The Tent to Lakeside Hut and Back
Distance: 16 k
Avg Speed: Walking
We had a bit of a head start on the New Year. It was a bit anticlimactic since the real partying started yesterday at 4pm. The young group across from us made it but they became more and more disorganized as the night wore on. Chris and I were impressed with their endurance and had a good laugh about our college days. Things change quickly as you get older.
We enjoyed another hike today and followed the east lake to the appropriately named, Lakeside Hut. We covered a lot more ground today walking on flat terrain. The DOC hut was reached at lunchtime and we ducked inside to eat our sandwiches and read the visitor’s book. It’s fun to see where some people come from and laugh at the random comments that other people leave on the pages. While Chris shared the highlights, I found a Christchurch newspaper from the 28th of December. To our delight it had an article about a German woman, Freya Hoffmeister, who has been circumnavigating the South Island of New Zealand in a kayak. If successful, she will be the first woman to do so. We’ve been following this story since we arrived here in October. The journey is 2,500 km and has only been completed three times in the last thirty years. The first successful trip was finished in 1978 by Paul Caffyn.
Just recently we’ve also read about a group of gentlemen who hope to circumnavigate the Canterbury region by paddling, biking and mountaineering. This area is home to the heart of the Southern Alps and Mt Cook. They dreamed up the idea while waiting out a storm on another mountaineering trip. Here is their website: http://adventureaotearoa.blogspot.com
There is no shortage of adventures and expeditions being undertaken in this country. We’ve actually been following several since we’ve been riding through New Zealand. The national media seems to cover these events quite regularly and it’s refreshing that everything gets a positive spin. In other regions of the world these voyages might be viewed as “extreme”. Unfortunately, it seems that the label “extreme” doesn’t always have a constructive message behind it. Really, I think it’s just human nature to want to explore and it’s a really good way to live a life.
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