Along the way I:
slept in the back of my car most nights and was caught in a blizzard and was almost snowed in crossing a mountain that already had several feet of snow on the ground as I drove through, battled hypothermia in a sleeping bag at night, learned that 4 days is about as long as you want to go without a shower, learned that where this is a will there is a way when it comes to finding showers, toilets, and other common amenities not found in a Subaru stationwagon, battled malnutrition as I ate nothing but ramen noodles, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and indian curry when I found it, saw more waterfalls than I can count, saw the most spectacular mountain ranges in the world covered in snow, watched a pod of 30 dolphins jumping out of the water to greet our boat in Milford Sound and swam with us for several minutes, defied every single warning sign I found about any danger and rolled boulders off unstable rock cliffs, skipped rocks across frozen glacier filled lakes, hiked mountain ranges to see the most spectacular views imaginable, stood dangerously close to a partially collapsing glacier as tall as a skyscraper, drove so much my body would go numb while taking in the unbelievable surroundings, chased herds of sheep on private property, shared roads with herds of cattle migrating through the countryside, grew tired of seeing sheep on the hills, learned that the sun goes down around 5pm here and when you are by yourself sleeping in a car in the middle of nowhere on a beach, that you eventually become ok with silence and being alone with your thoughts-otherwise you quickly would lose your sanity.
And throughout the entire trip I continually tried to find a word to describe what I was seeing, and I finally had an appropriate time to use this word...majestic. to be in a valley surrounded by cliffs that rise straight up out of the ocean that scale a mile high, and to see innumerable waterfalls falling from heights of a 50 story building, the wind so cold that you lose the ability to talk from your face being so cold and the water being crystal clear...it is such a surreal moment that majestic was the only thing I could possible do justice describing with.
All in all, a good road trip....
A frozen tree...winter is cold when you are close to Antartica..
My new favourite food, indian curry and Naan breaad....mmmm
one of the families that took me in at Queenstown, they let me use their lakehouse and fed me for several days
notice me in the pic below, the small blue spec in the bottom right. that is a big wall of ice
and of course no road trip would be complete for Jeff Stafford without a good in depth convo with a random crazy man on the street about how he regularly talks to aliens when they land "just over that hill there"
he literally came up to me, and after offering to take my picture, after talking to him for a good 2 seconds he asked if I believed in aliens. well, since I already hand my camera in hand, I figured this story wouldnt capture the full weight of the moment, so here is the actual cognito footage..enjoy. (and by the way, he definitely says "my cousin married a girl, she's quarter alien")