11/1: 4 more flights today! Regular flights, practicing everything I learnt. Wing overs, landings,…
As the weather was going to be bad the following days, I was thinking about leaving queenstown and travel again. I wanted to go North badly because there is a climbing area I want to go to. Paynes ford, Takaka. Near Nelson. But i had arranged to climb the next day in Queenstown, and then i would leave.
In the evening something new zealandish happened. I walked back to my car, and passed one of the neighbours. Said hi. We started to chat. Exchanged facebook contacts afterwards, and then he asked if I needed a place to stay and that he had an empty room. (I don’t know how desperate I looked :)) I hesitated for a while, because I planned to have a drink with a couchsurfing friend, Alex, in the city but then apparently he didn’t show up so decided to take the offer. Amazing to invite a stranger into your house, if you think of it. What are the chances this happens in Belgium?
12/1: rain. So no climbing. I was a bit lost and indecisive today because of bad weather again. I contacted my paragliding instructor and he said I could maybe finish the pg2 course in Nelson. But again I wasn’t very convinced about my decision and I texted Alex to watch a snatch-like movie together. Layer cake. Not bad at all. And then, after some more hesitations, I decided to drive to Wanaka and from there I would think about my decision. Finally I didn’t leave Wanaka before I contacted Peter over Skype. He gave me the little push I needed to continue my travel up north. (It was a 15h drive). First thing I passed: lake Hawea. Stunning! Waterfalls, views,… But my trip ended early because the mountain pass to Haast was closed during the night due to a landslide. So I slept in the car not far from the pass.
13/1: Early in the morning I continued my travel. I was the first one to be there and wait until the pass opened. And then when the time was almost ready, sheep appeared in the distance. Apparently a shepherd was guiding his sheep over the mountain pass. For a moment there, I thought of asking him to join, as this is one thing on my bucket list. But… I had this paraglide license I really wanted, needed to finish, so I decided it would have to wait. I hope another opportunity will once present itself…
I passed Haast, to the West coast full of sand flies, the Copland track, fox glacier, was in a really good mood with my music in the car and my decision made and driving to beautiful nature, picked up 2 hitchhikers, passed Greymouth, hit a handle in a petrol station and broke it, one hitchhiker decided to stay, went to the pancake rocks in punakaiki, let the hitchhiker drive as he was auto mechanic, drove up to Kawatiri where there was a free campsite, and slept in the car again. Washed my hair in the river.
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