Wedding Day!

This entire trip was precipitated by a wedding. 

Back in 2011 when we hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, we met a very fun Kiwi couple, Barb and Duncan.  We hiked for some very long distances as a foursome and shared some extreme adventures in the snowy Sierras. 

It was June 13th on the upper flank of the tallest mountain in the lower 48, Mt. Whitney, that Dunc proposed to Barb.  We were camping about 5 miles away at the time but we knew something big had happened when we saw Barb approaching, with a huge smile on her face and a brilliant stone on her finger.
image

You can read the back story here. Continue reading

The North End

The North end of the South Island is not to be overlooked.  As we planned for our Feb 25 ferry ride (from Picton), we found ourselves racing northward.  Farewell Spit is on the very north end but we looked at the deep sand and decided our little rental car would quickly be up to its axels.  Then, there was “the clause” in the rental agreement..

So we headed to the Cape lookout and Wharariki beach instead.. A good decision.

image

View from Cape Farewell.  Continue reading

Time flys and Sand Flies

We have been doing so much in so little time, it is hard to keep up.

Australia’s has those pesky bush flies.  They don’t bite but attack your nostrils and eyes looking for protein.  Parts of the South Island here in NZ have the more voracious sand flies (and mosquitos)
image

No, these are not our feet (above) but these flies bite and the bites itch for days.  DEET works well and you are best off with long clothing. 

Lucky for us we were only attacked two or three times and, we were mostly protected or ran for cover!   Word is that the N. Island doesn’t have this problem. Continue reading

Curio Bay

Way down on the south end of the South Island is a place called Curio Bay. Not many people drive down this far but it is well worth it.  Instead of rocks, the bay is littered with petrified trees, dating 180 million years old.  The trees were buried by volcanic mud flows and gradually replaced by silica.
image

Standing on an ancient conifer. Continue reading