Travel.P #12 – How to meet a girl and fall for her

The future will either be green or not at all.

Bob Brown

After parting from Marie, with fun memories of Wanaka, I left towards the Westcoast, a last jump from the bridge and then past Hawae along the blue lakes, surrounded by golden and green mountains.

After leaving the lakes, I arrived at the ‘blue pools’. Never heard of, but I wanted to stop and have a look. So I left and had a look. Beautiful, but crowded area in the summer. Perfect for another bridge jump, this time with a bigger audience than at the Albert Town Bridge, wohooo. After some jumps and a bit of swimming I left back towards Emma. From the blue pools, my next random stop were the ‘Fentail Falls’. A small waterfall behind hundreds of town balancing sculptures. From there I stopped following at the river side of the ‘Haast River’. The river as clear as drinking water, surrounded by the valley that is covered in native deep green forest, here and there are some cows, grassing peacefully along the shores of the small river, but wide river bed. During the three and a half hour drive you will see more beautiful waterfalls, making their way to the river. It was a beautiful drive and I recommend everyone to do it, if you got the time.

In area Wanaka and Hawea, away from tourists and also from backpackers you can do the 4 days Motatapu track from Queenstown to Wanaka (October was perfect), the Liverpool hut hike, and the not done by me but recommended by good friends: the Breasthill Track (able to extend), the Gillespie Pass Circuit (3 days) and the Mount Shrimpton Track. Also ,spend a couple weeks at the hidden campsite after the Albert Town Bridge (camp next to the water!). From there get a mountain bike from wastys (best recycle shop I have been to so far) and that explore the riversides and sticky forest.

Arriving at Haast with an empty petrol tank, I had a break, topped my water up and crossed the, my personal, longest one lane bridge. This bridge got actually a year and a bit later washed away. The beautiful valley to the right and the ocean to the left. Amazingly beautiful! I had a short break for the breathtaking sunset at the NZ West Coast. Wow, watching over an endless water area, and seeing the sun vanish somewhere at the horizon. Accompanied by the sound of breaking waves, yellow, orange, red. The clouds covered in pink and later red, until finally everything fades into a deep blue like the ocean and slowly more and more and more stars start to appear at the sky above you until the milky way is visible. Covered in my jumpsuit (gold in New Zealand!), I didn’t worry too much about sandflies and was nice and warm, even when the sun was gone. I was lucky that at this random place, I found people about to leave who could jump start Emma, since I am good at not turning my lights off… I saw a letter at a steering wheel of another car saying ‘TURN THE FUCKING LIGHTS OFF CAPTAIN’, I will follow this ‘captain’ and will glue the same sentence on my next steering wheel, to avoid being trapped at a beautiful place like this. Haha, as long as you got water, it could actually be worth it to spend a night or two, unplanned, at places like this. After jump starting my car, I left and looked for a hidden parking place next to the ocean. I found one and fell into a deep content sleep, with the calm sound of breaking waves. It is worth it to climb over the backseats and brush you teeth in the car, because of the ridiculous amount of sandflies at the west coast. If there wouldn’t be that many sandflies, I would have spent way more time there, but I just couldn’t chill, sit back and relax, so there was no point for me.

I tried to go an a hike, but ran myself a blister, and since I couldn’t relax I just pretty much skipped the west coast. Haha, fuck. The next time, I must stop being such a mimi and just do all those amazing hikes. There are really beautiful hikes over there and I really regret it. On the other side, because I was so fast and left Nelson (not the most exiting town) after one day, I met Lorna, the woman I fell in love with at a random free campsite between Picton and Nelson. Before Nelson I stopped at the Franz Joseph glacier, with a German hitchhiker. We stopped at the pancake rocks and had a beer in Greymouth. After a night in Emma at the streets of Westport, I continued on HW6 through again, WOW!, amazing scenery, perfect for a motorbike tour. Clear rivers, green mountains, mist and just amazing views. From there the land became slowly flatter until I arrived in the busy Nelson. Really not a big fan at all. (I didn’t spend long, maybe it is great).

View on the way to French Pass

Skipping Takaka (Regret?Maybe, but since I just heard of it I can survive without seeing it – update. Seen it all. Do you have to go? I think it is worth it.) I pulled up after another hour drive, into the ‘Brown River Reserve’. Parking Emma and reading until it became dark, I just hanged out. After a short walk to the toilet I asked a group of backpackers covered under their tiny tarp set up if I could join in, to what ever they were playing. They explained me the rules, we had some beers and fun. The next morning, I chose to spend my last two days on the South Island, to join Kate, Trin and Lorna.

Me, Kate and Lorna, jumping into the Marlborough Waters

A great group to be around. We saw the french pass and stayed the night at the Elaine Bay Camping Area. There we also caught our first fish, and so far only fish, that was later half stolen by a bird. The fish was tiny, but delicious and worth 3 or 4 hours of fishing in the rain and wind. We had fun at the dock and saw some rays, that we joined the next day, more or less, haha. We just went for a short dip, because we were to scared. Thanks to Kate, we had altogether a delicious dinner inside Emma to escape the rain. The night was beautiful. We had fairy lights, that changed their colors and we tried to escape the red color, which was kind of the way how we got closer to each other.

Sunset at the West Coast

The next day Lorna joined me in Emma, covered in a blue soft blanket and drove with me all the way. First to Havelock, the mussel capital of the south, with its lovely small bakery, where we went on a beautiful hike through the bush and came closer to each other and had heaps of fun. Than after that beautiful day we drove to Whatamango Bay.

Lorna and me

I remember it good. We had lots of fun and I was really happy she was with me. The Marlborough Sounds are a beautiful area. Mountains covered in green native forest, untouched Islands, blue Ocean and the phenomena ‘French Pass’, the fastest tidal flows in New Zealand, up to 8 knots and when the direction of the tide changes, the current can even stun a fish. Scary, powerful thing, that caused the death of divers in 2000, some where pulled 89 meters down into a whirlpool.

My last day, with Lorna, the girl I just met was beautiful, and leaving was really hard, so that I was close to missing my ferry. But in the end I left, and took the ferry, at night this time, towards Melbourne where I drove along the west coast and through the inland to Auckland. I thought I could sell my blue good working companion ‘Emma’ there. But more to that in my next Blog. Also I will tell you how I visited Anna, a friend from Haka-Lodge, in Raglan my road trip to Auckland, a last day in Haka-Lodge and my parting from Emma.

Here I am, after a lucky pick up from a truck driver near Sydney I made it all the way to Brisbane. I booked two nights in a backpackers at the Ocean, and it’s beautiful. I arrived, after a long way from Melbourne over Griffith to Sydney. Two days I was accompanied by 47 degrees, and hitchhiking was just fun when I sat in the cold air conditioned car. Apparently there is a drought here in Australia. Sydney was cool, and I spend a day or two with my old neighbor from Germany, Gerry. That was cool.

Today, I’d like to motivate you to go to the supermarket bins, if you can access them good, and try to find some food. It really works, and all you have to do is just rinse it off after you brought it home. The idea is sourced by my dumpster-diving result from today. Two packages of eggs, 10 bananas and a sandwich.

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