Good evening. Currently in Sydney right now, staying with Mr. Jeffrey Calvert and Alex Reibstein. Eighteenth floor of their building. Gorgeous view of the opera house, Sydney Harbour, the skyline, etc. Gorgeous.
I returned from South Island New Zealand about eleven days ago, so I’m a little late to update this thing. I was there for almost two weeks, my longest trip to date, which should therefore be deserving of my longest blog post, to date. However, I’ve been lazy with this thing. Conflict.
Many of my peers’ blogs are simply play-by-play accounts of their experiences. It would take me far too long to detail this trip if I chose this approach. My blog has been a bit more eloquent, I believe, for better or for worse (I’d tell you for worse, since it’s cool to be humble and unassuming). In any event, I feel as if it would take me far too long to detail this trip, if I chose this approach. As such, this post might be a little different. However, I think all previous posts have been different from the next, so this actually might just be more of the same. Keep reading to find out. I’m interested myself.
New Zealand was amazing. Truly, truly amazing. Yea.
There are few words, artful medleys of English rhetoric, poems, etc., to accurately describe New Zealand. Logically, I suppose I’d begin with the word beautiful, but beautiful simply does not do New Zealand justice. Next, I’d move up the ranks to serene, but the word serene needs a friend in order to get the job done. Gorgeous…well, gorgeous would probably be sandwiched between beautiful and serene, so that’s just out. Yea, it’s a futile task. Keep reading if you’re still interested, there should be some pictures.
BOOM. Picture. Right off the bat. Smiley Face. New Zealand. What’s uppp.
This doesn’t appear to be that cool. It’s not. However, there is actually something very special about this picture. This picture is special, because it is not special at all.
Relax, I’ll explain.
When you drive around in the United States, you generally drive through a lot of nothing before reaching your destination. You’ll have a city, then massive stretches of flat fields and few trees, and eventually another city. When you drive around in New Zealand, you are immediately surrounded by mountains, rivers, and lakes. You feel as if you are on the set of The Lord of the Rings, which you very well may be. When you move to the next city, you initially expect there to be a lot of nothing in between. You are wrong. Quite literally, the entire country is covered by these gorgeous mountains, gorgeous rivers, and gorgeous lakes. There is no end, no lulls in dramatic scenery. It just keeps coming, and it doesn’t get boring either. This is just one reason why New Zealand is gorgeous, and why the above picture is actually rather special after all. Man, I’d love to go back–now. Just gorgeous.
Here are more pictures of this painfully repetitive scenery, which is probably yawned at by most New Zealand natives. These natives are referred to as Kiwis, by the way.
Cooler pictures. Still boring.
The above photos cover the first two days, which involved landing in Christchurch, and then traversing from the east to the west coast via Arthur’s Pass. Eventually, we arrived in Franz Josef. There’s a big block of ice there, which we went climbing on.
Sweet. In the last picture, if you can manage to tear your eyes away from my brilliant smile, you’ll notice that I’m wearing shorts. This would appear strange, yes?
Amazingly enough, the Franz Josef Glacier is not particularly cold. In fact, it is actually surrounded by a rainforest, which begins at the base of the glacier. Again, it is not particularly cold. Basically, there is so much snowfall at the top of these mountains, that the snow has no choice but to compact upon itself, forming ice. The bottom of the glacier is constantly melting, and the top is constantly being replenished. Pretty cool. Furthermore, we were told that this particular glacier moves approximately five to seven meters a day! Wild.
After the glacier, we went to Wanaka, which was uneventful. I won’t post pictures. After Wanaka, Queenstown. Queenstown, Queenstown, Queenstown. Coolest F*CKING place on the planet? Perhaps.
Everyone in Queenstown is a backpacker. You get to do super cool adrenaline junkie activities. You get to drink a lot. The mountains are nice too. Queenstown. Yes.
I’m getting lazy, but I’ll power through. Hope you enjoy those pictures. I went skydiving and bungy jumping as well, which was really fun. Please enjoy these next pictures, like please. I had to pay a stupid amount of money for them.
Sicksicksick so sick. Needless to say, I drank very heavily that night. Adrenaline is a pretty cool thing.
After Queenstown, we did an overnight cruise of Doubtful Sound. Doubtful Sound is a section of fiordland, which is basically just a huge network of lakes and rivers. We did some kayaking, ate massive amounts of delicious food, and took in the sights. Doubtful Sound carries a very rare, uniquely powerful beauty, unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed. New Zealand did not have any mammals until a few hundred years ago, leaving the countryside largely untouched. Words do not do this place justice, and pictures don’t really either. But here, I’ll post some anyway.
Not much more to say about those pictures. They keep me smiling though.
After Doubtful Sound, we spent a night in Naseby, for a little last-night-with-the-crew fun. Sunset in Naseby:
Very pretty. Following Naseby, I spent a day in Kaikoura with Jeffrey, and then a day by myself doing some solo-hiking in Christchurch.
After twelve wonderful days in the South Island of New Zealand, my trip came to a close. I was sad. It was amazing, and I’d love to do it again. I implore all of you to try to make it down there at least once; worth every penny.
This concludes my blog post. It looks like I actually did take some time to share some thoughts, and I certainly posted more than a few pictures. However, if I was the reader, I think I’d have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I constantly mentioned how seriously awesome New Zealand was. However, my diction was fairly blunt and uninspired, and I didn’t really elaborate on too many of my experiences. I didn’t mention anything about my group either, or any other people I met on the trip. Finally, I’m sure the reader is wondering why in the hell I didn’t really say anything about jumping out of a plane, right?
Alright, dedicated follower. I would first ask you to not be angry with me. Look, New Zealand was one of the coolest experiences of my life. It was absolutely other-worldly. However, there’s a very natural, organic reason why this post took the form that it did. When I sat down to write, and even in the eleven days prior, I came to the educated conclusion that I simply could not capture the utter absurdity of this place through written word. It would feel like cheating the reader if I tried. My true appreciation for New Zealand is solely housed within, and there was just no point in struggling through the thesaurus in an attempt to evoke emotion. If you’d like to know more about my trip, ask me! I’d be more than happy to entertain questions. However, all you’ll probably get is a lot of funky smiles, and some very jumbled yet energetic run-on sentences.
If you truly want to know what New Zealand is like, go. Seriously, go. I cannot stress it enough. To the young and the old, short and the tall, please: get there at some point in your life. New Zealand will make you realize that you have no knowledge of what the words “natural beauty” actually mean. It’ll keep you smiling for a while too.