The botanical gardens are one of Dunedin's most beautiful locations. This is one of my favorite spots, next the fountains with the view over-looking half of the city. I am constantly taken back by the beauty of this place I was able to call home this semester. This opportunity has been a gift that I will never take for granted.
Not many people are big fans of class at eight in the morning. I, on the other hand, enjoy this time in the morning when no one else is around. Campus is quiet and days like this when the sunrise is breathtaking are unforgettable. As is gets colder, not as many people are showing up for these morning classes either. I only have two more days of class and then final exams begin. I'm nervous about so much of my grade riding on one test, but I think I'll do just fine.
I went downtown the other day looking for some gifts and came across this candy store. We popped in quick to take a look around and noticed they were selling a semi-popular brand of cereal here. I then noticed the price tag and my jaw dropped. $20 for a single box of cereal, no thank you. This is how you get the population to eat healthier cereals! There was also a jar of Reeses Peanut Butter for $19.95 as well...
I went to the Market Day on campus last week, they had this trolley of groceries and you had to guess the dollar amount you thought it was worth. I'm usually pretty terrible at these type of things, but I decided to give it a shot anyway. I guessed $269.80.
I ended up being $0.12 off and won the whole thing! I now don't have to buy groceries for the rest of my time here! So many great things, like FANCY peanut butter (you can tell because its in a glass jar!).
This past weekend we went for a hike right outside of Wanaka to a back-country hut. The ride to Wanaka has to be one of my favorites here in New Zealand.
It took us a while to find the trail head. It was on private property and not marked very well, so we ended up on some of the paths through the farm before finally coming across where we were supposed to be.
We had to climb through these gates that are put in place to keep the livestock in. Almost like a dog door for humans.
The hike was wonderful and we planned on staying in the hut for two nights. The first night we got in late and it was already dark. We were sad that we couldn't see much coming in, but once we got above tree line and saw that it was clear skies and the stars were like nothing I've seen before. We unpacked quickly, took a few of the mattresses outside, and laid there starring up at the stars above us. The milky way was so clear and we saw multiple shooting stars. I've never experienced anything like it before, I felt so small as I gazed up at all the constellations before me. It was one of those things that caught me off-guard and I want to remember that moment forever.
This is Fern Burn Hut where we stayed both nights. A 12-person bunk with no heat, because as you can see there is no wood to burn anywhere near by.
The next day we hiked up to the next peak and back down without having to wake up too early. It was so nice to take our time, knowing we had the whole day to explore.
Here, you can see Lake Wanaka in the distance.
Melissa, Abbey, and Noelle accompanied me this weekend. I am so grateful to have met such amazing people while being here. Without them, my adventures and memories would not as great as they are. The people you surround yourself with makes a huge difference.
It got a little brisk once we got to the top. It started sleeting, so we didn't spend too much time up there before heading back down. Unfortunately it was really cloudy so it was hard to see very far.
In the visitor's book we read that a lot of people were seeing goats on their way through. We were lucky enough to see a bunch as well! There was probably a total of 15 in one spot we passed through, including adorable babies. They were nothing like the mountain goats I've seen in Colorado.
I think I will miss the sunsets and sunrises from back-country huts the most when I leave here. I've never felt more at home than I do here.
I see posts about how everyone is finally enjoying the summer weather back home. Me on the other hand, woke up to a ton of snow the next morning. A group of 11 ended up showing up that night, which ended up being great in the end. They were a group from Miami University in Ohio and they brought a ton of body heat with them! They were spending 3 weeks here for an outdoor leadership class. I couldn't imagine only spending 3 weeks here. I feel as though a semester isn't even long enough. But, what a great opportunity for them. We told them all about our favorite places and what we've learned since being here.
We then had to head out in the cold and make our way back down the mountain. I wouldn't have wanted to do it with anyone other than these lovely ladies.
We headed out before the big group behind us, and surprisingly didn't even get passed on the way down.
Nothing like a blizzard at the end of May to make me feel at home.
Melissa decided now was as good a time as any to bust out the emergency poncho that we bought at the beginning of the semester.
And finally we got out of the snow.
Just had to walk through a field of poop and we were home free.
Caper's is a local breakfast spot in Dunedin that is recommended by all. I now know why. Melissa, Noelle, Olivia, and I all shared our pancaked and omelets.
Pancake of the month
Banoffee (banana + toffee) pancaked
My next goal: kick butt on my finals next week!
So until next time,