Cheers Fellas – 600km Later…

“On a Mish” #263 Cheers Fellas, 600km later… Te Anau-Queenstown-Riverton. 30.3.2021. Aotearoa, the best place to go for a drive. A mostly solitary life does need to be broken up every now and then with socializing. I have many friends but am only close to a few. During my time sitting around injured I was constantly checked on by my Routeburn / Queenstown brothers, and everytime I started to feel down I would get a verbal slap, and a reminder that things could be far worse than what they are. 2020 was a strange year to be stuck on the couch watching the news. It seemed to be a recurring episode of sadness, hardship and disappointment. Watching too much can make you forget that during the year we were mostly free to continue on with our lives (except for the lockdown, which is nothing compared with what other countries have had to deal with)…

After returning to Te Anau to restart my life I was visited by the fellas, and over a couple of days enjoyment replaced any hints of uncertainty in this ever changing world we are living in. Nothing is free, and the fellas had one up on me after they had traveled all the way from Queenstown / Riverton to Te Anau. It was time to return the favour, and I only had a couple of days to complete my 600km circuit. First was a drive to Queenstown. Driving on a tourist free road is bittersweet, as the drive without traffic is excellent, but I work in tourism and I need those rental cars and campervans heading my way (Te Anau). 185km got me to the bro Mark’s house, and together with his actual bro Chad we had a feast and a couple of drinks.

Early-ish the next day I was on the road heading south towards Aparima / Riverton. 211km later I was on the south coast chilling in the cosy confinement of the bro Dan’s outstanding pad. Dan is the big boss at Active Hearts Foundation, and it is always good to see how the charity is doing, and also getting an update on my Nepali whanau during the tough times we are in. Food is a huge part of visiting Dan’s dwelling. The man sure does know how to grow, and nothing beats having fresh fruit and veges straight from the garden. Not much dulls Dan’s enthusiasm except a lack of waves to surf. The poor fella had gone a few days without a paddle, and the cracks were starting to show. To make up for the flat conditions we hit up the Riverton Skatepark for some concrete surfing. Our night was full of laughs and feeds, and for some extra icing on the cake the moon was lighting up the night sky like a giant spotlight. An early-ish start was complemented by an omelette / scrambled eggs, fresh from the coop that morning. With work rapidly approaching it was time to say goodbye to Aparima and its awesome people, and begin the final 155km leg of my journey. After many kms covered I finally got back to Te Anau refreshed and ready to take on the next challenge the world throws at me. Cheers fellas for the outstanding couple of days!

Sun setting from Taramea Bay

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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