New Zealand pt 3, Wanaka

 
Hey! In between all emotional thoughts about leaving Australia I want to continue to tell you about my trip to NZ. Last time I left you hanging was after my stay in Mt cook. Now I’m in Wanaka and that’s a place that I really came to like. 
 
In Wanaka you find New Zealand’s most photographed tree, a tree that grows all on its own out in "Lake Wanaka". It’s not a super sepecial tree but it’s placed very beautifully in the lake with all the mountains in the background. It has become an icon for Wanaka so of course I went to see it. I even parked my van on the beach right to it to stay the night there. Turist javisst!
 
 
 
An other thing that Wanaka is known for is the mountains around the lake and especially Roy’s Peak. To climb Roy’s Peak takes 5-6hours with return and it’s a hike of 16km where your climb over 1000 meters. I did this 3 o’clock in the morning. Why you might wonder but the answer is quite easy... the sunrise of course! I wanted to catch the sunrise on top of the peak. I wanted to see the world light up from above and to capture it with my camera. As I told you in the first NZ-blog-episode I wanted to give myself time to do my photographing and this was one such a thing.
 
To combine a physical activity and the possibility to capture amazing photos makes me very excited. When I run around with my camera I have a big smile on my face and feel happy that I just did/do the things I love.  This what was happened after I climbed Roy’s Peak and saw the sunlight shine through the clouds and light up the scenery. Magical moment and I ran around all lyric taking photos. But it was freezing cold and even though I wore five layers on my upper body I found it difficult stay warm. Down again the heat was real. It was sweating hot so I decided to take a bath in Lake Wanaka, work on my tan and eat my brekkie by the beach. A perfect morning.
 
 
 
Just as I enjoyed my own company in the sun, listening to music I got interrupted... and that not by anyone...  When I was sitting/lying in my chair with closed eyes I here someone excuses himself for disturbing me with a bad Asian English accent. It turns out to be a curious Data Professor from China who strolled by my van on his morning walk through Wanaka. This meeting is one of the funniest and random I experienced.. this chines professor asks me if the van is mine, if I travel alone and what I do... when I answer him that I’ve rented the van and travel around it all alone trough New Zealand his face expresses impressment and astonishment and then he repeats himself several times by saying "All alone! You travel all alone! Only one! Only one!"
 
His reaction was the cutest ever and he continued with saying "chines people would never travel alone, never!" Then he disappeared but after 5 minutes he was back but now with one of his friends and now he asked me if he could take a photo with me. "Yes of course" I answered, so now a Chines Data Professor has a picture of himself with me dressed in bikini lying in a chair with my van in the background. Life is funny sometimes! 
 
Roys Peak, Wanaka | Nikon D90 | Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 
 
 
Ps. I'm in Sweden now!!

Hey Sweden, I’m coming for you

 
It's weird but it’s true, tonight I will board the plane that will take me back to Sweden. It’s so surreal and I haven’t really get that I’m actually leaving. It feels so weird to leave everything that I built up here in Australia.
 
I will miss my friends and all our routines and spontaneous happenings. I will miss the weather, to be able to leave the house without even thinking of taking a jacket with me. I will miss to explore new places, try new food and meet new people. I will miss Australia.
 
My 4,5 month adventure ended up in 3 and I think that is a major reason to why I don’t really get that I will leave tonight, tonight!! Gosh it’s happening... even though I wasn’t able to study photography I feel that the trip has given me a lot. I’m disappointed but also not disappointed. I’ve seen magical places and met some incredible people and to just travel alone and do this is something that has made me a more thankful and self confident person and that is something that I really appreciate.
 
Now I have a long journey a head of me back to Sweden. 22:25 my plane to Abu Dhabi departs. In Abu Dhabi I change plane and fly to London where I change plane again and this time to Stockholm. 27 hours later and I’m in Sweden, but far away from home. In Stockholm I will have to take the train to Gothenburg and there I hope someone from my family will pick me up and take me to Uddevalla. A trip of 34 hours if I stick to the plan. 34 hours and then back to real life. So surreal. 
 
