Our final day touring the south Island was nostalgic. After packing our tent for the last time, we left Franz Joseph and continued up the West Coast. Little by little, things began to once again become familiar, as passed places I had been to as a child. We arrived in Hokitika, but decided to continue home over Arthur’s Pass. I was surprised to find that a lot of the road, which I had driven last year (as you may see in my older posts) still looked unfamiliar. I suppose the weather was now warmer, sunnier and I was riding shotgun this time. As we drove through the drought-dry Canterbury high country, we discussed many of the environmental issues facing our country and the world. Finally, we stopped at the iconic Sheffield Pie Shop, before driving the last leg of the road home.

To summarise this entire trip is very hard. In five days, it felt like we had visited many countries, as we watch the scenery rise and fall, grow greener then dryer, as we passed by lake after lake and through valleys, gorges, farmlands, fjords, mountain passes and high plains. I am breathtaken by the beauty of our Island, as stereotypical as that may sound. The journey also exposed some of the very alarming effects of climate change on the natural world and the very fragile balance of ecosystems, which are sensitive to the smallest variations in temperature and rainfall. I am filled with a mixture of sadness, inspiration and determination to play my part, whatever that might be, in protecting the wild places of our country, which are so important to humanity on both an material and even spiritual level.

“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit”

– Edward Abbey

On another note, I am working on a very exciting project, where I will be making the most of hours of video footage I collected throughout the trip. You didn’t think I only took a few dozen photos when I spent five days in some of the most beautiful places on Earth, did you?! Keep an eye out for some multimedia content coming soon (yes, this is some more shameless advertising)!

All Images ©2017, The Alpine Wanderer. All Rights Reserved.

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