"And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our own feet, and learn to be at home."
Wendell Berry

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas in Wanaka

On Christmas morning, I got up super early to climb Mt. Roy in Wanaka with my friend, Adrian. It was an excellent idea, but we didn't go about it the best way. To put it plainly, we were really, really stupid.

I can only attribute our stupidity to some lingering fuzziness from Sam's birthday bar bonanza the night before, because now when I remember that I set out on a seven hour hike, two and a half hours of which involved summitting a 1600 meter mountain in the blistering ozone-less sun without any sunscreen or much water but with a nalgene full of Jameson hot toddy while in a state of supreme dehydration, I'm still kind of dumbfounded.

The tramp up was BRUTAL. Over two hours of switchbacks that seemed to go straight up and never end. The-top-is-just-around-the-bend syndrome. My calves were screaming, my throat was parched, and I whined the whole way that it was worse than the marathon. It really was. But...

The top had this view:

And the way up and down had these sheep, everywhere:

Totally worth it, and a pretty top-notch way to spend Christmas morning.

When we got back, after making Christmas phone calls home, everyone feasted at our giant hostel barbeque, a bunch of orphans huddled together around sausages, crepes, enchiladas, and fritters. The pie, though slightly undercooked on the bottom because I have yet to truly understand conversions to celsius paired with ovens with settings in Italian, was still quite tasty.

Before leaving Wanaka, I did make it out to Puzzling world. Which was, indeed, puzzling. Got stuck in the maze for over an hour and sprained my brain on all the enigmas, but that's another story...

Regardless, Merry Christmas to all (and to all a good night...)!


  1. Jill! So glad to see you are sharing your beautiful pies worldwide. :) New Zealand looks gorgeous, and also too good to be true--mountains! lakes! picturesque sheep! a fantastical movie theater! and a local farmer's market!?!? Let's move. Hope you continue to experience wonderful and safe travels. Merry belated Christmas!


  2. I wish I could move New Zealand a little closer to family than 18 hours away. Or I could just transplant everyone I know to NZ. Glad you're on board, Abbi--hope you had very happy holidays!