Saturday, 16 September 2017

New Zealand: Illa sud / South island


[ENGLISH FOLLOWS]
Hi ha una pàgina de motxillers per Nova Zelanda a facebook on vaig veure una entrada d'una noia holandesa, la Sophia, que buscava companys de viatge per recórrer la illa sud, així que li vaig escriure. Vam quadrar dates i també havia s'havia posat d'acord amb una noia d'Austria, la Petra, i una d'Alemania, la Merle, que es compraria un cotxe. Erem 4 companys de viatge, tots viatjant pel nostre compte, i un cotxe, així que ja podia començar l'aventura per la illa sud!

M'aixeco ben aviat a la casa on m'allotjaven a Wellington i un dels nois que vivia allà em porta a l'estació on havia quedat amb la Petra, anem cap al port i agafem el ferri que creua de l'illa nord a la sud. Al arribar ens recull la Merle amb el cotxe i anem cap a Nelson on ens trobem amb la Sophia. Ja ens haviem reunit els 4 i comencem a parlar sobre plans de viatge, històries i, en general, a coneixer-nos. He tingut molta sort perquè les tres són molt bona gent, tots tenim caràcters diferents però tinc la sensació que ens portarem molt bé.

El dia següent ja ens posem en marxa, Nelson és la porta per visitar el parc nacional Abel Tasman. Conduim fins a l'entrada del parc on agafem un taxi aquàtic, una barca que ens deixa a la meitat del parc nacional. De camí la barca s'atura per veure un grup de foques jugant a les roques, per mi ja ha valgut la pena venir aquí. Caminem pel parc nacional tot el dia, és preciós, de cala en cala com el camí de ronda però amb la selva entremig, fins arribar al refugi on dormim. L'endemà continuem la caminata fins a l'entrada del parc on teniem el cotxe.



Ara que som 4 és molt complicat fer couchsurfing perquè normalment allotgen a una o dues persones, així que anem d'hostals. Ens dirigim a la costa oest on visitem les pankake rocks, unes roques a vora del mar que semblen pankakes apilats. Els trasllats amb cotxe són visites en si mateixes ja que passes per paratges increibles on has de parar sovint per admirar les vistes. Aquella nit dormim a Haast, un poble diminut on no hi ha gairebé res, ni cobertura, però tenen una increïble platja solitària on anem a veure la posta de sol i, com que estem a l'oest, el sol es pon al mar.

En dues hores passem de la platja als glaciars, això és una passada aquí, pots canviar radicalment de paisatge en molt poc temps. Ens diuen que hi ha una excursió que és molt maca per arribar a un mirador davant del glaciar Franz Josef però que no està gaire ben marcada. No sé a que es refereixen perquè estava perfectament marcada, com tots els camins aquí a Nova Zelanda, estan impecables, passem per varis ponts penjants i creuem varis rius fins arribar a un mirador davant del glaciar.

L'endemà anem a un altre glaciar i anem a dormir a Wanaka, un poble davant d'un llac espectacular envoltat de montanyes nevades. Decidim quedar-nos varies nits aquí per digerir tanta bellesa paisatgística. Pugem el Roy's peak, una muntanya des de la qual encara tens millors vistes, anem a un pub que feien micro obert, a un cine molt autèntic amb sofàs i cadires de dentista, i fem un circuit super divertit pel bosc amb bici de muntanya.








Continuem la ruta de muntanya fins a Queenstown, un altre poble a vora d'un llac i envoltat de muntanyes on també fem una excursió i aprofitem per sortir de festa ja que és dissabte i el lloc és conegut per la festa. Volem fer un tros de la ruta Routeburn així que anem fins a Kinloch i com que no para de ploure decidim estar a un hostal i fer un troç de la ruta l'endemà. Vam anar a parar a el millor hostal per estar un dia de pluja, menjador amb vistes al llac, foc, bon internet, pel·lícules, crispetes gratis i un jacuzzi exterior. Al final del dia ja no plovia, així que vaig aprofitar per anar a còrrer per la vora del llac.

