Sunday, February 17, 2013

New Zealand

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I am here... The Mecca.

I don't have a ton of time - life is a whirlwind - but I cannot let this day, or this view pass without writing a bit about it.

I love it.

I love the people I'm traveling with (my fellow Great Walkers), I love the people I'm coming across, I love the scenery, the animals, the smell, the feel... everything.

I'm in heaven.

I'm sitting in the lobby of our hotel in Te Anau, a couple hours south of Queenstown. Every wall in this lobby is a window and I'm staring at a lake which is surrounded by a giant, green hill. Unbelievable.

We start our 9 weeks of trekking with the Kepler Track tomorrow morning. I'm ready. I'm overwhelmed with readiness. I've spent hours going through gear and analyzing it and re-analzying it and trying to prepare myself for every possible scenario with as little as possible. I kind of love the challenge.

I don't have any great pictures yet. I'm having a hard time taking them, honestly - it's all too beautiful. Nothing will do it justice.

We went to the New Zealand Department of Conservation's animal center today and met Takahe. Takahe are native birds to New Zealand that they thought were extinct a few years ago - but magically popped up again... (I am sure the story is a lot more complicated than that - but that's the short version I got.) If you know me at all, you know that I hate birds - HATE. So I wasn't super excited about meeting a big giant one today... Obviously, once I met her, I loved her. Tawa is her name. She's being taken to a new bird sanctuary (my words, probably not the proper term) where they will try to mate her.
You can't see her beautiful colors here, but her wings are teal and periwinkle - so cool.  

More to come on the flip side of Kepler Track. Wish us luck!!!

1 comment:

  1. Hullo Stephanie,

    Seen both your blogs at the start and finish of the Kepler. What an amazing time you must be having. Right now you will be on Stewaet island which I haver been to . I am keeping a watch on the weather on TV which looks like it has been kind to you so far.

    I hope to be able to follow your progress

    Best wishes Michael

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