Going South.

Bluff, NZ.

Bluff, NZ.

Finally I’ve reached the very bottom of New Zealand (I lie, not quite the bottom, but close enough…)

Myself and two friends met in Invercargill at a quirky little backpackers know as Sparky’s. Decorated with the most bizarre asortment of trinkets and knick-knacks, I quickly became suspicious as to where the owner’s nickname as “Sparky” had originated form. Between his love of the notorious weed-hotspot Byron Bay, his vacant expression, collection of exotic paraphernalia, and general paranoia with everything, I formulated some idea. Whilst he seemed mostly kind and harmless, after a few days I decided things were getting weird; his belief that 9-11 was an inside job by the US Government was one thing, but threatening to kick me out for cracking my knuckles was a bit much.

The place itself was very cool and cute, with only a few rooms and a really fun vibe; it even had a spa pool out the back which was heaven in the Invercargill cold. Now that I’m writing about it, we really didn’t get up to much, but it was a good time nonetheless; played cards, drank coffee, baked cakes, got drunk in the spa. All good things.

Sparky's Lounge.

Sparky’s Lounge.

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Bedroom.

The trip to Bluff was…meh. Really, there’s very little there, and it was little more than a novelty. Still, it’s a cool thing to have done and I’m glad I had the opportunity to travel that far south. We found a really cool beach near Invercargill and endured a midwinter swim in the freezing water which was near fatal to my toes, but a welcome shock to the senses.

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A tire puncture cut the Catlins trip pretty short, so I’ll definitely have to go back some time to see more. Still, it seemed sublime, and I’m glad we got there long enough to wet my appetite for more.

So, back in Dunedin, but only temporary, tomorrow I fly home to Auckland for the first time in ages. Recently returned from Wellington with my (then) girlfriend as a goodbye trip before she went home to France, so quite a bit of moving around recently. The Wellington trip was bitter-sweet; I miss her but that’s okay, I’m still happy! We cut a pretty sorry sight crying on each other’s shoulders at the airport.

A bientot.

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Escape.

Start of the Kepler.

With my friend newly returned from his travels to the mysterious Far East, we decided it was well past time to start exploring again. Originally, we’d hoped to get back to Mt Aspiring (a strong contender fro my favourite place on Earth), but ultimately it was too far to drive for just a weekend, and we opted for Te Anau instead (in Fiordland). Also, a couple of my new found French friends were heading in that direction so it was mutually beneficial; they got a ride, I got company.

Once there, Tom and myself did our own thing, whilst Sophie and Claire caught up with a DOC Ranger friend who more or less hooked them up with one of the staff huts on the Milford Track (if only I were a girl and could make such connections so easily).

Anyway, this post is a lot more photographic than literary; mostly since I’m feeling tired and this just isn’t coming out right. Tom is “off the grid,” and has requested that no images be posted of him, so you’ll just have to deal with that; he’s determined to remove his digital footprint entirely. The guy only carries cash. It kills me.

Trippy Mushrooms.

Tree…fallen on top of another tree. You’d be surprised how often this seems to occur.

Good.

After several hours, we decided we were just too hardcore to stay on the track, and headed bush. We found a secluded river valley and set up camp, following which we napped for several hours. Hardcore indeed. Also, nearly burnt the forest down when the towel (I was using to pick up my can of spaghetti) caught fire. I didn’t even get any spaghetti. I cry errytime.

Scene of the crime.

Since there’s just way too many photos to post here, I’ll wind it up; might post some more sporadically. I will say one thing; there really is such thing is a “fresh air high.” Just escaping Dunedin lifted me to another level. I felt liberated. This place just isn’t me as much as I try. It’s difficult.

Thanks for stopping by.

So. So. Cold.

Expiration Dating

Sunset from my trip back home. Worthy. The Earth’s not that big…right?

 

Another relationship-based post, and I’m sorry if they’re becoming a theme. I do know it can get a bit dull, so expect something far more interesting/creative/insertadjectivehere in the near future.

Just a little over a week ago, on my birthday, I met somebody. This was quite an exciting moment for me; it’s not that I’m “shy”, but I tend to not really initiate contact with people if I’m attracted to them. What was great is I saw her arrive at the party, wished badly I could walk up and talk to her, but I didn’t. Fortunately, she came and introduced herself later on and we spent most of the rest of the night talking.

I asked her for her number and she said yes. Score. A couple of days later, we went on a “date,” and it was good. Date is one of those stupid words which have no reason to exist; two people spending time together is exactly what it sounds like; you don’t need to slap it with a label to make the dynamic entirely unnatural. In any case, it’s been such a long time since I did anything like that, a date so to speak, that I was nervous enough as it was.

Overall we seemed to have a good time. Strikingly, she turned out to be an entirely different person to who I imagined she would be; the most notable being that she was really philosophical and thought-provoking. Needless to say, I was pretty amped.

So we’ve hung out a couple more times, totally casually which is perfect. Like I said, I think slapping labels on things completely over complicates the situation. The problem is, she’s going home really soon, and has suggested that she doesn’t really want to get into “this situation.” Oh, at this point I should probably highlight that her home is roughly twelve-thousand miles from mine. We’ve talked, and things have been relatively open and communicative, which is good. The word “dating” has been dropped a few times, to my horror; it simply makes it impossible to get to know people authentically with that hanging over the whole interaction.

So basically, I’m hoping she won’t let worries about leaving get in the way of getting to know each other, but ultimately I can see where such a fear would come from. Knowing that pretty much no matter what happens, she’ll be gone soon…it makes you think differently about things. Recently, I’ve been pretty fatalistic, so I’d still like to give things a go, whatever that “thing” may be. It’s hard though, knowing there is an expiration date on things. My flatmate had a similar experience when he exchanged to Germany, several years ago; his advice has been helpful, but ultimately I’m struggling to get the whole thing off my mind.

I could probably read into every little interaction to ridiculous depth (a bad habit of mine), but I’m trying to break that mould. What it comes down to I think is, ultimately, I’m going to get hurt either way. If she vetoes the whole thing and we don’t hang out anymore, it’s gonna suck a lot, and if we get closer and she then leaves, its going to suck a lot too (more/less depending on one’s point of view). Basically I’m on a hiding to nothing, but I know exactly which path I’d rather take.

Humans are incredibly strange creatures; how so many times we would rather miss an opportunity than take it and end up losing it. Hopefully going hiking/camping this weekend; I could really use it clear my head out.

I’ll finish you off with some music. I think I mentioned the other day, I’m getting into electronic music a lot more at the moment and this is, ironically, a duo she’s introduced me too.