It was still raining in the morning when we left the campsite. So we had to pack a wet tent again ? Well, we hitchhiked into town and I first of all got myself an – as I thought – well deserved breakfast with omelettes, bagels and cappuccino! After that we had a quick stroll through town and I did an intensive research on the gear and possible replacements which took most of the afternoon. We still didn’t have a room to stay since Queenstown was fully booked! But again luck and Kiwis turned it around for us: Hayden, Wayne and Dan who we met in the hut a couple of days ago offered us their couch for the night. So we stacked a few beers and had a nice evening chatting, watching “Cool Runnings” (can’t believe that it was done in 1993 already!) and eventually a good sleep on the couch. The guys have a fantastic view over the bay…

 

 

Next morning we hit the town and I finalised my gear shopping. I dropped my base weight without food and water below 10kg! I exchanged the tent saving 1.3kg, spirit burner and Trangia cooker for a small gas burner saving around 0.7kg, the new backpack saves around 0.8kg. The backpack was a tough one. I had to choose between a 44l which did not have a good harness/belt (1.1kg) and a 50l with a very good harness being 0.7kg heavier.

That’s what’s going to stay…

Considering the fact that I usually carry 1.5/2l water and around 750gr of food per day I usually do end up over 15kg at the beginning of a section. The longer sections even require food for up to 10 days resulting in almost 8kg food. The space in the 44l would have been enough probably but I ended up being a chicken going for the safe version ?

I also traded my sandals for runners which are more useful for the easy stretches and they also work for the river crossings since they dry quickly.

 

One pair of thick socks, long underwear, 2. compass, book, one water bottle and the harmonica (sorry Tasche – I started practising already but my skills are way to bad that I could use it in public. Some parts of Pipi Langstrumpf already work and I will take it up again after the hike!) will go to Auckland for now. Probably summing up to another 0.9kg.

That brings me almost to my desired 4kg.

After the shopping part I went to my hostel, pitched my tent to dry it and sorted out the gear that I will send to Auckland now.

And finally I took the bus to Millbrook Golf Club to play my first round of ? in NZ!!!!

Didn’t expect it to happen that early but jiehaaa! Millbrook also hosts the finals of the New Zealand Open – great course! Wayne and I took a cart and nice Taylormade (steel shaft / stiff – fully equipped!) rental clubs and off we went.
Balls went everywhere – left, right, long, short but better than expected including the entire range from birdies to multiple bogeys ? Anyways, great fun to beat the sh… out of the little white balls! I like!

 

Guess it will not be the last round in NZ. Thanks Hayden for providing me the shirt! Of course I did not carry a shirt with collar the entire time just for this…
Quick dinner and a couple of beers with Ben afterwards before I went to bed.

This morning was laundry time. Having to wash everything and not having any spare cloth gives you quite a logistic challenge in a hostel if you want to do laundry… So I sneaked out at 6 in the morning with my blanket starting the washing and then waiting in my bed until I could go out again – naked and wrapped in my blanket – to put everything in the dryer. Story continues with the shower… Well, I will keep the details to myself ?

Sent off the package to Auckland and went to the doctor to get a prescription for contact lenses – first weird thing in NZ! Why do you need a prescription to buy contact lenses? Well, to cut a long story short – shop online and you don’t need one. So I send it the pack to one of the cities I will pass through. Topic closed. ?

After that I took a ride on the gondola up to the local hill which was sponsored by Babs & Joern.

 

Also the way down – at least partly on the luge – was part of the farewell present: Saftey first!

Thank you so much!!! Really enjoyed it – especially the fact that I didn’t have to walk up here.

After being in the town again Ben and I did the food shopping for the next stretch and my two foodboxes. Not so simple. At the end I was lucky to follow Ben’s advise to go with the 50l backpack. I spent 472$ on food for about 25 days:

 

It was so much stuff and so heavy that I decided to take a cab back to the hostel. We sorted out the different packs which will go in the mail tomorrow.

 

Just went out for a few beers with Hayden and Wayne. Great way to end Queenstown?

Cheers again mates for making Queenstown such an amazing memory!

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