We continued the drive up to Lake Gunn, way up in the mountains. The sight was amazing when it turned so quickly from green pastures to lush forest. For lunch we cooked up some spaghetti. You know how things taste much better when you cook it up in the mountains, well, it did—delicious–that along with salad and bread, perfect. With thirst I went to drink from the lake, very clean and tasty it was. Then the rain started. You can tell it rains here often with the moss on the trees and ferns on the ground. I wrote before on the Narnia books, this could have easily been a forest in Narnia, as I pictured in my mind what I read from the past. In fact, they are right now filming the hobbit movies in NZ.
16 Nov, 2011—Drove with Clinton from Dunedin to Invercargill. And, what a brilliant drive it was. Along the way we stopped at a rocky beach and we saw two wild penguins on the rocks. Also, we saw a beach with trees that had been petrified, it was amazing, looked like wood but felt like stone. The sign said fossilized forest, which it was. We went to the furthest south point in NZ, next would be Antarctica. We stopped in one shop by the cliffs and I drank a banana shake, quite tasty. Along the way we passed so many sheep fields, thousands of the white bodies with four legs, saw limited cows, too. Very strange though, they used so much land for sheep, but we saw no one growing crops, just green fields of grass for the sheep. This looks like very fertile land, l am surprised they do not grow any crops.
That night I took up in a hostel ($25) and Clinton slept in his rental van. It is set up well as a camper van, just for one person, though. This hostel was just a place to sleep, not nice like I had at The Big Hostel in Sydney or Nikki’s JuggleRest. Woke with the sun coming up, as usual, then it was off to meet Clinton at a local breakfast place.
At a new hostel now typing this, it’s on a lakefront, some good views. But, just another “bed”, not like the two I wrote of before. Many staying here, right now I am in the kitchen area, many cooks all around me. Talked with “Kyle”, who is a fan of Tony Robbins and was impressed that I had lunch with him at his house and went to his first wedding, we had a good talk. People share food at hostels, very friendly. Kyle is working on the set of the new hobbit movie being filmed in New Zealand. I’ve heard about the filming before, very secretive though.
Now the next morning, the hostel provided tea, had three cups. Someone offered me a raspberry muffin, so, that was breakfast. Last night was quite cold, but I provided myself with two thick blankets, so warm I was. Sitting out front waiting for Clinton to arrive now, seeing how nice it is here. Sitting directly across from the lake seeing great views, how perfect, a clean fresh smell is in the air. I look out and I see a boat moored up out in the center, as well as a plane that can land on the water. I look to the right and I see snow covered mountains. I look to the left and a see forest that goes on and on. Couldn’t be nicer, wish you were here to share this with me.
Today was even nicer. We drove up where we were yesterday, but higher up on the mountain, didn’t have enough gas yesterday. Higher and higher we drove up the mountain, went from sheep farmlands to lush rain forests to rocky and snowy glacier areas up one side of the mountain. Then, driving down the other side we went through what could be a desert type area, then eventually dropped down to sea level as we came upon an inlet. So so many changes today, delightful, a great day being a tourist.
Up on top of the snow covered mountain there were these parrot birds, Kea birds. They wanted a hand-out of food. So strange to see these parrots up in the snowy mountains. After dealing with these birds we went through a tunnel, and a long one, perhaps 2 kilometers in length. There was only room for one direction of driving. So, there was a green and then red light you had to follow. We went to a place called “The Chasm.” To get there the pathway went over bridges and around through the rain forest—the best scenery I have seen so far. You could drink any of the mountain streams, which was a delight. There is so much detail to go into about this, it was phenomenal. For the drive we were listening to ZZ Topp, the perfect music for the drive. So, we went from near sea level to above the tree line into glaciers, then back down the other side to snow level again. The memories will always be with me—it was breathtaking (heh, who took my breath?) Along the drive we saw many more sheep farms, and also saw deer farms. I don’t know if there are also wild deer, but to see on a farm was different.
Have to apologize. In my last email to you I wrote some thoughts I had about god, or the idea of a god. This was not the correct format for me to state my thoughts toward such a subject, I’m sorry, I’ve just been thinking much about that area. I will stick to just the trip from now on, and, as you know, what a trip this has been. Hope my words did not chase you away.