See you in Sweden

New Zealand pt 2

 
Me | by Flynn Graham

Efter att jag lämnat Elin på flygplatsen i Christchurch siktade jag in mig på att ta mig till Aroaki/Mount Cook National Park. Av lite googlande på nätet hade jag klurat ut att det skulle finnas fina vandringsleder, berg och glaciärer att skåda där vilket kändes som rätt miljö för mig. Fortfarande nervös och med alla kroppens delar på helspänn puttrade jag fram på vägarna mot målet. Påvägen åkte jag förbi den "kända" sjön Lake Tekapo där jag gjorde mitt första fika- och fotostopp. Det hade ösregnat hela vägen fram till sjön men när jag fikat klart på min brownie lättade trycket, solen kom fram lite och den annars gråa sjön bytte skepnad och visade sitt blåa vackra vatten, vilken tur jag hade! 
 
Lake Tekapo | Nikon D90 | Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8
 
Vattnet var verkligen så blått! Häftig kontrast till det annars färglösa landskapet. Efter drygt 3-4 timmars körande nådde jag mitt mål och regnet hade kommit ikapp mig igen... Det jag hade tänkt skulle bli en fin solskenstur bland höga berg blev en lätt joggingtur till en utav "Tasman Glaciärerna" i området med noll vy över bergen. Iklädd min nyinköpta vattentäta överdragsjacka och gopron i sport-bhn fick jag ändå en behaglig tur. Fast den där glaciären var inte mycket att se haha... Bäst av allt var att jag träffade några nya fotovänner i änden av vandringsleden. Jag blev helt plötsligt modell (se första bilden) och fick sällskap för resten utav kvällen. 
 
 
Tillbaka från löpturen tog regnet i ordentligt. Som tur var fanns det ett stort hus där en fick laga mat och "värma" sig i. Det var verkligen ingen värme i där men jag slapp stå ute i rusket och huttra. Fixade till en sallad, mer än så hade jag inte lust med att laga haha. Till sent på kvällen satt jag och värmde händerna över gasolköket med mina nyfunna vänner och pratade foto såklart. Bra start på resan trots oväder och en frusen kropp. Nästa stopp road tripen blev Wanaka men det får ni veta mer om nästa gång! Vi hörs! 

Ps, imorgon flyger jag till Whitsundays! Sista resan på hela resan och på torsdag lämnar jag Australien för gott, shit, det är redan över!


New Zealand!

Hey Guys! I'm back from New Zealand! 
 
What an adventure it has been! I started early in the morning here in Brissie by taking the flight to Christchurch at 8am the 29 of January. I landed in a sunny, but not sweaty, New Zealand at 3 o'clock local time. I found my way to the hostel where I spent my first night, made som dinner and when the sun almost had disappeared on the sky, I finally met Elin! 
 
It was so nice to meet her and talk to her about everything and nothing at all, just to get a little bit of Sweden (and her of course) was just what I needed. We decided what to do our two next days to geather and we started with picking up the camping van and then we headed to Arthurs Pass. I was very nervous about driving the van beacuse it was an old manual car and I had to sit and drive on the opposit side of what I'm used to. Scary, but it went all good! 
 
Arthurs Pass is a little, little village located NW from Christchurch, but it's also a big National Park with great mountains and hiking tracks. Both Elin and I felt a bit tired when we arrived so we decided to just go for an easy run to a waterfall... It ended up in a long run over two hours haha. Typical I would say if you're out exploring. We ran (read climbed) up a mountain called Mt Aicken and on the two middle pictures you can see a glimpse of our route. Beautiful sceneries!! We ended the day with a home cooked meal and then we slept good all night until 8.30 the next morning. 
 
Back to Christchurch to participate in out first Rogaining event. On our way we stopped to check out a cave and run on a super cool map (left bottom picture). Run or run, we ran slowly and uneaven, our legs and minds wasn't with us at all... We both felt sick but everything turned when the start signal went off for the rogaining! Rogaining is like orienteering but here you decide by your own wich controls you will run to. The thing is to get as much points as possible and every control has it's value. You have to think and be smart, shall you run to the closest that isn't worth as much as the ones further away? Elin and I did a mix and I have no idea if we where good or not but it was really fun and challenging in the hilly terrain. 
 
Like the "cream on the mash" as we say in Swedish we finished our last day to geather by taking a bath in the ocean meanwhile the sun disappeared behind the mountains. Cold water but our bodies where still hot after the run so it became a perfect combination. 
 
The first of February we hugged each other good bye and I began to travel through New Zealand on my own. More about that next time, love.