It was cold and cloudy the whole day and it wouldn’t be worth it to go to Mount Cook. So we drank some hot chocolate at the local cafe where we stayed for the rest of the day.
Another bad weather day, however we saw a good deal on book.me and treated ourself by going to the Tekapo Springs – Hot Pools! There were 4 pools with different temperatures. Going up the hill meant going up in temperature. We floated around the whole day till we were old and wrinkly.
Mount Cook (Aoraki)
The sunny and clear weather we had been waiting for during our stay in Twizel was finally there! We took our stuff and left to the beautiful Aoraki National Park. The moment we drove away from the campsite, we couldn’t believe our eyes. We had been surrounded by enormous, snowy mountains the whole time! We did multiple hikes: to the Blue Pools (which were green confusingly enough), the view over the Tasman Glacier and the Hooker Valley Track. All mindblowing, breathtaking, beautiful walks. However, it was a bit sad to see how fast de glacier had shrunk over a small amount of time. We stayed in Tekapo for the night where we saw a beautiful sunset and stars.
During the last few nights it got colder and colder. Because we woke up with frozen toes and frost on our tent, we decided to take precautions and used everything warm we had to make one big cosy bed for the two of us. It really was cosy but it worked and now we were going to treat ourselves with a warm hostel bed. We went to Vagabond in Christchurch (after a stop at a cute farmers market in Geraldine) and loved it right away. It made us think of Villa Villekulla of Pippi Longstockings. The inside as well, messy and cosy with amazing people. It came as a big surprise, while we were cooking Mirte’s favourite dish (broccoli pie), when we saw Jonas from Whanganui walking into the kitchen! We had an amazing evening with him and the other backpackers, a delicious dinner and an old friend (Paul, our colleague from Hunter’s) also popped by. In the night we were dancing queens at Engineers underneath the stars.
We wanted to check out the city centre this Sunday. It didn’t look like much, mainly because of all the road- and construction work due to the earthquake damage. When we walked back through the park, it was surreal to see Autumn elements everywhere while it’s almost Easter. Vagabond has the most insane video collection ever (you can find the best classics here!), so when we got back we chose Chicken Run! Although people were claiming they wouldn’t like the movie, eventually it had a big audience and received a lot of laughter.
One more cool thing about this hostel is the fact that they provide freshly baked bread in the morning! The weather has been very good lately, so we wanted to enjoy it to the fullest by going to Sumner beach together with Damon from the hostel. Since the hostel has a really small kitchen, we started preparing the lasagne for tonight the moment we got back. With some helpful tips from Jonas, we made a lit lasagne dish (our first ever). Everything was done and all set when Mario came home from work (we heard he was in Christchurch and arranged to meet up again!).
Last time we were in the Botanic Gardens the greenhouse was closed, so we tried once more. The plants and flowers were truly beautiful and fascinating. A watery sun peeked through the autumn leaves and we laid down on a big branch while the drizzle fell down. Something we also really wanted to do was to visit the Cookie Time Cookie Factory Shop. Less exciting than expected, buuuuuut we bought a kilogram of broken triple chocolate chunk cookies! Before we went back to the hostel we browsed through the Art Gallery, which had a lot of fun and interesting subjects. Late in the evening Mario cooked us dinner and we had fun with him, Lukas (our roommate) and Damon.
Love Miriam & Mirte