Recap for Week 4

Alright, so compared to the previous 14 days, week 4 was relatively uneventful. We were so glad to get some downtime in Christchurch in a proper home and finally catching up on so much that we wanted to get done.
Stylized map popular destinations in the South Island of New Zealand.
Stylized map popular destinations in the South Island of New Zealand.

Week #4 is gone and you may be surprised to already read the next recap. That’s because we’re still catching up and yes, it hasn’t even been a full week since you read the last recap. Technically we’re at the end of week 5 already…oh well, we’re slowly getting there. Things will slow down a bit very soon.

So what happened since my last recap?

We Went for Our First Swim in Freeeezing Lake Tekapo

Haha, yeah I know, the lake- / swim- / water-lovers will start to wonder “why the hell did it take them so long to go into the water?“. Well, we’re not really beach / lake people. Meaning, we don’t really subscribe to the idea of laying by the beach and getting a tan. It bores us.

It’s rather rare for us to spend days at a beach or a lake and go for a swim. And we’ll usually only consider going for a swim if it’s really hot. When we arrived at Lake Tekapo on Monday, it was unbelievable hot during the day. We had just finished our half day hike in Hooker Valley next to Mt Cook and arrived relatively early at Lake Tekapo. So perfect timing for a swim in freeeezing Lake Tekapo. All the Lakes in New Zealand are beautiful, filled with beautiful turquoise water but they are also freeeezing cold. And I’m not exaggerating.

We Were Gazing at the Milky Way at Night

Lake Tekapo region is actually known for perfect star gazing conditions because it’s in the middle of nowhere and you don’t have any light pollution. The area around the Lake Tekapo is particularly popular for star gazing night experiences which we did not do but we also figured out you don’t really need to.

Just wait till 23pm and have a look outside your tent. So beautiful and so cool to watch.

We Got a Cucumber as Goodbye Gift From Our Airbnb Hosts

After 2 nights in a tent, a few hikes and Parkrun in Dunedin we needed some rest. And so we were actually looking forward to Christchurch and decided rather early that we’d spend 4 nights at an Airbnb to get some downtime (this time a bit more outside of the city centre – steep learning curve 😉 )  and we loved it.

Trish and Wayne were absolutely great hosts. They have a beautiful house (sorry, didn’t take any photos) with a nice garden where they grow their own fruit and veggies. They also had an amazing, best equipped kitchen ever and made us feel very welcome.

They seemed to have a bit of overproduction of cucumbers and zucchinis (courgettes) though at the moment. Trish actually invited us to use some of the fruit and veggies from the garden which we did not really do till the very last day – so it seemed as if Trish almost wanted to force to take some free vegetables with us and gave us a cucumber and some courgettes as a little goodbye gift on the last evening.

I don’t we’ve ever received a cucumber as a goodbye gift before (have you? :D). But it fit quite well into our (currently) primarily vegetarian based nutrition* very well. So thanks again Trish, we enjoyed the cucumber and courgettes very much 🙂

* For the record: We did not turn vegans and no, not even vegetarians intentionally (of course, no offense to those who have 😉 ), but cooking meat while you camp is quite complicated without consistent cooling, especially when your entire kitchenware consists of only 2 “Tupperware” bowls, 1 pan, 2 pots and some very simple cutlery. Plus, when 80% of the people around you are having toast, pasta or microwave food for dinner, a very basic vegetable stir fry with minced beef is already considered ‘proper cooking’ by some and rest assured, you will get some jealous looks 😉 So meat is rather rare for us at the moment, we appreciate it even more when we have some from time to time. Obviously this new “diet” is somewhat of a challenge for Chris, but he’s coping quite well with his new structural calorie deficit. Although we’re not quite sure if his shorts will still fit by the end of our time in New Zealand.

I Finished My Third Parkrun – This Time in Blenheim

After Christchurch we moved on to Blenheim to catch the ferry the next day, back to the North Island. Blenheim is a small town in a wine region and SURPRISE SURPRISE, it has a Parkrun as well AND luckily we stayed there from Friday to Saturday. So a good opportunity for me to finish my third Parkrun in New Zealand. Fortunately Blenheim was also a flat run, very much comparable to Hamburg and Wellington – Lower Hutt. From our campsite it was only a 15min walk to the Parkrun.

Funny enough: When I left the campsite I saw another woman who looked like a runner too. She was heading into the same direction. I caught up with her quickly since I was running and she was only walking and she also immediately realized that this can’t just be coincidence that you see another person (actually the only other person besides a few cars) in running shoes heading into the same direction in a town where apparently everyone only drives by car.

So she approached me and yes, she was going to run parkrun too. And that’s how I met Sue, a British Lady, who was on a 4-week holiday through NZ with her friend in a campervan. They just had parked their campervan next to our tent on the same campsite. So we actually had a nice chat just before and after the run.

Unfortunately this time I couldn’t stay for coffee since we had to catch our ferry in the afternoon in Picton. So I finished parkrun quickly, went back to the campsite. Luckily my dear husband had finished already packing the tent, sleeping bags and everything. I’ve taught him well!

We quickly had breakfast and off we went to Picton.

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