20 April 2006

Well, I still haven't come up with a new name for this blog. I've gotten some good suggestions. I had previously thought of calling it 3 Hours Earlier since we're moving to Portland next year. But that's still a year away. Maybe I should call it "I Have No Clue What The Hell Time It Is." At this moment I'm leaning towards keeping 18 Hours Later for sentiments sake. What I am going to do is post some of the pictures from the last half of the trip. And only 1 month after we got back. So here we go...

As you know, we spent the last 3 weeks traveling around the South Island. Our first stop was the Kepler Track which we did with Brian's friend Andrew from med school. Andrew spent the month on the North Island but took a weeklong side trip to visit us down south. You can read about the Kepler here.

Here is a picture of Brian and Andrew at the start of the hike.

Before long, we came to an enchanted beast on the side of the trail.

After a long uphill hike through the woods we made it to the hut at the top of the mountain.

The next morning we spied some kea trying to rip off the helipad sign. They may very well have been successful!

The hike on the second day was both physically and mentally challenging. There were wind gusts up to 80km/hr and it was cold and rainy. We were hiking along the ridgelines and I'm sure if it was clear out we would have been able to see forever. Brian did get a picture of the trail, just to give you an idea of how exposed we were. If you look closely you can see the trail meandering along the ridge.

We eventually made it down off the mountain to the next hut. The next morning was my favorite day of the hike. Because of all the rain the night before we passed many amazing waterfalls like this one.

We then spent the day hiking through the most amazing, beautiful enchanted forest I've ever seen. Here's Andrew on a bridge surrounded by ferns.

Everything we saw was green, green, green. I kept expecting a hobbit or a fairy to jump out at me!

After a wonderful day of hiking we came to the hut which was situated on a beautiful lake.

It was nice out when we got there, but soon a storm rolled in. It looked pretty ominous.

Due to the storm we ended up taking a shortcut to get off the trail a few hours earlier the next morning. Here are pictures of me, Brian and Andrew on the last bridge. As you can see from the picture of Andrew, it was raining pretty hard!

We used the rest of our day to take a cruise to Milford Sound. It was partly rainy and stormy but we did have some nice moments of blue sky.

Brian got out on the deck to take some pictures, but to be honest we hid inside away from the rain a lot! (It might be because of the wine, cheese and bread we had brought along...)

And last but not least here is a picture of the scary 1 1/2 lane tunnel with no lighting inside that I had the pleasure of driving through later that night. Oh, did I mention it was over 1 kilometer long?

05 April 2006

So, is anyone still reading this now that we're back from NZ? Probably not, cause there's nothing to read! I have received a couple requests to keep this thing going now that we're back, especially since we're planning the move cross-country. Anyone want to weigh in with some suggestions for new non-NZ-related names? Comments, please!