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New-Zealand Tramping – PART TWO

by AlixSupertramp

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The day after it was time to leave the Northern Island by ferry. A great walk was waiting for me within a week in the Fjordlands (south of the Southern Island) so I had to rush a bit to get there. I covered all the eastern coast, traveling all day in bus and stopping by in cities for a night or two always in couchsurfing. The more I couchsurfed the more I enjoyed this way of traveling: instead of staying in backpacker hostels and always meet more or less the same kind of people, you get to know the locals and all the best tips about the city. With Dan I learned a lot about Christchurch and the terrible earthquake that happened a few years ago, destroying pretty much everything in the city except the famous botanic garden that survived. With Karleigh in Dunedin, I did some early morning surf and discovered the vigourous student side of the city. With Ania in Invercargill I biked and she took me to see the amazing and windy (well, more windy than usual) area of the Catlins, where we almost ended up eaten by a huge sealion.

In Te Anau I booked my backpack for 3 days of hiking with a supposed bad weather. The hike is called Kepler track and takes you on the top and ridges of the Luxmore mountain. I began to hike at early morning with threatening clouds upon my head. I feared for the weather forecast to be right… the way up is in the forest and I was protected from the hit of the sun.

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I had no view on the valley before I reached the hut where I would spend the night. The evening was very nice with all the hikers coming from the USA, Chile and UK. We all shared stories and experiences about New-Zealand and hiking in general. It was a very warm atmosphere and everyone shared its food as well. This is how hiking is like !

I woke up very early the morning after because of a burning sky. The sun was coming on a sea of clouds and it was absolutely stunning : Orange then red then pink. Pretty much all the hut is outside to stare at this beauty. The days after are awesome, on the ridge first then down in the valley.

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After that hike I decided to head to Milford Sound but the bus was very expensive. Therefore, I chose to give hitchhike another try. By luck, I found some guys who were going there as well in the backpacker hostel. Too easy ! The road was splendid, despite some fog, with waterfalls everywhere. Once in the Sound I cruised for 2 hours : It was simply magic. We saw penguins, fur seals and even a dolphin ! I hitchhiked again to reach Queenstown and got there faster than I would have with the bus. Plus the last driver gave me a lot of tips regarding Queenstown, hiking… and pubs. There I couchsurfed again with Damian, a yoga and meditation master. The few days I spent there were very busy between the hike of the Ben Lomond summit and the friendly evenings.

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Queenstown is full of Chinese tourists and young people wanting to have fun. The town is very active and expensive and all kind of activities are proposed by travel agencies (skydiving, bungee jumping, paragliding, biking..). This a bit paradoxical as the area remains quite wild with the Aspiring National Park very close. After a few days it was time to leave that crowded city to Wanaka. There I was supposed to be hosted by Andy but when I reached his house he was already completely drunk so I decided to book in the rush a guest house for the night. It was the first time that a couchsurfing was turning wrong and I did not really know how to react. Being safe for the night was definitely be my first purpose. Besides I was supposed to hike the Roy’s peak with a friend in the morning. The ascent was steep and we tackled the 1 500 meters within 2 hours before deciding to keep on hiking on the ridge and go back to Wanaka from the south. What could have been a brilliant idea turned out to be a tricky adventure : running out of water, cutting through the forest and rivers before being expulsed by a farmer with its rifle (not really kiwi-like manner !). We ended up, dirty and thirsty on a road and hitchhiking without great hope as our appearance was not very lovable. We could not believe it when a car stopped within a dozen of minutes ! An Australian family picked us and even gave us drinks and food. Life lesson : It is always worth trying !

Wanaka is a very pleasant and quiet city. I liked it way more than Queenstown and explored the area by hiking everyday, always with different people each day. Time was flying fast and I had an appointment in Christchurch : a plane to go to Thailand where I would spend Christmas with my sister and my father. They wanted me to come back in France but I didn’t agree as the journey was terribly long. We both decided to meet halfway between France and New-Zealand : Asia. First we wanted to go to Myanmar but it seemed rather difficult to get a visa and tramp there. Thailand was more convenient (and cheaper) and we conceded to explore the northern part. But this is another story. During the trip from Wanaka to Christchurch the bus stopped in Tekapo and I fell in love with the stunning turquoise colour of the lake. I made the decision to come back and spend more time there.

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AlixSupertramp

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Traveler. Photographer. Athletic. Fond of moutains.

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14 Comments

  • Josh

    I loveeee Zumba and I am a man! Nice article!

  • Snowflake7h

    Love the article and would love to see more men of all ages at Zumba classes!!  What a way to keep in shape, meet new people and have a great time!!

  • GalFord

    As pretty much the only guy in my classes for the last year, I’m loving it!  I get to have a laugh, get fit AND call out when the instructor screams out “C’mon Girls!”.  All in all, I’m hooked, much as you are.  I’m slowly spreading the word to guys who are fearful of being the only guy in a class of 30+ women, but for me?  It’s a riot! 

  • Dianakcqt

    My fiance attends Zumba with me once a week.  We substitute this as one of our cardio days. He really looks forward to it.

  • Nataly

    Hola quisiera saber donde los puedo encontrar en Lima Peru, gracias.

  • john

    i love zumba myself been going now for about a year only man in both zumba classes one on a tuesday  i also do toning after zumba then do thursdays with another instuctor and also do combat same night and am 53 and i love the zumba best of all

  • GlennP

    I take classes with my wife, who also teaches. I often go even when she can’t. Only guy? Big deal, the ladies love it! Single guys, your really missing out on something. Great way to meet the ladies!
    Its become a part of my life, so much so that I took my B1 license. Great for my health too, blood pressure dropped and off my meds. Men, we are not alone!

  • Ameera-abu-hasira

    انا بحب هاد النوع من الرياضه وبدربو عنا بفلسطين

  • Agapanthus1

    My husband and I have been doing Zumba classes together for two years. He thinks he’s doing it for me but I know he really loves it, and he never refuses an offer to go up on the stage with our instructor. He is also the class clown. Since I became an instructor last year, he comes to all of my classes too!!

  • Mark

    yeah bro im the only guy in a class of 50 or so women, way kool, been at it must be 3years now still love it, “its the most fun a guy can have without getting into trouble” and im lucky i have top instructor!! you can check us out on u-tube taurangazumba………… or tina neville,u,tube

  • sparkiez17

    The one guy in our class was awesome!! He came two or three times a week. It wasn’t a real class if he wasn’t there. He danced better than the majority of us! We actually had a team of basketball players join in for a song. Everyone loved it as they fumbled and laughed while trying to catch on. It’s so much more fun co-ed!

  • Suz

    I love Zumba, theres nothing like shaking away your troubles to some great latin tunes. Would love to see more guys in there having a go. The best thing about Zumba is that it doesn’t matter if you get every move perfect or if you’re out of time just go with it, laugh at yourself, keep moving and above all have fun.

  • ShopShare

    Zumba got me hooked in a different way, I started running http://www.zumba-kleidung.at to support my wife.

  • Edmund Charles Davis-Quinn

    Frankly, Zumba seems like a much, much better way to meet women than going out to clubs.  At least this way you are getting a workout, and showing you can laugh (and like to dance).

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