Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Short Break

Race Day featuring the sign I painted. 
On the few days off that we get every couple weeks it is important to get out and about New Zealand.  Important to get away from life in the bubble of Mt Cheeseman for just a short while to energize and refresh.  One of the most attractive features of New Zealand is the number of wild and interesting places in such close proximity to one another.  In just a couple hour drive from the mountain you can end up on either the flat, wide open plains of the East coast near Christchurch or in the midst of the moist, overgrown, mountainous landscape of the west coast.
The Fox Glacier
For my last endeavor off the mountain, I and a couple friends made our way first west.  We drove my questionable Subaru down the west coast to Fox Glacier.  This is a town built around the tourist interest  of walking on a glacier surrounded by rainforest.  There are not many places on earth that the two come together, but then there are not many place like New Zealand.  During my travel hitching around the south island with Adriana we came to spend several days in Franz Josef, a glacier town just a stones throw north of Fox Glacier. We skipped Fox only because when you hitch you must take what you can get and at the time we could get to Franz.  As it turns out Fox is a second home to many of my friends from the mountain and the reason for our visit was so that I could interview for the job of Glacier Guide.

From Fox we made our way down to Queenstown.  Queenstown is know for its nightlife, skiing and expensive prices.  Last time I was here I had no money, no transportation and couldn't afford the fun.  This time I was much better prepared.  One day of skiing on a mountain range named The Remarkables was nice but as it happened we picked the worst day of the year.  Normally the snow in New Zealand is a heavy, wet, coastal snow but here it was actually raining from the top of the mountain down.  IT didn't really put us off to much because we were just happy to be skiing some unknown terrain for a change.  

Once soaked through and through we headed back to town to taste the famous FergBurger.  This is a burger shop with a line out the door from early morning to late, late night.  We were skeptical about the Kiwi take on a good burger but they have proved themselves in my book.  This is one of the best burgers I have had in over 9 months of travel and i cant wait to go back.  Have I mentioned how Burgers are my favorite food?

Stone church on the banks of Lake Tekapo
After a second night in Queenstown we moved Northeast to Lake Tekapo.  Of all the scenic areas of New Zealand this is one of the most gorgeous I have seen.  The picturesque lake is surrounded by mountains and when framed with a few well placed clouds it makes for a great photo op.  

After this it was time to head back home and though we all love Cheeseman it was sad to end our short vacation.  We could all feel it on the ride back, that bittersweet taste of leaving something new and exciting but returning to the consistent and ever-welcoming embrace of home... or at least what is our temporary home.  On the way I got a call from Fox Glacier Guides offering me the position and I couldn't be more stoked for this next chapter.

Snow safety officer Ella stand over Lake Tekapo

Mountains to the North of Lake Tekapo

Ella keeps watch over the lake.

Picture unrelated to the story i wrote but... Kat has made it to the top of Mt. Cheeseman and carved all the way back down again.  I am very proud of my student.

1 comment:

  1. tyler your old man sent us the link to your blog bronte is sitting here next to me she thinks you look funny with hair.....