Civilization & the Queen Charlotte Track

Last week was the first time I’ve been away from Raetihi Lodge in almost two months. We went to Blenheim, a small town about three hours away. It felt good being able to go to a grocery store, eat breakfast at a nice restaurant, and drive a vehicle on paved roads. It was nice having the opportunity to enjoy the small, simple pleasures I’m used to back home in Canadia.

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A lookout driving the winding road back to Raetihi around the Kenepuru Sound

The only photo I took from Blenheim was this one:

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Racial cookies

I find it kind of funny that they have these popular cookies called Afghans. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because back home, an Afghan would be a person from Afghanistan. In New Zealand, an Afghan is a cookie.

Actually, I am not entirely sure they’d call them cookies. They might call them lollies. In New Zealand, every kind of candy is called a lolly. If it’s a sour soother, it’s called a lolly. If it’s a gummy bear, it’s called a lolly. And guess what? If it’s a candy on a stick, it’s also called a lolly. In Canada, a lolly is a candy on a stick. At first, I wondered what everyone’s obsession was with sticked candy. It took me a while to realize they just meant candy when they say lollies.

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Taking a siesta on a tree branch

Last week we had a 5.7 magnitude earthquake. I didn’t notice a thing. Apparently the depth of the earthquake has a big impact on the surface impact. This one was 48 km deep. The only reason I knew about it at the time was because of the masseuse shouting, “holy shit! that’s a big one!” I thought she saw a spider or something I had no idea it happened. I was disappointed that my first earthquake went unnoticed. I was hoping it would be like a fun theme park ride.

Onto a brighter note, I started picking up jellyfish!

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The ones here don’t sting or have tentacles like poisonous ones would. The only bad thing about jellyfish is they leave a stringy goop on your hand. The washed up ones on the beach don’t leave a goop on your hands though. I think it’s because they’ve been baking in the sun all day and they’re kinda hard. I prefer my jellyfish raw, not baked. They look much prettier in the water… when they aren’t fighting for survival.

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Today I did part of the Queen Charlotte Track. The section I did was only about 9 km but the views were pretty spectacular.

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I’m not really much of a hiker. I only go on hikes once in a while, but I could never see myself doing it as a hobby. It’s kind of a weird concept. Think about it, “let’s walk up this hill, and then when we are done, we will get to walk back down again.” Perhaps that’s just how I think. I also think dancing is a weird concept too. “Let’s go over to that floor and wiggle our bodies around for a while.” I’m not a very good dancer though, so maybe I’m shitty at hiking too. Who knows. Who cares. I don’t.

During my hike I saw this sign:

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I’m pretty sure I gave it the finger and said, “eff that.” Then I went around the other side and got the picture below showing the sign and the uphill route so I could put it in my blog.

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I didn’t notice until now the little note someone added to the sign “WORTH IT”. I wonder if I would have went up to the lookout if I had seen that note at the time. Mostly likely no. Whenever I go on hikes, I just think about when it’s going to end.

At the end of the hike I was rewarded with some snacks and wine.IMG_5760

That section of the track ends at Te Mahia Resort. I speak to the owners of the resort almost everyday on the phone, coordinating their guests to get boat transfers to the restaurant here at Raetihi. It was nice to finally meet them after getting to know their voices for the last two months. It was also nice having two glasses of wine, lemon cake, and a Popsicle for $5. I got the hookups, yo!

It felt good getting away from the lodge and being back in civilization, but it made me realize I can be content anywhere. I was happy living in the city, and I am happy living in the middle of nowhere. I was happy having shops and easily accessible goods, and I am happy having beer couriered to me every once in a while at a fee of $15 per delivery. What I learned by going to Blenheim was, I’m easy. I’ll always be happy, wherever I am.

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