Wild Workplace (Part Three) – The Routeburn Track

“On a Mish” #59 Wild Workplace – Part Three. The Routeburn Track. Fiordland National Park / Mt Aspiring National Park. 21.3.2009. You are not supposed to enjoy work. Well that’s what I used to think before getting a good as a guide on the Routeburn / Greenstone Track. It took me a while to get used to the fact that I was disappointed on my days off as I really enjoyed doing what I do to get paid. In tourism (so far..) I will not become a millionaire, but I will jump up out of bed knowing that what I was going to do as a job was not only going to make the customers excited, but I would also be getting a huge buzz out of it…

The people who first told me “get a job you love and you will never work a day in your life” were now in a position where they could watch their son live out the saying they had told him millions of times as he grew up! We had had a big first day on the Routeburn Track, so the sight of the lodge was comforting and knowing dryness was only a few steps away kept us moving until at our home for the night.

Ocean Peak Corner with the Hollyford Valley below

Lake MacKenzie Lodge had just been opened after a complete rebuild, and to say the place was ‘comfort in paradise’ would be a huge understatement. More a palace than a lodge, the lights of the main lounge would light up both guided and independent walkers’ eyes, but only one not the other would be enjoying the goings on at the luxurious lodge. The lodge staff refuelled the team with an excellent feed, and this was a strange experience for me as until this point I had only enjoyed the place as a guide and now I had my fellow guides making sure all was well. The guided party worked out pretty quickly that I was a guide on his days off, and it didn’t take long before I began to help out as if I was on duty at work (not that it bothered me). That evening we were informed about what we would get up to the next day, and it was the day Jeremy would return to Falls Lodge after visiting the place in the seventies as a teenager. With light rain falling outside we all retreated to the warmth and comfort of our rooms, and after everyone had worked out how to use a sleep sheet, we drifted off to sleep knowing tomorrow would bring more Routeburn Track epicness…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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