L'endemà ens despertem i ens trobem una sorpresa, estava tot nevat! Preguntem i ens diuen que podem fer l'excursió igualment, així que anem cap allà. La carretera estava força neta de neu fins a l'inici de l'excursió, però tot el camí estaba replet de neu que formava un paisatge preciós. Passem pel bosc, varis pons penjants, no parava de nevar i alguns arbres es comencen a trencar pel pes de la neu, així que decidim fer mitja volta. Al final no feia gaire gràcia els arbres que queien perquè era perillós, però afortunadament arribem al cotxe. De tornada hi havia un arbre a la carretera, frena i el cotxe rellisca per la neu fins el costat de la carretera. Dues rodes estaven al fang de la cuneta i no hi havia manera de treure'l d'allà, no tenim cobertura i els altres cotxes que haviem vist es quedaven a dormir al refugi així que no tornarien fins l'endemà. Decidim començar a caminar fins a tenir cobertura, a males l'hostal on haviem dormit estava a 16km. Portem una hora caminant i trobem una camioneta amb una parella que ens diu que ens pot ajudar, ens carrega i anem fins on tenim el cotxe. Posen una cadena i a remolcar el cotxe que comença a sortir del fang però la camioneta comença a patinar i també acaba a la cuneta. No m'ho podia creure! Fent maniobres aconsegueix treure la camioneta de la cuneta. Així que a la tercera va la vençuda, provem una estratègia diferent i sembla que funciona, perfí aconsegueix treure el cotxe de la cuneta!! Una estona més tard estavem banyant-nos al jacuzzi exterior amb vistes a les muntanyes nevades, refent-nos del fred i rient de la mala estona que haviem passat.




[ENGLISH]
There's a backpackers in New Zealand facebook page where I saw a post from a dutch girl, Sophia, that was looking for travel mates in the south island, so I wrote her. We agreed on the dates and she also agreed with an austrian girl, Petra, and a german, Merle, that wanted to buy a car. We were 4 travel mates, all travelling on our own, and a car, so we could start the adventure in the south island!

I wake up really early in the house that I was hosted in Wellington and one of the guys that was living there took me to the station where I had to meet Petra and we went together to the harbour to catch the ferry for crossing from the north to the south island. When we arrived, Merle picked us up with the car and we went to Nelson where we met Sophia. We were the 4 together and we started talking about travel plans, stories and, in general, knowing each other. I've been so lucky because the three of them are really nice people, we have different personalities but I have the feeling that we will get along so well.

On the following day we started the trip, Nelson is the gate for visiting the Abel Tasman National Park. We drove to the entrance of the park where we took a water taxi, a boat that left us in the middle of the national park. On the way, the boat was stopping to see a group of seals playing in the rocks, for me it was already worth it coming here. We walked the whole day, it's really beautiful, from beach to beach with the rainforest in between, until we reached the hut where we sleep. The folowing day we continued the trekking to the entrance of the park where we had the car.

Now that we are 4 people, it is more complicated doing couchsurfing, so we go to hostels. We are going to the west coast where we visit the pankake rocks, some rocks next to the sea that they seem piled pankakes. The journeys by car are visits themselves because you drive by incredible places where you need to stop all the time to admire the sights. That night we slept in Haast, a tiny town where there's almost nothing, not even signal, but they have an incredible lonely beach where we went to see the sunset and, due to we are in the west, the sun sets in the sea.

In two hours we passed from the beach to the glaciers, that's really amazing here, you can completely change the landscape in a really short time. They told us there's a really nice excursion to reach a viewpoint in front of the glacier Franz Josef, but it's not so well indicated. I don't know what they are talking about because it was perfectly indicated, like all the tracks in New Zealand. We pass by several swing bridges and rivers until we reached the nice viewpoint to the glacier.

On the following day we went to Fox glacier and we slept in Wanaka, a town in front of a wonderful lake and snowed mountains. We decided staying some nights here to digest so many beautiful landscapes. We climbed up the Roy's peak, a mountain from which you have even better views, we went to an open mic pub, a really authentic cinema with sofas and dentist chairs, and we did a super funny circuit in the forest by mountain bike.

We continued the mountain road to Queenstown, another town next to a lake surounded by mountains where we also did an excursion and we took the advantage of partying because it was Saturday and the place is well known for the parties. We want to do a part of Routeburn track so we went to a town next to it, Kinloch. It didn't stop raining so we decided staying in a hostel there and doing it the day after. We stayed in the best hostel for a rainy day, livingroom with views to the lake, fire, good internet, movies, free pop corn and an outdoor hot tub. At the end of the day it wasn't raining anymore so I went running next to the lake.

On the next day, we wake up and we find a surprise, it was all covered by snow! We asked and they told us we can do the excursion anyway so we went there. The road was quite clean of snow besides the last part, but all the walking path was full of snow which made a beautiful landscape. We went through the forest, several swing bridges, it didn't stop snowing and some trees started to break for the weight of the snow, so we decided coming back. At the end, it wasn't so funny seeing the falling trees because it was dangerous, but luckily we arrived at the car. On the way back there was a tree on the road, we breaked and the car slipped in the snow to the side of the road. The two side wheels were on the mud and there was no way to take the car out from there, we didn't have signal and the people of the other cars that we saw would sleep in the hut, so they wouldn't go back until the following day. We decided to walk until we would have signal, on the worst case the hostel we slept last night was 16km away. We've been walking for one hour and finally we find a kind of pick up with a kiwi couple that could help up, so they give us a lift back ot the car. They put a chain and pulled the car that starts to go out from the mud, but the pick up also slips and it ends also on the side of the road. I can't believe it! Trying it harder, they can take the pick up out from the side of the road. So they try a third time, but with a different strategy and it seems that it works, finally take the car out! Some time later we were taking a bath in the outdoor hot tub with views to the snowed mountains, recovering the body heat and laughing about the bad time we had.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Kiwilandia part 2 (New Zealand)


