engineer.

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moving waters and still lakes primed us for a trip down the left coast, full of nothing and everything at the same time. colossal glaciers with snap-happy tourists and desolate beaches with seals. a combination of landscapes so close in distance yet so distant in mind. we made our way past haast to jacksons bay, the end of the road on the west coast. little towns became signposts for beaches and nature walks. the end of the road proved to be nothing miraculous, but something so simple and so kiwi. a fishing village with smiling faces and views of the mountains.

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crossing back over the s. alps and we were greeted by looming mountains and freezing-cold rivers. a hearty fire with s'mores galore warmed us up for a morning of rain. luckily we darted ahead of the rain clouds and into wanaka, a lake town surrounded by hills. a day hike afforded gorgeous views of the pristine lake, and as always, our couchsurfing hosts were gracious.

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rounding out the mini-tour was a stop at mt. cook national park. camping in the bush outside the park was a treat, as we could see the top of mt. cook over a mountain and hear a stream trickle through the briar patches. a day walk up to ball glacier and its hut provided a bit of exercise, while crashing glaciers in the valley provided treacherous noise. the final day was muddled with mist and rain, leaving us running down the path in search of cover. the yha was kind enough to offer free hot showers to us in exchange for nothing, and we gladly accepted.

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making my way back to christchurch via lake tekapo was also a nice journey, albeit from the seat of a car and later on the seat of a bus. living in one place for two weeks now has me thinking, maybe i can do the domestic thing again. i'll have to as funds for future travels are not in place yet. the city offers cultural, social and natural pursuits aplenty, so i shouldn't be complaining. life is awesome.

Posted by ggithens 21:25 Archived in New Zealand

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