First of all HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO EVERYONE!
Time is running and we do not have much of internet connection available, way too many photos to analyze and then to share with you. At the moment the backlog is 1400 pictures… there is not much time for that… but will be… hopefully in the close future ;) now it is already 11AM and a long day riding and some great remote passes are awaiting for us, so we have to hurry again. Believe it or not we run through a lot of stress here!
The following we wrote somewhere in the mountains a week ago. Have a look:
December, 18th – Falling in love with the wilder South Island
We left Christchurch behind with new destination: Akaroa, part of the Onawe Island. Beautiful clear weather and a nice summit road with limited numbers of caravans made it an enjoyable stay for a night and some trips around. Surprisingly on the way out of there, we met again our two “Aussi-friends”, Marc and Adam once again which we met b4 in Hamner Springs; this time with their new company, Karl, who just arrived from Germany, Solingen. We exchanged some news, said once more good bye and continuing our way direction mountains.
Again we were very lucky with the weather, when we passed Mt Hutt and settled for the night close to Geraldine on a small DOC (Department of Conservation) camp at the riverside. Lightening a fire and seen big green eyes out it in the dark, OPOSSUMS! (everybody hates them here because they eat everything, including the last Kiwis), we enjoyed the wilderness…
Unfortunately the next morning we were completely covered in fog – everything was WET and you only could see silhouettes. Nevertheless we decided to stick to our plan going the highest mountain of NZ: Mt Cook, 3794m. The ride was nearly a blind flight… fog, rain, thunder… bloody hell. In Lake Tekapo we had a stop to take gas, still raining but clearing up a bit. So we continued. 20km before Mt Cook village we were completely wet, it started thundering and we could not even imagine a mountain from the view, we decided to turn back. We had a night in Twizel to dry out and the next day the sky cleared up. At noon we reached Mt Cook village and we spend a wonderful day riding to the glaciers and tramping to the glaciers. It was amazing!!!
We want more of these!!! The plan was to do the Thomson’s track close to Cromwell the next day. Brrrrr, waking up with heavy rain and wet feet in the tent we were not in such a good mode. What to do? Packing everything together! Nobody knows when the rain will stop again up here in the mountains.
Trying to escape the rain and freezing, brrrrr we were caught with speeding by the police – lovely day! In the end we found a nice little camp on an Vineyard, rented a workers cabin to get dry out everything again…
Thomson’s track second try: An incredible wonderful day hard to describe with words!!! Enjoy the pictures if you like –we were just fascinated by the landscape which we crossed on the gravel road (We had our first river crossings… more on YouTube later on)… But this was not the end of this lovely day: we chosen a doc camp north of Queenstown to stay, Skippers School. There was another breathless gravel road waiting for us (another 40km offrad!) We stayed the night alone, shared with birds, rabbits and possums up there in the mountains. Soooooo beautiful!!!
Today we crossed Queenstown, checking out the ferry for tomorrow which will bring us to the next gravel pass, starting at Walter Peek station and going direction Te Anau. We did some shopping, had some chats and now we are sitting in the Kinloch camp at the very north of the biggest lake of NZ: Wakatipu, in the shadow of the snowed mountains. It is quite windy currently up here, but actually we are happy about that because her are millions and billions of sandflies around and the wind pushes at least some of these monsters away! Anyhow to survive these bloody sandflies at the South Island we change the repellent frequently.
Last statement for today: The time is running MUCH TO FAST HERE!!!
UPDATE SKIPPERS SCHOOL:
2 thoughts on “Falling in love with the wild South Island”
wow!!! those pictures are really amazing. It’s making me reconsider my next big vacation. all the best and happy new year.
The photos of Mt cook are great. glad to see you enjoying our beautiful country.