Will and Bear Lads trip
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The first time with Will and Bear, we actually kicked off on such an amazing note. So many interests that we had in common. Anything vintage, tiny homes, the outdoors, living on the road, surfing, adventures. A spontaneous moment I invited Alex overseas for lad’s trip. He said it was exactly what he needed.
Each summer was getting more full timewise, it’s been getting harder and harder for Alex and Loz to get over to NZ. One summer they decided to repaint Marty, their VW t4 campervan. That started as a month long side job before touring round Australia. The turned into a full restoration that lasted three months and they had moved out of their flat. So it’s been some pretty expansive few years and usual NZ road trip was overdue. The Last time they came to visit New Zealand I lived in a tent with Jess. Since then I moved into a cabin. And by cabin I mean, a very small cabin. It was 2 x 3 m. I was pretty excited to show Alex.
Alex with a huge ground in design and product design was pretty interested in the basic way of life living in the cabin. Maybe the only thing to change was the uncomfortable bunkbeds. That wasn’t a problem to come as a bunk beds were soon a luxury.
Since first showing them Glenorchy, we agreed that would be one place could all live. So for the first hike we were doing an overnighter into the hills. Was this beautiful hut that overlooked Glenorchy. The hike up was a hot one, that soon changed as cloud set in. Before darkness we had a little bit of an explore. Following the ridge up I was keen to show Alex how much land there was to roam around.
In the far distance across the valley I could hear a kea. For those of you that don’t know, a kea is the only alpine parrot in the world that only lives in New Zealand. It also has the intelligence of a three year old. And what I mean by that, it’s very smart. They can solve puzzles, learn patterns but destroy things, they are pretty much menaces of the southern alps and that is why they call the cheeky kea or mischievous kea.
The time I spend in solitude I go a bit nutty, talk myself and mimic as many sounds possible. The Kea is one of them. I called it from across the valley to where it sat beside us. The only thing I am unsure of, who was more the pest, myself or the kea. It stole my glasses and also my camera. People that have skied in New Zealand, will be familiar with the kea tearing apart your car doors and windscreen wipers. Their beak is insanely sharp. This kea was just as cheeky
It got over waiting for us. Knowing that we would follow it, it led us back to the hut. It sat there and watched us make dinner, waiting for it’s feed or maybe an opportunity where we didn’t guard the food. It got tired of waiting again, this kea had an agenda. It hopped to the back of the hut, twisted around the tank water lid, lifted he lid, pulled the chain so the lid came off, it was then happily drinking water from the tank. Honestly these birds were so intelligent.
The weather front came in the following morning, we decided to set off the earlier to beat it. The problem after Alex’s coffee, he came back from the scenic long drop saying his ring is missing off his finger. Both our mouths dropped, he left with the head torch in search of it. I was cracking up at his unpleasant groans to the smell. I had no idea what he was gonna do if he saw it down there. In classic Alex style he left the ring in this pocket back at the hut. All was safe.
Before our next hike in Glenorchy we went for a quick fish, then also to the pub to get some wedges. Sunset was about 6pm, the hike in was about 7-8 hours, it was 1.30pm and we were setting off with the packs for another overnighter. Classic lads trip. It started with gentle walk, a quick pace, jog, then to a run. Don’t ask how but we made it to the end of the valley in time. Alex hit a wall though, he was giggling at anything. He had lost it. It’s even better when the laughs are contagious. What a site to see though once we calmed down, this beautiful glacier from the mountain tops finishing off with a waterfall at the bottom. We had it all to ourselves
Darkness was setting in, same with the frost as we trudged back to camp. Set up the tarp tent, lit the fire and prepared dinner. We were quite underprepared for food and ate all our food that evening. We were hungry men.
After a long hike, laying down your head is one of the best things. I had a beautiful sleep, Alex though, he woke up several times throughout the night, shivering laying on the solid frozen ground. I slept through it, but he blew up his mattress multiple times in desperation. In the morning, he looked like shit and all I could hand him was measly half an apple. Great. We realised he pierced his mattress on sharp speargrass next to us. Surviving on just an apple between us, we got out at 2pm. We were starving and the pub was set on our mind. Also set on our mind the last 6 hours hiking out. On another note getting back to my toasty warm hut, those bunkbeds didn’t seem so bad.
It was cool to show Alex more of my backyard, fresh areas to see. We also went on some smaller hikes. At the end of it we couldn’t figure out what we likes best. Cheers are coming over Alex, epic lads trip.