Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Weekend at Queen Charlotte Sound!

Hello all! If you haven't heard from me for a few days, its because this past weekend I went "off the grid" for a weekend at Queen Charlotte Sound! This was the activity weekend sponsored by Arcadia, where all of the Arcadia Wellington students got to get a glimpse of the South Island as well as sea kayaking!

Bright and early on Friday morning the group of 19 of us took a ferry across the Cook Straight to Picton, which took about 3 and a half hours. Once there, we took vans to part of the Charlotte Track, and then we were off! We walked for about three hours to Mistletoe Bay, which is an area with cabins and a campsite where we were staying. On the way, I got a look at some of the breathtaking views of the sound!

Mistletoe Bay is committed to sustainability and being environmentally conscious, which is AWESOME. Some of the ways they do this include having solar panels on the buildings, using runoff water which is then filtered with UV light for drinking, showering, etc; and having all of their toilets use grey water which is reused. Another awesome thing about Mistletoe Bay is that we were greeted by alpacas!!

Saturday we ventured into the world of sea kayaking! Unfortunately, I don't have many pictures because I wasn't willing to risk bringing my camera onto the water with me, even with the waterproof camera bags. Being out on the water for a few hours surrounded by mountains on all sides and clear blue-green water was so wonderful, even if my arms were significantly sore the next day from all of the paddling! Kayaking to a otherwise inaccessible beach to have lunch and lay in the sun with friends epitomized enjoying what nature has to offer.

After paddling back to where we were staying, a small group of us decided to forgo napping before dinner and instead go on a hike to watch the sunset above the mountains. Although a nap might have been nice, the view when we got to the top of our hike was definitely worth the extra effort.

On Sunday morning, it was time to hike more of the track so we could be picked up by a water taxi to go back to the ferry, and then Wellington. The views in the morning were once again beautiful, with layers of fog and clouds silhouetting the mountains around us.

The group resting for lunch
After getting back to Wellington and being exhausted, a group of us decided to forgo cooking dinner for ourselves and instead indulge in something American- burgers! To end the weekend, I enjoyed a great veggie burger from the American-inspired NZ version of a fast food chain, "Burger Fuel." My veggie burger was delicious, despite the fact that no where in the US would beets be customary on burgers and you would never be provided a cardboard holder to keep your hands from getting messy. All criticism aside, it was a great end to an amazing weekend!

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