Monday, December 24, 2007

Tim's Christmas & New Years best wishes

Happy Christmas and all the best for the New Year!

As you may have guessed I have ceased the 3 monthly "where's Tim now?" emails...I am no longer an Internet/email junkie, and have decided that I have better things to do, particularly when on holidays. Facebook seems the way of the future to keep in touch so if your wanting to know what I am up to you know where to go.

My last email left with me working in "Good Health" Wanganui (hospital), I enjoyed the 2.5 month stint there by myself and got to know the town and people there better. 'Jenny mums' cooking, playing with safa's, running with the Harriers, even working at the hospital was all great but I was ready for more holidaying.

I spent a week with Anneliese (sister) in the South Island doing the "adventure stuff" like Gliding (like in the movie "Thomas Cown Affair") and then skydiving...this will be the highlight of 2007, I still get a rush thinking about it now!

Then there was 3 weeks with the folks seeing the whole south Island, pity about the constant rain but they enjoyed the chauffeuring in Shazza and the difficult decision on which beer we would be drinking that night. Apart from the local cuisine M&D enjoyed living in youth hostels and the novelty of green grass and even the rain.

Reebs (Rebekah), my school captain timed her own family trip to finish as my folks flew home, hence a perfect excuse to go bushwalking and see the north of the South Island yet again. Thanks for breaking in my parka Reebs...believe it or not it took until October (8 months in NZ) to use my parka in a decent rain/snow/sleet (4 days straight) apart from the occasional shower and skiing trip.

After running out of holiday companions I headed for the deep south to do some serious bushwalking. A few days of walking around the Wanaka and Routeburn regions were done in perfect clear sky sunny NZ weather. I slept under a rock bivi/overhang and showered (occasionally) under waterfalls...idyllic except that the outside temperature was more suited to hot chocolates and open fires not icey showers.

I tested my community pharmacy skills in Te Anau (gateway to Milford Sound) and learnt the ins and outs of dealing with Americans and other more serious tourists (by the bus load) and selling sandfly repellents. Good fun but I only stayed 5 days for a reason...I had to go tramping! The Dusky track was some of the best walking I have ever done. "Track" is a vague description of mudpools, slippery slimy tree trunks, snow covered slopes and a few orange triangles indicating that I had to actually go through/over/climb/slide towards it. Want to challenge yourself then go do the Dusky, but don't forget to take your camera, EPIRB (satellite rescue thingy) and enjoy the fact that you wont see anybody for days. I then went and did Stewart has the notorious reputation as the muddiest walking track in NZ (maybe world). After doing the Dusky though it was simply a track that I had to tick off my list, the beaches were amazing, mud was never ending fun and I saw a Kiwi whilst walking, but I love walking in the mountains and the NZ beech forests over a coastal walk. Solo bushwalking for 20 days was a great way to explore your capabilities physically and mentally, gives you heaps of time to think and is fantastic for the "soul" lugging 30kg pack 1km vertical uphill only go down the other side.

I am current based in Alice Springs....yep from NZ to central Australia. I am working as a community pharmacist in a shopping centre...6 days a week and loving it! Crazy, but then having worked as little as I have in the last year going to work is an enjoyable experience and the air-con is much better than the 40 degree temp outside. As usual I am running but this requires early early starts in Alice or it hits mid 30s before you get home at 7am. The only downer of being in Alice has been catching up on 10months of Australian Ns Vs Ds and Cough & colds in a single weekend...what fun that was!

Where to next? Yep Alice Springs is not only a random, enjoyable change but it allows me to make some cash fast to do something else...UK is the most likely destination, maybe a Christmas off shore or in snow next year...anyway I'd better get Christmas '07 and New Year in Victoria over before I plan next years.

Thanks for the fun to everybody I have traveled, tramped, ate, drunk and slept (in Shazza of course) with this year. Here's to wishing that the New Year brings everybody as much or more fun as I have had this year. Best wishes and please keep in contact...I might need to stay on your floor some day!



2007 favorites:
Favourite food...toss up between Dates and Peanut butter sandwiches
Weirdest thing eaten... Sea urchin (Kina) If you like oysters then don't ever pass the opportunity to try this.
Favourite beer..."Renaissance Porter" unfortunately not avaliable in Aussie yet.
Favourite transport...Shazza, sad day leaving her at the sale yards in Christchurch, she was a travelling companion, bed & breakfast, bus to many and bloody good buy for the year. We did over 50,000km with each other and you are now someone-elses
Favorite place visited....impossible to answer, but sitting on a mountain somewhere in NZ will no doubt rank bloody close
Most valuable equipment/clothing...poor old hiking boots, these unfortuately were worn out within the year...left still wet at Christchurch airport...saved my ankles many times and the Gortex keep my feet warm if not dry!
Favorite soak...washing was done less frequent this year but it is closely tied b/n the thermal pools North Island and the ball retracting glacial streams/waterfalls of Fiordland NZ.