A Great Welcome to NZ: Christchurch to Mt. Cook
Trip Start Mar 12, 2009
43Trip End Sep 02, 2009
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I have many, many great memories of New Zealand. My time spent there was unique in that I was almost alone the entire trip, with no scheduled day+ tours or stays in hostels with other travelers. While I did meet some great people along the way, the country's landscape and beautiful scenery (around every curve in the road) has made this country my first choice for a return visit once this round of world travels is over.
In the interest of time (yours and mine), instead of blogging on all of the great times I encountered in New Zealand, I kept bullet point notes of memorable moments during my stay there and will include them in several blog entries along with pictures, beginning with this one focusing on my time on the North Island from Christchurch to Mt. Cook National Park...
~After picking up my trusty Wicked (the name of the rental company) camper, preparing for the 2 week trip by provisioning for food at PakNSave and Warehouse for camping/van items
~Awaking to swans on a isolated and beautiful lake and ice inside my camper after my 1st night in the van
~Outside of Christchurch, noting hundreds of sheep, deer and cows in small pastures separated by thick (6-10') shrubberies made of trees
~Grilling sandwiches for lunch at lookout point of Mt Cook/Lake Palaki en route to the Mt Cook Nat'l Park
~The amazing glacier-created blue waters of Lake Palaki en route to Mt
~Awaking with even more ice inside the windows of my camper at Mt Cook NP than on my first morning
~Enjoying a brisk and awakening walk to Hooker Valley (and glacier) on Saturday morning in Mt. Cook NP and noting all the puddles along the way were still frozen
~Hearing a typical credit line commercial on local radio, but with a unique NZ twist: "Use your money to payoff credit cards, to buy that new car or to pick up some more sheep for the farm...."
~Taking a cold shower at the shelter at Mt Cook NP and loving it - afterwards - finally clean after 3 days of camping and hiking!
~Seeing many pickup trucks on the highways driving slowly with bays/beds in the back with sheep dogs inside being transported to areas where sheep were needed to be herded