Our fourth day in the national park saw us safely in the village hostel. Outside was a beautiful crystal clear day. Far from the storms that we had anticipated. Being our last day in the park we decided to do a day hike before hopping on the shuttle van back to Christchurch.
We decided to take a one way path to the summit of the mountain overlooking the village. A hike of a few hours. After the events of the past three days it felt as if nothing happened in those few hours. It was a simple walk up a well defined and clear path. Perhaps I am a drama queen(or king to be more correct, or perhaps less correct. I’m not sure), but I preferred our rough and scary hike.
The summit was beautiful. We had uninterrupted views in all directions of the fabulous country. Barren, snow capped mountains to one side and tree covered hills to the other. Relax was the word of the day and after a few minutes of sitting enjoying the view in that crisp, clean air we were both snoozing under the New Zealand sun.
The route down took us past a gushing waterfall. Just two days before all the waterfalls we had seen had been ominous signs but today it was a gorgeous sight, safe in the knowledge that we were only hours from the village and mankind.
The end of our journey brings me to my favorite part. The Kea bird. This little bugger is one of my favorite animals. Known as the smartest bird in the world it is capable of solving puzzles. Trash cans in the park are specially designed as the birds can open most types. After our long hike Nick and I enjoyed an ice cream while waiting for the shuttle. As I’m sitting on a curb minding my own business a Kea walks up and looks me up and down sorting me out. After coming to the conclusion that he isn’t going to get my ice cream he hops up onto my pack and in a flash has unzipped it and taken out a pack of crackers. Keep in mind that my pack has five zippers and he chose the correct one to get to my crackers. Impressed by this I let him have one cracker and then take the rest back. I climb into the van with this last memory as the icing of a wonderful trip.