Friday, 2 March 2007

Champagne backpackers

Ray has given us this title after seeing the amount of gadgets and paraphenalia we were carrying leaving Aukland - iPods of all types, mobile phones, pdas, game boys, Garmin GPS, backup GPS, rugby balls and shirts, flags, dolls, barbeques, hair products and numerous other unnecessary luxuries like soap were all crammed into the van. And for the first while we always checked into nice places with electric hookups and nice hot showers. But for the last 3 nights, weve camped on the side of the road, sneaking into places for illegal showers and toliet usages, and the van is a total tip. Much better.

We are on our way back from Milford sounds, having spent a lovely day kayacking in absoutely beautiful scenery and being entertained by the local seal polulation.
All the scenery in NZ has been pretty amazing, but the fjords really are stunning, the only annoying thing being the rampant sandflies which are devouring us.

On our way here we stopped off in Greymouth to do some caving, which was pretty cool, including crawling through holes half submerged in water. We then headed for the Glaciers. The champagne 5 went for the heli hike on Franz Joseph, I spent a day on Fox Glacier ice climbing, which was brilliant but pretty tough.

Last night we had a pretty late night, spent in the local (only) pub in Milford with the guide, one of the guides from the ice climbing who happened to be here too, and some very drunken Kiwis. At the end of the night, Damian landed akwardly from a height on his elbow, so he is currently in Te Amau medical center awaiting the result of an x-ray. (Just heard its broken so were off to Invercargill to have it seen to - an unexpected side trip!)