Friday, November 18, 2005

Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand

Franz Josef Glacier, NZ
[photo by gail on the web]
From the archives: January 1993

I'd hitchhiked from Auckland all the way down to Dunedin (near the bottom of the South Island), so to make things easier for myself I arranged lifts with drivers from Queenstown (on the west coast) most of the way back up to Auckland. I left Queenstown with a couple I'd met at the backpackers hostel and got as far as the glaciers.

January is summertime in New Zealand, but with the latitude in the South Island it can still get quite chilly. I didn't have any warm clothing because I'd been living in Australia for more than a year, nor did I have proper "tramping" shoes (as they say in NZ), and until then didn't even own a pair of socks! I had to layer t-shirts underneath the sweatshirt to stay warm, but I learned a glass or two of red wine has the same effect... too bad it doesn't last! (It isn't backpacker-budget-friendly, either.)

I'd written all my travel info down on a map of New Zealand (including people I'd met and shared rides with), but somebody threw it away by accident in Scotland... :(

Oh, what I would give to have that map back! That time in New Zealand was very memorable, with lots of stories and adventure, especially the hitchhiking. As I get older, it becomes more difficult to recall the details. I wrote in a journal, but the map was a visual illustration of the trip, with notes and arrows and colourful punctuation.

I'll scan more NZ photos and post a few stories later. It's too bad all I had with me then was a disposable camera. I didn't buy a camera until I reached Singapore, so I only have a few snapshots. Something tells me I'll have to consult the journal to jog my memory.