Monday, March 11, 2013



I tried really hard to get something coherent written for Milford/Routeburn/Abel Tasman - to no avail.

So what I'm gonna do is post all my favorite piccies and hope that my captions fill in the blanks for you. It's not my favorite way to blog, I'm sorry. I'm short for time!

Meet Sue, a fellow survivor who lightened my already incredibly light spirits. She's from Sydney and was doing the Milford Track at the same time as us. I adore her and I'm inspired by her. 

When you are trekking for four days and don't have showers, you bathe in glacier water... AKA swimming holes... AKA waterfalls. This is one of my very favorite pictures - to me it symbolizes everything I spent the last year fighting for. Jumping off a rock in shorts and a sports bra, landing in freezing cold, beautiful blue water with a waterfall. THIS IS LIFE. 

Day 3 of the Milford Track, most of the way up to the Mackinnon Pass. Realizing my legs were gonna pull through for me. Incredible joy. 

Kayaking the Milford sound. No words really - but you can see the way the cliffs shoot from sea level to the sky. Stunning. I have video of us kayaking into one of the waterfalls to be posted later.  
Day 4 of the Milford Track. I know this waterfall has a name, I have no idea what it is. It induced instant giddiness. 

My reaction at seeing the helicopter land, realizing we were getting on it!!!

We flew to a GLACIER. For the entire 1/2 hour helicopter ride, I could not stop crying.  I have video of us flying through Milford Sound and the glaciers to be posted later.

Another pic on the glacier, cause it was THAT amazing. 

Day 1, Routeburn! I struggled. Heavy pack (we carried TENTS! HEAVY TENTS!!!)  plus only one day of rest between the Milford and Routeburn tracks left me exhausted... not that this picture tells that story. :) 

Holy crap, Routeburn. So gorgeous. A million mountain views unlike any other. 

Day 2 of Routeburn, realizing again that my legs were going to pull through for me. So awesome. 

Rich, Me, and Toshi on day 2 of the Routeburn. We are as happy as we look. I love these guys.  If it looks like I'm always wearing the same outfit, it's because I am. When you have to carry everything you need, clean clothes become something you can live without. 

I can't get enough of the mirror shots. This one is Routeburn, Day 2. 

Joel and Karl in one of our swim spots on day 3 of Routeburn. Don't be fooled, it was FREEZING! 

Routeburn reward: Staying at a homestead in Paradise. I'm getting married here. (I just need a groom.)

The color of the water here never ceases to blow me away. 

We went canyoning in Routeburn! There are some great piccies of this that I'm guessing will be posted to the Great Walker website soon. SO MUCH FUN!!!

Mountain bike!!! (Well, there was a mountain bike...) On one of our days off in Queenstown we did a mtn bike ride + bungee jump + wine tasting. I participated in TWO of the three events. I'll let you figure out which one I bailed on. ;-)

It just keeps getting more and more beautiful. Mind boggling. 

We stayed in a super fancy resort (Millbrook) just outside of Queenstown and were greeted with hot bubble baths while we waited for our massages. No joke. This is MY life????

Just arrived at Abel Tasman! So warm and so beautiful - Again, we are as happy as we look. 

Finally here. Happiness abounds. 

Golden beaches. Turquoise water. Emerald forests. What else can I say??? 

My only dietary requirement. :) :) :) 

I went running on the Abel Tasman. I had less than four miles to find a tiny rock or root to trip over. I did well. My left thigh looks a bit like my left shin. I will say this: it is SO NICE to have battle wounds from something other than cancer. (Mom, I'm totally fine!)  
Because it deserves one more picture. And because I can't get enough of it. 

I've become a huge fan of sunrises as I've gotten older. This is the sunrise from Torrent Bay - Day 3 of the Abel Tasman. I love seeing the sun come up over the water... 

Two days of three, we went for a morning kayak before our walking began on Abel Tasman. If you've been here, you know what heaven must be like. 


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