tramping over – and my feet are happy about it!

Tramping is nothing else but hiking – but they have their own word for it here in New Zealand. And I am done with tramping now. My last hike, one of the Great Hikes in New Zealand was the Routeburn Track – and it was great. Ok, the weather could have been a bit nicer, but we did not get soaking wet … The views were great, the group nice enough to hang out with for meals and in the evenings. The group was also small enough for me to manage to walk alone most of the time. It is so much easier to enjoy nature and its sounds if no one is talking next to you!

mountain views

lake + red jacket

And since I was walking alone no one saw me falling … This last hike was an assortment of “firsts”: my first fall (I saved the camera, but my knee is pretty blue), my first blisters (after 3 weeks in the hiking boots my feet seem to go on strike) and my first kiwi guides (was glad to find out that now only Germans and British work in this country!).

But it is also good when someone is around to take your picture!

Another first: catch your desert. Last night we had pancakes for desert – but you had to catch yours with a plate. The guides threw them. When Neil landed my pancake on the ceiling they had mercy and I got mine with any further throwing activity …

It was definately a delux version of a hike. Three guides for 17 hikers. Hot tea and toilets (!) along the way. And the “huts” we stayed in are full grown lodges, but build well into nature. This was my bed last night:

lodge bed with a view

We got a three course meal every night. We could buy wine and beer, had hot showers and a drying room for wet clothes. The generator went off at 10 pm and on again at 7:30 am. If you did not want to read with your torch light … you got a lot of sleep!

And this was not a bushfire but the sunset two nights ago. Guess you only see lights like this when you are miles away from the next city!

sunset kiwi style (always a little bigger!)

And now I am back in civilization. They even warn you at the end of the track:

back in the real world

Am a bit worried that I will hate the very touristy bus / boat trip to Doubtful Sound tomorrow. Hope my ipod will save the day for me!

just one of the many waterfalls

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