Sunday, April 2, 2017

Moeraki Boulders are the Best Boulders

The Ring of Fire trip, August 30th, 2013; Day Twenty-Seven of Thirty-Two.

Waking up we decided to head back into town to get breakfast and see the buildings in their full light. After a delicious breakfast and a quick call home we toured the town of Timaru and took pictures. We also happened to catch a train coming in town. It was an older train with some classic coach cars, worth seeing but not too special. Just south were the Moeraki boulders; perfectly round and mythical stones to the New Zealand people. The boulders erode from the hill above the beach and gravity takes over from there. They are perfectly round as the water carves and shapes them over time. Eventually, they may erode away entirely as you can see in a few.

There were around 30 on the beach, that we could see, since the tide high but not too many people. So we spent some time walking around, jumping between the rocks and of course taking pictures. It was a very unique and seemingly magical place to hang around. I would have loved to get a sunset picture but I wanted to make my way to Queenstown before nightfall. My goal was to book a tour of the famed Milford Sound for the next day. We said our goodbyes and I headed on my way. They were a fun group of travelers and had a lot more time to see the country than I. Plus, they had already been to the city. We said our goodbyes and I was on my way.

After a four hour drive and a few stops to take in the scenery and relax, I made it to town. It’s the most expensive town in NZ and is no doubt a ski town. I was a little surprised that there was snow on the ground but I still felt fairly comfortable walking around in shorts, so it wasn't crazy cold still. There are about 10,000 permanent residence (and many more travelers that pass through). After booking a tour for the next day and finding a place to park I made my way to a eatery called Ferg Burger. It is well known for having filling, delicious burgers. So I ordered one and had to wait around a half hour to get it. In the mean time I headed into a ski shop to check it out and waste some time. I ended up meeting a guy that worked both winters in Colorado and New Zealand rotating back and forth, which sounds amazing. Even more interesting was that he grew up in the same town I did in Michigan and went to the same high school, just 9 years before me; pretty crazy. Back to the burger place I had to wait a little longer and ended up talking to people from France and Australia. People in a queue are very easy to start a conversation with and you never know who you will run into or where they will be from. Once I got my burger and found a seat under I heater next to the people I was talking to, I dug in. The burger filled the plate and the fries filled my stomach; probably one of the best I’ve had. As if I had died and gone to heaven.

The people from Australia had ordered way too much food so they offered the French guy and myself some onion rings, calamari, and French fries. People can be so awesome once you get to know them a bit and other travelers especially. It was starting to get late and had an idea of where I wanted to camp but still wanted to find it and get settled in. Driving around and camping where you please is referred to as freedom camping and is forbidden in the town of Christchurch, so I had to be about a km outside of the city. About ten minutes from the city I found a DOC (Department of Conservation) camp ground and park there for the night. It is fun to camp in new places all the time, but I was definitely aware of who and what was around me. Again, the stars were burning the sky and so very mesmerizing; I would be a fool not to take them in. I snapped a few pictures before getting in the van, watching some of the Lord of the Rings: Two Towers and fell into a deep sleep.

I love this beautiful country.

Read the full trip chronicles, here.

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