sleet, sandflies, scenery and speed

New Zealand weather in the spring is about as changeable as you can imagine. We flew into the Siberia Valley via helicopter yesterday morning in great sunshine. After claiming a bed in the hut with throwing a sleeping bag on it we headed out to Lake Crucible. After an hour nice walk along the valley … with only a few river crossings and thus wet boots (once more!) we started to go up. Our guide had not told me that we were up for a 600 to 700 meter hike up hill (and down again). It was really steep and slippery since it had started to rain. Luckily my Russian co-travelers are real gentlemen and offered to take my backpack – s0 nice!

giant buttercup - with hikeing pole to give a perspective!

We saw some giant buttercups on the way – the largest in the world. (Taking pics is always a nice excuse for a break).Well we went up for about 4 hours with a short lunch stop in the rain to finally reach a lake of snow.

snowy lake crucible

I guess we all had expected a bit of impressive blue clear water and not a mass of avalanche dirty snow – and not the sleet that was blowing with force into our faces once we started the decend …


Inspired by what I call the “Putin”-pose by the Russians, I managed a little peak pose though.

We had a fun evening in the hut and woke up to sunshine and a visit of the biggest New Zealand pest of all: Sandflies. This little back flies bite and those bites itch and hurt like hell. And they like my blood! The tale is that the Maori had such a good and easy life in New Zealand that God introduced the sandfly to prevent them from getting lazy and sitting around all day. If you move, they supposedly do not bite. Does not work for me though! Neither do the various types of insect repellent that I have tried …

view from Siberia hut in the morning

Over breakfast the Russians told me that they have a very good influence on peoples lives and that I should expect to soon find a husband. (Guess they can”t cope with a single woman not in desperate search for a man that provides for them 🙂

jet boat fun

After a two hour hike we reached the jet boat pick up point. It was fun – even though I got really wet again.

jet boat view

But I just learned to accept that being wet (or at least  to have wet boots) is part of my New Zealand adventure! The day continues to be beautiful.

lunch spot (not pictured, the sandflies!)

We had lunch at a great view point on lake Wanaka. Drove along a few other lakes (where I had a short stunt as photo model for the Russians) and finally made it to Queenstown. We had a farewell beer and the Russians are a bit disappointed I do not plan to go bungee jumping with them tomorrow … No worries! I will not!

model for a minute

along the road ... impressive scenery





1 Comment

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One response to “sleet, sandflies, scenery and speed

  1. Ralfi

    Never leave the house without any hats and gloves (Patsy said…). And: we do love your jacket!!! So, und von jetzt an zählen wir rückwärts/counting backwards unpon your arrival back home Berlin, genieße die Zeit! Love, Ralf

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