For weeks, Franka had dreamed of it: goat cheese! Because any dairy products in New Zealand are prohibitively expensive (most domestic milk goes abroad), we always had to pass the cheese counter in the supermarket with sad eyes. But now, we were directly at the producer! The house was again beautiful, the food delicious, and the tasks easy: cutting gorse. This lovely plant was introduced by Europeans to New Zealand and, because of the lack of competition, it spread rapidly across the country. But thanks to our tireless efforts now about 50 acres of New Zealand earth is freed of this monster. We also helped with feeding and milking the goats and learned much about the local cheese production. Easier than we thought.
Unfortunately, we were caught in the middle of a marital quarrel and the mood during our common dinner decreased daily. And not only the man in the house seemed to have a bad time, also the man on the field. Our host rented a bull to copulate his cows, but the bull was not used to hilly landscape. And so it happened during a joyful act in the hilly area that a cow was not willing and after abrupt discontinuation of “the Act” the organ of virility of the bull broke. Finally we decided to leave our hosts earlier and used the great weather for our first full day hike.
This led us through the northern, less touristy, part of the Abel Tasman National Park. The wild coastline was a feast for the eyes, but the highlight of the hike were the seals, which at the time raised their young. Nevertheless, we could get quite close, as they were not afraid of us. We felt like real scientists, as we moved slowly towards the animals with our cameras. After this great hike we were keen to go on the next one.
This led us to the angels-lake in the mountains of Nelson Lakes National Park and took three days. So we packed our backpacks and hiked into the wilderness. On the first day was supposed to be a river to cross, but unfortunately after all the rain it was still flooded. When the current nearly washed me with my backpack away, we gave up and took the three-hour detour to a swing bridge. The scenery was simply breathtaking, as well as the steep climb to the lake. We had to master about 1,000 meters altitude, in part, on boulder fields and mountain streams. But the reward of the effort was a crystal clear mountain lake and a fantastic view of the surrounding mountain ranges. The return on the third day took us on a steep track down into the valley. All in all a real adventure.
Finally we left from the mountains towards the sea on the West-Coast, to do some more hikes.