In March, I already know it, I have to say goodbye to Te Anau. I quitted my Banana Girl job at the Fresh Juice on March 11th, planned a weekend in Dunedin, then a 4 days hike on the Kepler Track, followed by a 2 days hike on the Routeburn Track and finally my flight from Queenstown to Denpasar was booked for March 27th.
In March, do as you like!
March is begginning with the ascension of the Key Summit. Located on the Routeburn Track, it’s 919m high –yeah okay it’s not very high- and offers an incredible view over the Milford and what used to be a glacier on the Hollyford Valley. I borrow Bubba again, my housemate John’s car, and drive to The Divide, the starting point for the Routeburn Track, on the Milford Road. It’s a 3hours walk return, if you don’t take in count the picnic break at the summit. While hiking my way back, I decide to continue a bit on the track, until I reached the first hut, Lake Howden Hut. Since the weather is sunny and warm, I chill a bit and lie down on a picnic table beside Howden Lake.
The return drive is hard though. Two hours driving the Milford Road feels like hell, I’m tired from the walk and the heat, the road twists and turns are tiring me, and the music is not really keeping me awake anymore. I’m having a lot of breaks, with dream-like landscapes all around me, and OH SHIT! I damage John’s car while driving backwards… I hurt this bloody picnic table. Looks like I underestimated the size of the vehicle. After reaching home safe and sound on Worsley Street, I apologize profusely like a kid who made a really big mistake… I feel so embarrassed! John doesn’t really seem to make such a big deal out of it – a guy who doesn’t really care about this scratch on his car, John, mate, would you like to marry me?
IT’S YOUR FRESH CHOICE!
I’m heavy hearted when I quit Fresh Choice and my Banana Girl routine. Here’s the place where I met the two most adorable Mexican brothers in Te Anau, Gové and Edgar, with whom I was able to reconnect with my geek side, thanks to our cinema session at the Fiordland Cinema (Deadpool, The Hateful Eight) and our endless conversations about TV Shows, movies (The Martian sucks!) and books we like. At their home, with Raùl and Jason, I used to feel like home, like being part of a crazy happy family. (Seriously guys, I have so much love inside my heart for you!)
But Fresh Choice is also the Night Fill team, my Spanish lessons on the produce department white board, my bananas and watermelons compulsive eating, my clock in/clock out with my fingerprints like in James Bond, my sunny lunch breaks in front of the library, and my sleepy mornings behaving like a dolphin (half awake, half asleep) because I was partying too hard the night before and slept only 4 hours.
The last days, I train Kevin, this French guy that I met while working at Bailiez, he’s going to replace me when I’m gone, and I’m partying way too much to be really efficient at work.
On Friday, March 11th, I say goodbye to my work space, my beloved fruits and veggies, the radio which was driving me crazy with Justin Bieber and Adele, and of course to my dear co-workers. My heart is heavy like a bloody rock, but I have no time to really think about it. I’m going off on a weekend to Dunedin with Gové, Edgar and Raùl!
CRAZY DUNEDIN !
In Dunedin, we’re hosted by Andreas, this Swiss guy I met in the Mexican kitchen a few weeks ago. He’s in Dunedin to pass a specific English certification for his international studies. In his share house, in the very heart of the student neighbourhood, on Castle Street, he’s welcoming us with his fellow students. I immediately fall in love with his house, in which you can find a lot of funny details, like posters, postcards and drawings on the walls. The party is getting started. Craziness, spontaneity, drunkenness, dances and giggles will be the key words for this crazy night. It’ll took us the whole week end to recover.
The next day, we’re going to take some fresh air at Tunnel Beach, where the lookout is stunning. And on the evening, we’re going to cheer up the Higlanders local rugby team in live. The stadium was roaring!
We finish this weekend lying down in the grass of the Botanical Gardens (I was already there, remember!) and listening to a classical free gig. We drive to the Otago Peninsula afterwards, chilling in this postcard-like beach: Tomahawk Beach.
I discovered another side of Dunedin this time. This trip was simply awesome, I met a lot of extraordinary people and laughed a lot! I’m really going to miss my Mexican team. The more I think about leaving Te Anau, the more I would like to stay…
Two days after that, I’ll be hiking alone the Kepler Track, but this is another (great) story.
Te Anau, I felt great in your company.
Some long lasting friendships were built here. Like friendships at first sight, you know.
I would have pushed my limits here again, Te Anau, by running, by hiking, by working sometimes 50 hours a week.
In Te Anau, I danced, danced, danced, as if there were nobody watching me. I ran, cycled, walked, hiked as if the physical effort was nothing to me. I started to acknowledge these new curves of mine as if I was never skinny. And I drank white wine, gin & tonic, cider and whiskey as if alcohol didn’t scared me anymore. In Te Anau I kissed some boys, without looking for love, I was just looking for tenderness.
In Te Anau, I was able to reconnect with the teenage girl I never dared to be. Thank you, Te Anau, I love you.
LET’S GO THERE ! :
KEY SUMMIT, Routeburn Track, Mount Aspiring National Park
FRESH CHOICE, 5 Milford Cres, Te Anau
REDCLIFF CAFE, 12 Mokonui St,Te Anau
FIORDLAND CINEMA, 7 The Ln, Te Anau
TUNNEL BEACH, Otago
BOTANIC GARDENS, 12 Opoho Rd, North Dunedin, Dunedin
TOMAHAWK BEACH, Otago Peninsula