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Head for the Hills

Head for the hills. I didn’t make that up but borrowed it from a book. Stanley Crawford said it, but head for the hills we did. ‘The Garlic Testament’, I highly recommend it.

Come christmas eve, Elena finished work and I was one day into a holiday and half organised. We squeezed everything into the car for a week on the road, which consisted mostly of a camera, blankets, gas cooker and fresh food, we headed away from Christchurch with an overarching plan of exploring the west coast. Fingers firmly crossed in the hope that not everyone on the east coast had the same idea, an unevenly weighted pencil-thin island might just roll over into the ocean. There aren’t many humans in New Zealand, it’s a great place for the introvert to get outside.

First stop was Arthur’s Pass and a short walk up to Devils Falls, shortly after that the landscape flipped from brown to green and the rivers now ran west.

There’s routine and then there’s routine. Waking to a pre-dawn coffee on the gas stove, a cleansing swim naked in a clear, cold river and a check of the map, I could get used to that again. And again. Fresh air. I couldn’t quite work out if this was a christmas present or an early birthday present. Probably both.

We spent a couple of nights up high and around Lake Brunner and the streams that contribute to it’s mass before descending to the coast. It’s confronting how much better you feel the further you go, half a decision away from never coming back.

Arthur's Pass

Arthur’s Pass

Elena - Arthurs Pass

Elena - Mid Chew

Dinner alongside the river, full moon rising

Elena

Giants

Amongst giants

Lake Brunner - MorningLake Brunner - Morning 2

We’re a little more of this, not much more than that.

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