Hi Everyone! For those of you who don’t know, I’m in New Zealand right now, and I’ll be here for almost two months. Nils and I arrived about a week ago, and then spent several days visiting his family–first in Christchurch, where we got to see firsthand some pretty dramatic earthquake damage. We went for some runs around different parts of the city, and would finish covered in weird silty mud that had basically just bubbled up all over the streets from the quake–liquefaction is what they call it.
Then we headed south to visit Nils’ grandma, who basically force-fed us porridge, toast, tea, meat pies, and all sort of other great kiwi favorites. On the way down there we stopped and I did some intervals up a rainforest mountain.
Next we headed south west to Lake Hawea, which will be our home base for the rest of our time here. On the way, we stopped for some cheap, greasy, delicious fish and chips, and then went for a trail run along lake Tekapo, which is the color of a chlorinated swimming pool–due apparently to lots of suspended glacial silt in the water. It was beautiful and I didn’t even notice the fish and chips in my tummy! A little after that, we stopped at a salmon farm and bought a fresh filleted salmon–it made a deeeelicious dinner when we got to Hawea!
The next day we woke up to rainy and yucky low clouds, but decided to stick to the plan and go for a hike anyway. After driving 15 minutes down the road along the lake to the trailhead, it was suddenly sunny! And sooo beautiful, and I’d forgotten my camera. But basically, the hike went up a mountain that is right between Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka, and it is super steep, and the first part is through cow and deer and sheep pasture, and then the trail just switchbacks up and up and up the impossibly steep grassy face, and the water is right below, and there are crazy scraggly rocky ridges above. And then we went into a cloud, and couldn’t see anything from the ridgeline…except a crazy cloud bow thing, and occasionally some huge mountains through holes in the clouds. I felt very dumb not to have a camera, but we’ll have to hike it again anyway, when there aren’t any clouds.
So those have been most of my adventures so far, and hopefully soon I’ll have more better pictures! Also, there still isn’t really any snow here to speak of, which is really abnormal for this time of the year, so hopefully we’ll get some snow soon too! But for now, at least here are lots of awesome places to run and hike!