I’ve been away for a while. On a two week holiday really. It was great not to have to do anything. It was great not to have much internet or even Phone reception. Just enough to keep up to speed on what’s happening. But now I’ve got some catching up to do. I’ve seen so many amazing things, I don’t even know where to start. And, why do people keep asking me what my favorite part was? It was all my favorite part! From walking on Franz Joseph glacier, to making my own knife, to watching the rain from the veranda of the hut and finding solitude on the Queen Charlotte track. Let’s just start with one adventure. The one that took me through the Fox river.
The walks in New Zealand all have their own warning signs. This one was very unsafe in rainy conditions, but since it was a beautiful day I felt courageous. It’s the walk to the Ballroom overhang, along and across the Fox river. When I started walking I saw several people return. Some with big packs; they’d obviously overnighted at the overhang. From the start the track was muddy. Again I thought I was in a deserted island jungle. It seemed so tropical today. Where the track split, one end leading to the Fox River Caves, I came out of the forest and onto the riverbed of the Fox. I walked around a bit, but really didn’t see a path. Eventually I found it on the other side of the river.
Later I ended up at the river again. This time the river was wide and you obviously had to step into it. Luckily there were a couple of people crossing the river at that point. They told me there were quite a few more crossing to come for me, but that it was well worth it. Well, let’s start with number one. Slowly I felt the water entering my shoes. When I stepped out of the water I’m sure they were two kilo heavier. It took some time for the water to disappear and it never went completely. In my wet shoes I slipped over the moss-covered rocks and was a bit more unstable. The path kept going through the jungle until I ended up at another crossroads. All the sign said was to follow the river.
First I had to walk through the river again to get to the other side. A bit further along I saw another sign at the other side of the river. But here the river was super deep. I wasn’t the only one who was confused. Two other girls got stuck here. Luckily I was in a gorgeous place. I just kept staring around me. There were high cliffs rising to the blue sky, in places covered in green. The Fox river flowed in the middle with on both sides lots of rocks. After a while people came in from behind me. I was staring at the wrong place. I had to follow the river the other way.
The river went around a corner and had to be crossed a few more times. The other girls gave up, but I raced across the stones, hoping not to twist my ankle. Suddenly there was a sign for Ballroom overhang. The overhang was right there. I walked maybe 50 meters and ended up at the campsite. There was a fireplace and a toilet, and this massive orange overhang that covered the campers. This would be a great place to camp. Stunning! But if I’m honest, I think the gorge looked even better. It took two days for my boots to dry.