Wow, it’s been a while since I updated this. A lot has happened since my last real post (not counting the merry christmas one, or actually even including that one) and I won’t go into detail with all of that as I’ll write some separate posts for all of that.
Anyway, tomorrow I’ll be taking the ferry to the North Island, leaving the South Island behind me. I’ll have spent exactly 100 days (give or take an hour) on the South Island, but actually leaving tomorrow isn’t because of that number. It just worked out that way. So, what have I been doing all that time?
- Taken about 5000 pictures
- Taken about 30 minutes of video
- Rented and later bought a car
- Drove over 6000 kilometers in my own car
- Did a bungy jump
- Did a skydive
- Visited some of the most beautiful places in the world
- Walked 3 of New Zealand’s Great Walks
- Fell in love with a wonderful girl
My last post was from Te Anau, and the most important part of the rest of my story actually starts there as I met a lovely girl there. I originally met Kelsey in Invercargill after I got back from my trip to Stewart Island, but it wasn’t until we met again in Te Anau that we got together, spent time together and eventually fell in love.
Kelsey is from Hong Kong and has been in New Zealand since December 2010, working and traveling in the South Island. It’s difficult to put everything about her into words that I can post on a blog though, so I’m not going to do that. I wanted to write a lot more about her, but everything I try to say seems like it doesn’t do her justice, so I guess you’re all out of luck.
I bought a car, a Nissan Avenir from 1996 to be exact, which might be strange for those of you who know me as someone who doesn’t like to drive. Actually, I still don’t really like to drive, but I’ve had lots of practice by now. In the time since I’ve bought my car I’ve been pretty much to most places I visited before, but this time I had the chance to enjoy the drive there and stop whenever and wherever I wanted to. The roads here are strange though. While I’ve gotten a strong dislike for gravel roads, it’s actually the highways that are the weirdest. When I hear the term highway I assume the kind of road that would imply in The Netherlands. Not here. Here a highway is 2 lanes (one for each direction), a maximum speed of 100 km/h but there will be bends that have recommended speeds of as low as 25 km/h. There are passing lanes in case the road is busy (not very often) or has so many bends you can’t see what’s coming from the other direction (very often). Of course, I shouldn’t forget to mention the numerous one lane bridges that liven up the road, or the towns it goes through. Despite all this, the views those strange roads bring you too are worth having to put up with the constant roadworks and all the other things I mentioned.
Of course, the reason I bought this car is that I can actually sleep in it as well. So, I’ve been doing a lot of camping which can lead to some beautiful sights when waking up in the morning, and some terrible rain when trying to set it up for sleeping. And yes, it sleeps two.
The South Island is full of beautiful places. From the fjords in Milford and Doubtful Sound, to the glaciers at Franz Josef and Fox. From the beaches and forests in Abel Tasman and Stewart Island to the lakes at Wanaka and Tekapo. The mountains that split the island in an east and west part have their own beauty as have the plains in other parts. All in all it’s a beautiful country, so below are some of the photos I’ve taken in my time here. I’ll probably add more to this album at a later date, but this is a good start.