it's always better on holiday
(so much better on holiday)
that's why we only work when
we need the money
We spent the last 5 days internet-less, backpacking and whatnot. It was hard not knowing how TomKat and their baby were doing. The park rangers had radios, but they wouldn't let us radio in for TomKat updates. What's the point of those radios then?!
We did the Routeburn track and on days 2/3 it snowed! It was so beautiful. As we were hiking through the suddenly white landscape we kept humming the beginning of "walking in a winter wonderland," over and over, which would have driven you crazy if you'd been there to hear it.
There aren't many interesting animals in NZ , mostly a lot of birds. There's a huge alpine parrot called the kea, which all the rangers /signs tell you to avoid. They are "mischievous" and their beaks are incredibly strong. Apparently (not making this up) there are certain kea, mostly adolescent males, who are repeat offenders against humanity. They steal your hiking gear, mangle boots and attack the windshields of cars. The park guide says the rangers put colored bands on the bad kea and "if you see a banded kea causing trouble, please alert [the rangers] with a description of the kea and what it was doing." So basically there are teenage hoodlum parrots running amok all over New Zealand!!