Ok – this week is very different from last week. Guess the change could not be more extreme. From 4 girls with one guide I am now the only girl traveling with an English guide and three Russians on a male outing. And the weather at the west coast is a bit more “moody” than in the north. But so far I only got wet while crossing rivers.
Our first night was at Arthurs Pass on the mountains dividing the east from the west coast. We ate at a place called the Wobbly Kea and just before dinner a Kea actually showed up. Kea are the mountain parrots that can do great damage to cars because they like to pick out the rubber lining around the windows. When I read about them, I was thinking small parrot. They are huge! More the size of a large cat. Quite impressive.
Yesterday I was convinced by Nick – our guide – that I can do the 7 hour / 50 river crossings hike. And to be honest, I really enjoyed it. Glad I listened to him! Once you are wet up to your hip you do not mind about getting in the water and it is actually fun crossing rivers – it was sunny and not to cold. Admit that did help! And wet boots really are ok to walk in. There are pictures to prove this … but I am again at an internet cafe that does not allow uploads. (Updated with pictures)
My fellow Russian travelers were very surprised that I did the river tour without complaining … I am now fully accepted. They used to travel as a group of four but one of their close friends died in an accident this summer. This morning over breakfast I received a huge compliment from them: they feel like there is a bit of their friend traveling with them embodied in me … Learning a lot a about the Russia soul and some hard facts: did not know that is a nine hour flight from Vladivostok, where they live, to Moscow. Traveling does educate!
It is overcast today but we did a fun walk / climb along the cost. Glad I have four strong and fearless men with me that do help me up and down a few of the slippery steep bids. Again more pictures (@ Ralf: including ones with red jacket!) soon.
Accommodation has been great all along this trip. At the moment we are staying in a huge holiday home where we will cook our own dinner tonight. Tomorrow we will drive further down the west coast, will do some kayaking and eat on the beach before heading to Fox Glacier. Really looking forward to the helicopter flight up the glacier. Time really flies here, but I am enjoying every minute of this trip. Live is good and I am happy!