And like that it was over. After six months of living in one of the most incredible places on earth (yeah I just said that - but look at the pictures and tell me I'm wrong!) And its all done. As winter approaches New Zealand's south island, the lodges on the track are closed up and all us staff go our separate ways. As we cleaned rooms and scrubbed dishes for the last time, I couldn't really believe I'd be going away from this place I'd been calling my home.
On the Milford track I'd been lucky enough to meet and live with a pretty fantastic bunch, that some how just seemed to work. Whenever a group of people are brought together in an isolated area, its anyones guess how it can work out. Personalities clash, upsets unfold and before you know it living in a beautiful spot can feel like the worst place in the world. But life on the Milford track had no such dramas. This I am eternally thankful for as it allowed me to enjoy this amazing environment for all it has.
And what a place. There is something so soothing about being away from it all; no cars, no phones, no Internet and only time allotted generator power.
Out in Fiordlands bush I felt so safe from the world. Muggers weren't awaiting around dark pathways - only Kiwis. Deadly snakes and spiders didn't lurk in the bushes (I'm looking at you Australia!) only tree roots and cheeky Keas. Obviously its not somewhere I'd want to wander off and get lost, good luck finding your way out of that bush! But away from a human landscape, I felt completely rejuvenated, and yes I know how corny that sounds. My time on the Milford track has made me absolutely smitten with Fiordland and I really hope we can return.
However, no point crying over sand fly bites and heavy rain fall (the only two drawbacks to Fiordland), its time for another adventure. After much umming and arhhring me and Zim have contemplated on many options. We thought about another winter season in Queenstown, running away on to another pirate ship (always the dream) or going up to the North island, as I've been a very bad traveller and not ventured off the south island this whole year. In the end we came up with another plan, although using the word 'plan' makes me feel like a fraud; its kind of flimsy.
But a plan with have and it is.....Asia!!! At least for a few months we'll be hitting up a few countries in South East Asia.
When this post gets published I would have been in Bali, Indonesia, for a few weeks and our next location is even unknown to ourselves. One of Zim's friends is getting married on the stunning Island of Nusa Lembongan, so it was the logical place to begin our travels.
So let the experience begin.