NZ Diary: Day 10

The last day on the south island started with a beautiful, almost too picturesque morning scenery where the mist of the misty mountains (careful! not the last LOTR hint) slowly evaporated to reveal a golden sun that was shining on us from a clear and blue sky right through the hole in the ozone layer.

We said goodbye to the church and to Hoppy and his Weka gang...

...to follow the mist through the mountains on highway 73 heading towards Rohan. And Christchurch.

What you can't see right there are the ork hunting horse riders, all with long hair streaming behind their golden helmets that were responsible for this cloud of dust in the back.

Horses dressed as cows.

A horse dressed as the moon.

In this picture, Rohan again, commonly know by men and dwarfs as the Arthur's Pass National Park.

Helen took my place of reading about interesting New Zealand facts in the car but I quickly got a hold of the book a little bit later and amazed with stunning information. Everybody loved that. So informative. Wow.

Horses dressed as sheep.

Highway 73, New Zealands Route 66, just a few numbers different but really pretty and impressive.

Castle Hill, home of the famous Rocks that were used as cave-homes back in the days by the people of Rohan in the land of the Horsemen.

Start of the Hiding Picture Series, or HPS as it's gonna be called from now on. Can you — dear reader — spot a kitten in the picture?

Horses dressed as water in a lake.

In Christchurch we met with Rosie's mum and said Hi to the donkey that lives with a few sheep friends and other animals on the hill behind the house. After we gave him an apple he told us some interesting stories about Rohan and how the horses and their owners discriminated donkeys over the years and made all of them move away to the east coast...

Mike! The man with the best knowledge about almost anything in NZ, great driver, great joker, great person! Thanks again for everything you did for us!

American Elves on that bridge everybody knows from that movie, holding hands. Not in the picture: Enya singing to underline the mood and make it more dramatic slash romantic.

The South Pacific Ocean. Beautiful and filled with whales, penguins and other amazing creatures.

From Christchurch we drove back along the Pacific coast highway 1 (funny thing is — the same highway is in the states along the Pacific), where I mistook some weird birds for penguins. People are still making fun of me because of that. Back in Picton we took the ferry to Wellington and left the South Island with amazing impressions, slight sunburns, some X-tremeness that will flow through our veins for the rest of our lives and at least 20.000 pictures on our SD cards.


NZ Diary: Day 9

Day nr. 9 was X-Treme! It started with a X-Treme long drive through a X-Tremely beautiful countryside X-Tremely early in the morning...

...we came across X-Tremely hight snow covered mountains...

...to do what New Zealanders are famous for: X-Treme Sports in the rivers that come from the mountains.
And because the nature is so untouched there, the only way to get up the mountain is by helicopter. So X-Treme!

After flying all the way up we rafted in a very X-Treme manner all the way down the Whataroa River
through the so called Grand Canyon of New Zealand lead by the guys of Sweet As or formally called Ecorafting.

The X-Treme Grand Finale knocked 3 of us out of the boat. If you can guess who got X-Tremely wet, cold and scared being ditched under the boat in one of the toughest rapids you can win the pedal we lost on the tour.

X-Treme leg stretching...

Here the Grand Canyon and 2 people floating X-Tremely in the water, can you find them dear reader?

At the end of this funtastic but very X-Treme adventure we started jumping from boat to boat to get each other in the ice cold river. Kitty was the toughest to ditch, it took 7 attempts and 4 people. Respect!

In the back you can see the Franz Joseph glacier, created by a guy called Franz who had nothing better to do then carrying all that water on the top of the mountain to let it freeze and then throw it down again. The result is pretty stunning though.

...so much ice...pretty X-Treme if you ask me...

An X-Tremely pretty girl.

Beautiful, but also very X-Treme waterfalls...

Unfortunately we didn't capture the wild water horses (a common thing to see at rivers in NZ) that came splashing down on us...

One of those pretty Robin birds (I think)

After such a wonderful day even the sky made us a little present (it was the day before we're heading back to the north island) with this X-Tremely beautiful sunset. (Please note the ferns to show that it is an authentic NZ picture)

NZ Diary: Day 8

Dear reader, as already mentioned I want to finish the NZ Diary first before starting to upload the Westcoast pictures, otherwise I will forget all the amazing things that happend a few month ago. Luckily the Worldwidesuperdatahighway never forgets so lets finish that diary!
The Wild Food Festival in Hokitika is an annual highlight on the south island of NZ. Thousands of people come together to eat and drink weird stuff. And also to dress up. The festival is not about dressing up though, but New Zealanders just like to swing themselfs in a costume (mostly a whole group of them) and appear at any occasion carnival-styled.

And here's a little selection of weirdness or wildness: Grashoppers and Cricketts on peanut butter, ...

...grilled (with wool) Lambstail, ...

...westcoast Whitebait on sandwich (you can still see the eyes blinking), ...

...fried mountain oysters (if you - dear reader - can guess what mountain oysters are, you can win a pair),...

...and of course the main attraction of the festival: Huhu Grubs

Wiki says:

The huhu beetle, Prionoplus reticularis, is the largest endemic beetle found in New Zealand, a member of the longhorn beetle family Cerambycidae.

It is known to the Māori as Pepe tunga. The whitish larvae are up to 70 mm long. They are edible, and are said by some to taste like buttery chicken (although opinions differ).
They get carved out of treestumps and can be eaten either fried:

or alive:

...which causes funny facial expressions. They taste a bit like peanut butter and their head is really crunchy.
And my favourite costume of the festival, tennis players:

After all the delicious munchies (we also had kangaroo, crocodile, german bratwurst, ostrich pie and the strange java drink) we played some softball on the Hokitika beach...

...saw amazing nature on the way home to our church...

...and ended the day that was completely dedicated to food with more ... well ... food. Luckily this time only traditional New Zealand BBQ munchies and a smokin apple for dessert. (in G hand you can see the most important part of every meal in NZ, tomato sauce)


westcoast preview

back and happy, but no time to write long posts yet, plus the NZ Diary needs to get finished before we start the westcoast one...