If anyone actually reads this blog, you may have noticed I disappeared for a few months. Suffice it to say, I decided to spend the second half of my time in New Zealand fully enjoying life, not editing photos any spare second I had. But we will get into that more a little later.
February 17th-24th, 2016
As much as I love hiking, it was time for some serious rest after the Routeburn Track. You can only eat so many dehydrated meals and shelf stable rice pudding until you start dreaming of green veggies. I spent a couple of days making my way up the West Coast, stopping in Wanaka for a couple of nights. I had planned to ride horses through the mountains of Middle Earth and hike Roy’s Peak while there, but Mother Nature and I seemed to be at odds. The rain hardly let up for a second, so I spent those days colouring postcards and watching movies. I also ate a burrito the size of my head at Burrito Craft in 5 minutes flat. After passing through Franz Joseph for a night (still raining), I made it to Granity where I was to stay with Mary at her Air B&B for five nights. That’s right, five whole nights in the same bed. Talk about luxury!
I chose to stay at Mary’s place as it was a lovely little cottage right by the seaside. It was the perfect place to recompose myself after weeks of non stop hiking and traveling. Mary is an incredibly multifaceted woman and there was never a dull moment of conversation between the two of us. She had a lovely pet starling named Matisse, who she had rescued as a chick and hand reared. We spent our evenings on her patio, eating delicious food, drinking wine and listening to the waves crash along the shore. One of our evenings, Mary took me to a wonderful little restaurant, The Cow Shed Café. It was quite eclectic and had such a great relaxed vibe. I mean, the pizza had a flower on it, enough said!
During the week, Mary was kind enough to drop me at the Cape Foulwind Seal Colony when she had to go into town. I had lots of time to take a leisurely walk along the track and of course, take a million photos of the puppies of the sea. I need to cuddle a seal at least once in my life, someone make this happen. There were seal pups everywhere, but since you are looking down at them from a ledge, it was hard to get a decent photo.
Aside from my trip to see the seals, I took advantage of the relaxed seaside and didn’t try to busy myself too much. I spent a nice amount of time walking along the beach and working on a drawing (don’t ask me if it’s finished, it’s not!). I had one day where I was sick and was relieved it wasn’t when I was hiking. By the end of my time in Granity, I felt ready to get back to the trails and camping in my tent. I was set to do my longest hike yet, the Queen Charlotte Track which clocks in at 71km. But I was rested now, well fed, and the track was mostly flat. This should be a breeze. Are you laughing at me yet? You should be.