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Stay and Work or Go On?

Deciding between Queenstown or hitting the road again

My Deep South trip and the good times with the small group we were were now over. We arrived back in Queenstown where I stayed in a different hostel this time. From my visit at Lake Wanaka a bunch of the group at that time received a voucher or discount for another stay in a leading hostel chain (not mentioning the name, but if you ask I tell you^^). So I used that voucher to save the little money I was left with. The couple of days I had in Queenstown to decide whether I stay or not weren't that pleasant though. I was down to a couple hundred bucks, which in terms of travel money in NZ isn't that much. Up to that point, I was spending something between 30 and 50 dollars a day. Most of it was for an accommodation and the rest pretty much for food. No more expensive, thrilling and adventurous activities in the next weeks for me... My plan was to check what my first application round had brought up and then do a second attempt on finding a job in Queenstown. I went back to every single place I handed in my CV before my Deep South trip and asked on a status update. And every single place said the same thing: "You'd have more luck in a few months when the winter season starts". I was too late for the summer season and too early for the winter season in Queenstown. There was nothing left for me there...

I had booked my next travel leg with Kiwiexperience to Lake Tekapo. I looked forward to go on on my trip around the South Island of Aotearoa and was optimistic about finding a job in the next biggest city on the way - Christchurch. Where I began my NZ adventure I would find a job I thought.
On the way to Christchurch, we had one more overnight stop. What made things heaps better was that some of my old group who I said goodbye to before my Deep South trip had stayed longer in Queenstown and so I knew some familiar faces when I stepped into the neon green bus. A good friend of mine, Coco, could be bus buddies once again. Along the road of MacKenzie Country, named after a notorious sheep hustler, we got spectacular views on several of the 22 mountains over 3,050m, including the highest of all Mount Cook with its 3,754m. Its top actually changed dramatically when 10m broke off in 1991. The maori call it "Aoraki", the cloud piercer. A much cooler name than Mt. Cook I think.

We took the Lindis Pass. Often we just had to stare outside and take in the picturesque landscape. Coco and I more and more felt like we would enter the steppe-like terrain of Middle Earth. It gave the whole journey a cool touch we thought. Here is one of the first pictures I took on that trip that day. We just stopped the bus aside the road and stepped out to take a picture of the valley.

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As we traveled through we got out at Lake Pukaki with its stunning blue color. Far in the back we could make out the peak of Mt. Cook. The sunny weather really gave us the full experience that day. Those who finished taking pictures enjoyed the sun while sitting close to the cooling water.

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Arriving in Lake Tekapo, we moved into our little lodges almost at the edge of the lake and surrounded by forest. Our food stocks were still filled from our grocery stop we had earlier, so Coco and I decided to explore the area some and ended up hiking a near mountain (a small one) called Mt. John. The hike up there was fun and we got back in the mindset of Lord of the Rings again. The entire terrain and area of and around Lake Tekapo looked without a doubt like the fields of Rohan. On top at Godley Peak, we had an amazing view all around us and stayed for quite a while to take it all in.

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The way back was all of the sudden becoming more eventful than it should have been, when we discovered a hurt duck sitting openly in the forest near the edge of Lake Tekapo. With the help from other group members we took care of it and put it safely hidden from predators in a bush.
That evening, many caught up on doing laundry (since it was for free) and we also had some good dinner. The earlier discussed dip in the lake was quickly forgotten when we checked the temperature. It felt as cold as the glacier water we jumped in from the bridge a few weeks ago! So none of us were too thrilled to give it a try. Sitting together in a group, we let the evening fade away.

Posted by jan.wegener 04:27 Archived in New Zealand Tagged mountains lakes queenstown hike scenic money nz newzealand picturesque southisland laketekapo lordoftherings

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