02 July 2014

Itching to Hike

Ahhhh, this is better. This is what I came to New Zealand for.

I had only been here two days before I got the itch to get on a hike.

There are over a hundred walking trails around Dunedin that I want to take advantage of. So when one of my “complex mates” said he was going on a local hike, I jumped at the opportunity to tag along.

What astonishes me is that these walks are mere minutes from the Dunedin city centre. It took half an hour for us to walk from our flat to the trailhead. I saw people going for their evening runs and walking their dogs – you know, just living a day in the life – in what looks like a slice of Middle Earth.

I hate to use the word “magical,” but that’s the word that comes to mind.

I’m a subpar photographer, and was trying to take some of these pictures as we were walking (hence the occasional blurriness), because we wanted to get back before it got dark.

There were so many trees I hadn’t seen before! This next one was my favorite. It was ginormus – by far the biggest tree I’ve ever seen. I wanted to give it a hug, but I was so in awe it almost seemed inappropriate.

Seeing these happy ducks made me happy, too.

Here’s a view of the city, from some halfway point up the hill.

This is me…clearly. And behind me are a dozen of other hills for me to explore over the next few months.

…Did you catch that? These are Dunedin’s hills. These make for great half-day walks. What blows my mind is New Zealand also has nine Great Walks,which can take several days to cover on foot.

There’s so much to explore it’s almost overwhelming. But in the best possible way.

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