The first time I ever wished I were a backpacker was when I went to Queenstown, New Zealand. I realized something then that I had never realized before: that when you carry your stuff on your back, you’re able to see things that other people just don’t get to see.
Still, without the backpack (and trekking poles and sleeping on a rock), the southern tip of South Island was nothing short of glorious.
Waterfalls that laced the rocks on their way down to seawater. Rugged peaks that became the famous backdrop for all of Gandalf’s rides. A strangely lapis lagoon that shimmered despite the rainstorm.
Let me back up for a moment.
After our magnificent, sunny stay in Marlborough Sounds— where we boated with dolphins and spotted the New Zealand Giant Pigeon, among other things– we boarded a flight to Queenstown.
It was forecasted to rain– hard– for the duration of our stay, and despite the fact that locals tried to convince us that rainy New Zealand was beautiful, we were miffed.
Yet as it turned out, the rain was the best thing. Something about the gloomy weather shed a pleasantly moody light on the entire place.…Continue Reading