I'd once again donned my hiking boots -seriously I'm getting quite attached to them and may actually find it hard to ditch them for the heels when I get back - and was taking part in a three-day trek. I'd been told by an Israeli girl that the Routeburn was worth doing and when you get a recommendation from an Israeli you take their advice - they know their tramping.
I'm getting quote good at this trekking malarkey now. Whereas it used to take me hours to prepare for a trip I can now throw some waterproofs and thermals into a bag and I'm ready to go. The same with the food: dried pasta, porridge oats and teabags. Done.
I also quite like doing it by myself as it's one of the few times when you're backpacking that you're truly alone and you're not falling over someone else's bag; trying to avoid their dirty dishes or getting involved in random debates about which animal would win in a fight. With so much free time on its hands your mind goes a bit crazy and you start thinking about all sorts of things: people you haven't seen in years; secret ambitions and what on earth you're going to do when you finally get back home...
The Routeburn Track crosses the Southern Alps, linking Mount Aspiring with Fiordland National Park so the scenery basically switches from beech forests to mountain tops - so pretty good views all round. The first day of my walk was 12km, as well as an additional side walk to Key Summit which, as well as providing me with my first snow of the year, also had fantastic views over the Humboldt and Darren Mountains.
|Surrounded by mountains...|
|An absolutely awesome sight.|
|Not a bad spot to spend the night.|
|So you just keep turning round in a circle, right?|
|Rocking that raincoat.|
|This much excitement means it's probably time for home.|