Okay, here we go again
13/12 I was going to leave for the lakes after I filed the police report about the missing camera, but then somebody replied my gumtree message so I decided to wait until 6pm, so the girl, Rachel, from Texas, USA, could come along and I wouldn’t have to travel there alone. So I just shopped around a bit. We left at six, and a little outside the city we picked up a hitchhiker, Shawn, a local, going for queenstown so we could drop him halfway, at the lakes. We talked about New Zealanders, about Australia, about Queenstown and about gun possession in US and much more, while the sun was setting. The landscape changed quite fast and we reached the first lake, Tekapo, when it was getting dark. By the second one, Pukaki, it was pretty much dark. Shawn got out and we parked the car in a nice spot so we could see the sunrise the next morning, and went to sleep.
14/12 We woke up automatically at about 5.30-6, and watched the sunrise. I spent some time optimizing the configuration of my new camera and finally got a picture I liked. Mountains behind the lake. Good enough for spending the night in the car for. And a good spot to remember for when my parents come over in the end of January! We drove further and took little breakes for pictures on the road. I was getting tired and let Rachel drive for a while so I could take a nap. And then, after a bridge over a river was a second nice spot for free camping. Next to the river. We sat down for a while there and had a nice chat over a beer. I was really happy I waited almost all Friday for Rachel. Then we drove to Wanaka, where the guy I met in Thailand, Paul, had his house. He had told me he wasn’t going to be there, but maybe some climbers were camping in his garden. We found the house but there was nobody, so I decided to drive to Queenstown immediately. There is no climbing without climbing partner…! Close to Queenstown there was a third picture spot I liked. Also next to the river. Not ideal for camping, but worth a stop over. Arriving in Queenstown I dropped Rachel at a hostel and made arrangements for me to see if I could couchsurf at the guy who replied my paragliding answer ‘s place. I guess we didn’t arrange it properly, but eventually I could stay. -there’s a great story about showering at number 7 instead of 17 here!- In the evening I went to a bar and had a drink with Rachel and another girl, Kiki, that was couchsurfing at my place. We had a game of pool and then we headed home.
15/12 I was planning on staying only one day, because I had the feeling that, because I didn’t arrange it properly it didn’t feel right. But I got sick and stayed in bed the whole day. I caught a fever, had headache, my intestines were protesting, and I had diarrhea. I had no idea how I got it, but I guess it was the flu.
16/12 It was better today, but I still didn’t feel recovered completely. I still felt weak. I called to the paraglide school to see if there was a course starting today, but it was starting the day after. Tomorrow at 8am. So I texted Rachel we could make a small walk and drove over to The hostel. We did a small walk along the lake, to sunshine beach. Then I got a text from Paul in Christchurch that he had found my camera at the bar we had a beer at. I was really happy! During the walk we paused a lot because I was still weak, but the fresh air was good for me. And the weather was really as the name suggested. Then I introduced Rachel to hitchhiking and we hitched back to the city. The second car pulled over already! But than came the bad news… when we got back to the car I couldn’t find my car key! I couldn’t believe it. I just had my camera back and already the next thing was missing. But Rachel remembered she saw it at one of the places we had paused. So we decided to go and backtrack the whole walk. And by doing that, I could feel I was recovered even more. Because I didn’t need breakes and we walked a lot faster. And finally, at the last place, we found the car key again! What a pressure falling off my shoulders! … We hitched again to the city (the first car!) and this time I could open the car. I said goodbye to Rachel because she was going to the Milford sounds the next day. And I drove home to rest for the rest of the day in order to be fit for tomorrow…!