Saturday, December 8, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
It's amazing how things work out sometimes: there we are travelling through New Zealand, and my brother gets invited by the New Zealand Tourism Board to travel NZ at the same time! So for the third time this year, I got to see my brother! We last saw him at the beginning of August, during the first few weeks of our trip, when we spent a weekend together in Hamburg and Sylt. And now we got to spend some time together at the end of our trip...how cool is that?Reunited in Auckland, at a small restaurant in the neighbourhood of Mt. Eden, near our hostel "The Bamber House". We were trying to have a last NZ lamb feast - but they were out of lamb!?!
In the park:
After Patrick left, Mark and I still had a day to explore Auckland, so we took a ferry to Rangitoto, a relatively new volcanic island.
View of Auckland Harbor from the ferry:
Monday, November 26, 2007
Off we go:
Beautiful scenery Day 1:
View from the Routeburn Falls Hut:
Day 2: Climbing Harris Saddle
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
This Sunday we start our 3-day hike on the Routeburn Track.
Next week we fly up to Auckland, where we will hook up with my brother Patrick, who happens to be in New Zealand!!!
Monday, November 19, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
We got to Greymouth just in time to rent a car to drive down to Franz Josef Glacier, where we are spending the day. It is pouring rain today. Mark is up on the glacier with a guided tour - I decided to take a day off from activities and work on the blog instead...Tomorrow we drive back to Greymouth, where we will catch the Tranzalpine Train to Christchurch, where we will return the bikes, before renting a car to head down towards Queenstown and the Milford Sound.
Only 2.5 weeks left on our trip --- time goes by too fast. New Zealand has been my favourite destination on this trip! It is so beautiful here, I would like to spend a lot more time...
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
The second night, we stayed in this old jailhouse:
Dolphin Lodge in Kaikoura - with a patio with a view of the snow-covered mountains and the sea:
Hopewell - what a peaceful place!
The Lauging Kiwi in Motueka, near Abel Tasman National Park
Jailhouse in Christchurch
Hippo Lodge in Queenstown
Monday, November 5, 2007
Fortunately there was Andy. Andy was sitting at a red light in his truck, and we didn't really give him a chance to say no, when I asked him whether he would give us, and our bikes, and our bags, a ride back to the last town.
Thank you Andy!!! You made our day!!!
After a few happy days of riding, it happened again: I heard that sound, and another spoke had broken! This time we were in the middle of nowhere, in the Marlborough Sounds...so we started pushing our bikes, thinking we were only a few kilometers away from the place where our water taxi was to pick us up to take us to our next hostel...
And then Emma and Malcolm came along and saved us! Thanks for the ride! You made our day!
Now we were stranded at Hopewell: the most beautiful hostel we have ever seen, at a wonderful location (more about that separately) - not a bad place to be stranded!!! How to get out of here, to Nelson, a 5 hour drive away, to the nearest bikeshop?
Along came Kathrin and Markus, our next angels. They offered to pack our bikes and bags, and us, into their van, and take us along to Nelson. In the morning, the next problem arose: their van had a flat tire. So Mark and Markus put on the spare tire. We started driving - and soon realized we were losing air in the spare tire - so off we went to the next garage...So here we were at the garage, our bikes in the back of the van, getting the spare tire repaired...
Thanks Kathrin and Markus for saving us!