The Adventure Continues

Community Highlights Oceania The Adventure Continues

Ok, before anyone yells at me for the long silence (mom), I'm SAHHHRY!!! I forgot to take some cables with me to the south island that I needed, but the data connection was pretty terrible anyway so it didn't much matter. Of course that means I owe you a pretty long post, so let's dive in!

Let's pick up where we left off, in Otorohanga near the Waitomo caves. On Sunday it was Bryant's turn to do the caving tour, so we girls took off for a lovely tramp (that's what they call it here) through the surrounding woods. It was so, so beautiful. My pictures will never do it justice. But I'll share a few with you anyway.
This is where we exited our caving experience from the day before
Spot the Kendra
My lovely hiking companions
The trees were so incredible here. Definitely still felt like Middle Earth. I just wish my camera could really capture them.

Once Bryant got done with his glow worm experience, we hit the road to Wellington! Another thing I've noted on this trip is that even the "boring" parts, such as a 6 hour drive, are still exciting because around every single bend in the road is something I've never seen before. And it's all beautiful! About halfway through the drive we got a message from a friend of theirs that saw we were on the road and invited us to come for dinner. So, we changed our route and stopped in for some of that famous Kiwi hospitality. He and his family welcomed all of us as though we were their own. While NZ culture may not be radically different from our own, it was still wonderful to sit down to a home cooked meal with some locals. We finally continued on our way to Wellington and promptly collapsed into bed.

The next day, Bryant had to work but Jenny was off so she showed me the area a bit while we ran errands.
The view from Mt Victoria
We went to Hobbits Hideaway, which is really just the spot off this trail where they filmed the hobbits hiding from the horseman. It requires a lot of imagination because the tree you see in the movie doesn't exist in real life, but of course I had to get down there anyway.
I snapped a photo of this bench because this is definitely the farthest I've ever been!
Then we walked along the beach for a while, enjoying the gorgeous weather and tasty croissants.
That night we had a few friends over for burgers and whisky to celebrate Bryant's birthday, and I once again found myself surrounded by warm and friendly locals. It's easy to feel at home here!

Tuesday morning came quickly and I got up early to catch a flight to the south island, but boy did that become an adventure. As soon as I got to the airport I saw that my flight had been delayed for fog. Then flights started being canceled, one by one, until there only two flights left on the board... one of them being mine. It just kept getting pushed back, over and over. I finally got on the plane at almost 3:30, about 7 hours after my scheduled departure and with the knowledge this flight would be arriving at about the same time as the bus I needed to catch. We landed in Queenstown and the moment they opened the hatch I sprinted through the airport and got to the bus stop about 30 seconds before my bus did. I let that relief wash over me and then enjoyed a beautiful bus ride to Te Anau, where I would spend the night. I arrived just in time to enjoy a bit of magic hour on the lake.
I spent a very pleasant night in a quiet hostel, and got up before dawn to catch another bus to the Milford Sound, where I had booked a kayaking tour. It was every bit as epic as one could hope. It was a foggy, gloomy day, but that just added to the powerful awe that these towering peaks inspired.
I spent half the day on the water, and it was wonderful.
And then the adventures of traveling began again... at one point during the day I was informed that my tour would not return to Te Anau in time to catch my bus to Queenstown. Thankfully my wonderful shuttle driver jumped into action. He drove me to the nearest terminal and managed to pawn me off on an Asian tour bus bound for Queenstown. They made a stop in Te Anau at about 430, which was 10 minutes before my bus was due to arrive. So here I was again, 24 hours later, sprinting to catch a bus. Ya gotta just roll with the punches!
I'm happy to say that the rest of my time on the south island was quite uneventful. I went to bed early that night in Queenstown, then got up the next morning catch yet another bus, this time to Wanaka. It's a beautiful little lake town and I spent the day just strolling around the lake and relaxing around town.
One thing Wanaka is apparently known for is this tree growing in the lake. It's definitely striking!

The next morning I hit the road back to Queenstown and had another chill day wandering around town, checking out the farmers market and taking in the sunshine before flying back to Wellington today!

I was telling Jenny, while we were on that hike, that I have a really hard time putting into words the way I feel when I'm traveling. It's more than excitement, it's more than peace, it's more than joy... it's all those things at once and still something more. I feel it deep in my soul. I find myself simultaneously on the brink of tears and laughter. All I can think to say is that this must be what following your passion feels like. I hope everyone gets to feel that way some time. If you find it in your work, then congrats on being one of the lucky few, but if you don't that's ok. Just find a passion and make room for it in your life. No one is going to pay me to explore the world, but I am determined to build a life that revolves around letting me do that as much as possible. This is a high worth chasing.

That's all for now, I have a few more days in Wellington before this adventure comes to a close!

This featured blog entry was written by kbuck0828 from the blog Wandering Wonderland.
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By kbuck0828

Posted Sat, Feb 02, 2019 | New Zealand | Comments