Moment of awesome
The beauty of having our own car is the freedom is provides and the random places we stumble upon as a result. A friend had suggested Catlin Forest Park as the Coastal Rain Forest is not subject to mass tourism. The forest hike and surrounding bays were lovely, yet, understandably, not a South Island highlight you want to get out of your way for. Nonetheless, we sifted out a little golden nugget in the proverbial river. Right next to our campsite was a small hippie hideout (for lack of a better word). Living there was a man who had scavenged random items on the side of the road for over 15 years. What would look like a hopeless collection of useless items suitable for a 1970’s yard sale for most of us was a real treasure for the good man. He had turned collection into a gallery of wind-up toys. My favorites were the bike TV, the peephole, and ‘A Bush in a Box in a Bush’. IT WAS AWESOME!
Read more about this week’s adventures. Read More
After a few more days on the WWOOF farm close to Abel Tasman National Park (which, by the way, lends itself well for skinny dipping), I drove back down to Christchurch to meet up with two friends who flew in from Indonesia. In an effort to minimize our time in CHCH we bought all necessary supplies for the next few weeks. I’m sure Abel Tasman himself would have been proud of our preparation. And off I went with these two troublemakers. We decided to plan our trip not more than 2-3 days in advance at a time. We try to follow the sun as to take full advantage of the (hopefully) spectacular views we are bound for. Our first stop was Catlin Forest Park. Despite rumors of the forest being closed we did a short day hike, checked out Cannibal Bay, and almost lost our breath gazing at the view from Nugget Point.
Next stop was the Hump Ridge track. On our way we stopped at ‘Slope Point’ (the South Island’s most Southern point at 46°S), and Tautuku Bay. After a thorough interrogation at the local Tourist information office, we found the Hump Ridge track to be a bit too expensive an endeavor. Instead, we continued to the nearby Lake Hauroko – at 462m the deepest lake of NZ. It’s from here I’m writing this blog post in the pouring rain.
Depending on the mood of the weather gods the plan is to head out to Te Anau to visit either Milford Sound or Doubtful Sound. The Kepler Track is also on our radar, as is Queenstown and its surrounding areas. Yet, as it sometimes goes with plans, we might just as well end up in Antarctica.
Coastal view from the lighthouse at Nugget Point.
Food for the hungry soul
With all that’s been going on lately, it’s easy to get pessimistic about the future. However, looking at the broader scheme of things there is reason for optimism.
A word of wisdom
“When you see a good move. Think, and find a better one.”
Emanuel Lasker – First World Chess Champion
Dash for cash – Grocery shopping (2/2)
In a world that is struggling with the speed of globalization (case in point: Brexit) there is one light on the horizon: the Indian supermarket. On the spectrum of grocery stores, it’s definitely on the cheaper side – which explains part of the love. However, it’s not just the price that has earned the Indian supermarket a mention on this website. What is it about this great establishment that it deserves me writing about it?
Who doesn’t love a family-owned business? The second I walk into an Indian supermarket I know I will meet half the family within the first 5 minutes. The kids are running around and know the candy section inside out, the uncle is in the back stacking the inventory, mom is assorting the shelves while skillfully making sure the kids don’t undo all her work, and dad mans the cash register. And don’t think you’ve met everyone just yet. Come in after 7pm and the older son or cousin holds the fort just by himself – serving nocturnal creatures with evening snacks and munch food for college students high on a new harvest of greens.
Unlike most oriental supermarkets, Indian supermarkets carry a wide selection of food and treats from all over the world. They have figured out that by not limiting themselves to just ethnic foods, tall blond European guys like myself can go in to uphold their traditional diet of bread, milk, and cheese. A rich combination of Indian, Oriental, and Western food offers a plethora of dinner options.
Did I mention it’s cheap? It is!
But there is more!
Whenever I visit a small town in a foreign country, it’s often a challenge to find some internet. Hotel internet, despite the expectations, usually have the slowest internet connection of all. At hip coffee shops, you need to get yourself an expensive cup of organic soy latte before they provide you a code valid for 20 minutes. So where can you find some fast, reliable internet for cheap? Go to your local Indian supermarket, they’ll know. Whether it is the local bank that has a free wifi-zone, or a local park with free city-internet they have the insights.
Thanks Indian supermarket for cheap food and cheap internet!