Walkabout: Travel Life and Photographs

Long Time Coming

Whew~ It’s been a while since I’ve written on here. Lately I’ve been grappling with the decision of work. The questions of course entailing: “Do I want to work?”, “If so, where do I want to work?”, and “What do I want to do?”. And after tossing it back and forth for a while traveling about I’ve decided that I actually don’t want to work here. I mean I do have a Working Holiday Visa that allows me to live and work here for up to a year, but now after seeing a large bulk of New Zealand there hasn’t been a place that I want to call home, or that I feel like I could call home. Don’t get me wrong, most the cities I’ve been to have been great and make traveling within New Zealand very easy. Unfortunately none of them aspire to more than a visit. Plus even if I were to work in my field I’d prolly have to go to one of the big cities, which haven’t suited me at all. Even Christchurch that I thought would be comparable to Fort Collins was too much. So at this point that’s where my decision is and plan to continue traveling on and see and do everything to my hearts content that I could ever want here in
New Zealand. After that…….who knows? I’m still waiting to see where the pieces fall….maybe travel on to Australia, New Guinea, Thailand, etc…etc…, come home and work, plan for an Around the World trip later on, buy a small house with a white picket fence, propose to Rachel, and settle down while starting a family (Heehee, that one’s for the parents!), or go back to school in Arizona……..like I said who knows! It’s anyone’s guess at this point!

After Arthur’s Pass I moved on to a little town on the west coast called Hokitika for a night. There I saw locals fishing or rather netting with large poles a local delicacy called “white bait.” It was a small little, clear fish with big, googly eyes that catches a whopping price of $50 bucks/kilo. Next I stopped in Franz Josef Glacier where I saw……wait for it……a glacier! Very impressive I might add. I had never seen one before and was in awe by the shear mass of it.

There I also ventured into the Tatare Tunnels. TUNNELS mind you, not CAVES. Big difference there! But not really……..It was fun though and reminded me of my childhood when my friends and I would try to muster up the courage to walk through a large storm sewer near the neighborhood. I used to be scared then and I still do today apparently. Granted it could have been because of the Piri Piri Caves incident, but let’s not talk about that. Anyway, I ventured into the tunnel with torch in hand. The tunnel was around four feet wide and ranged in 5-6 feet high, and at any given time there was 1-4 inches of water on the floor flowing in my direction. I took my time entering watching my foot placement as not to slip and periodically looked back to see light peering through the entrance. After a while though the tunnel shifted enough to where no light could be seen behind or in front of me. This is when I started to freak myself out because as that happened I began to hear a low rumbling sound. I paused…..thought…hmmm, what could that be?……perhaps a helicopter giving a tour of the nearby glacier……and walked on…..but the sound persisted and made me reconsider my decision as I advanced on…….doing so made the rumbling grow louder……..huh……I thought that was interesting……and then somehow formulated an impossible scenario in my head that consisted of a large tropical storm forming high above the mountain range, dumping thousands of gallons on the surrounding area, and having all that water pool in one central location before plummeting down the mountain and into the tunnel shaft that I had entered…..impossible I knew, especially since they allow people to enter daily…..but I kept thinking of it…………and the rumbling increased…….I paused…..bent down and tightened the straps on my sandals just in case I had to make it run for it….and went on……………………………………..And then……………..I saw light! Nothing of course happened; it was all in my imagination……I came out into a large trough that extended
out 20-30 feet before attaching to another tunnel. Laid above and over part of the trough was a large metal sheet which was being punished either by a small stream or run-off from the night before, and that’s what had been causing the rumbling the entire time! I glanced into the next tunnel, but noticed it was blocked off by a gate, and then turned back and out of the area.

Next I traveled to Wanaka stopping off in Fox Glacier along the way where I saw……..wait for it……a glacier! Still impressive, but not as good the second time around. The drive over Haast pass was beautiful and I stopped several times along with everyone else to snap a few photos and take and in the views. Wanaka is
nice as well and I have spent the last few days exploring the area, but plan to move on to Queenstown either tomorrow or the day after.

On top of Roy’s Peak overlooking Lake Wanaka, Lake Hawea, the town, and so forth.