[ENGLISH FOLLOWS]
Els nova zelandesos s'anomenen a ells mateixos kiwis ja que aquí hi han molts kiwis, la fruita, i l'animal nacional també s'anomena kiwi. Veus simbols per tot arreu de vigila que no atropellis un kiwi o si deixes el teu gos suelto podria matar un kiwi. La veritat és que és molt difícil veure'n en llibertat, doncs és un animal nocturn, com un ocell, força gros i carnós, però que camina a poc a poc i no vola, és a dir, ideal perquè qualsevol depredador es foti un bon tiberi.

Continuem el viatge per l'illa nord cap a la península de Coromandel amb la Melissa l'anglesa i la nova incorporació la Lea d'Alemania. Veig moltes platges precioses però l'aigua està massa freda per banyar-me ja que és hivern, però m'han dit que hi ha una platja que té aigua calenta (hot water beach) així que un dia després d'una caminata anem a veure què és això. Arribem a la platja en qüestió, cabem un forat a la sorra com una piscineta i l'aigua que surt està cremant, tant és així que gairebé no m'hi puc posar. Llavors una dona local em deixa un cubell i em diu que hi posi aigua freda del mar per baixar la temperatura. Tota una experiència i al final em pego un bany a l'aigua freda del mar.

Nova Zelanda és coneguda per haver estat el plató de moltes escenes del senyor dels anells (entre d'altres) així que no podia faltar la visita a hobbiton, el lloc on van rodar les escenes del poble dels hobbits. Al cine res és el que sembla, doncs per mostra hi ha un dels arbres que apareix de fons a sobre de la casa del Bilbo Bolson que és artificial i van pintar totes les fulles una a una, o hi ha la mateixa porta de diferents tamanys per simular que els hobbits son més petits que la resta de persones encara que els actors no ho siguin.




Arribem a Rotorua, una zona d'activitat volcànica on hi han gueisers, vapor sortint de la terra o dels llacs, olor a sulfur i aigües de color verd. Si em traslladès al pirineu amb la imatge d'aquest lloc pensaria que hi ha tot d'incendis al bosc, però tansols és vapor de l'activitat geotèrmica. Aquí vam conèixer a un noi alemà, el Denis, que es va apuntar un parell de dies a visitar la zona amb nosaltres. Vam anar a banyar-nos a un riu amb una petita cascada on l'aigua estava calenta.

La Gaelle i el Julio, dos dels companys de pis de Barcelona van marxar a viure a Nova Zelanda quan jo també vaig deixar el pis, així que em van trucar perquè tenien tres dies de vacances i que em venien a veure, així que vam quedar que ens veuriem a Taupo. De camí a Taupo vam parar a visitar unes cascades i mentres estava fent fotos algú em tapa els ulls per darrera, era la Gaelle!! Encara no havia arribat a la ciutat on ens haviem de trobar i ja haviem coincidit. Vam cuinar truita de patates, un vinet i vam jugar al catan (un joc de taula que soliem jugar al pis). L'endemà vam fer una excursió per vora del llac de Taupo i a la nit ja van marxar. Em va fer molta ilusió veure'ls.





D'aquí vam anar cap a l'est, a Napier, una ciutat amb edificis art deco que va sofrir un terratrèmol molt fort fa uns anys. La veritat és que aquí les ciutats no tenen gaire part històrica, doncs les primeres persones van arribar aqui sobre el segle 13, és a dir, que la catedral de la Seu és més antiga que qualsevol edifici de Nova Zelanda. Anem a Gisborn on ens allotja el Rori, un kiwi molt simpàtic que ens tracta super bé i ens presenta els seus amics. Resulta que estaven preparant el rodatge d'un curt per un festival de cine de Nova Zelanda, aquell divendres al vespre rebrien la temàtica del curt i tindrien 48 hores per presentar el curt. Vam colaborar gravant alguns sons per la introducció del curt i em van dir que em quedés el cap de setmana per fer d'actor al curt. Hagués estat genial però anavem curts de temps, així que l'endemà vam fer milles cap a Wellington, la capital.





Un cop arribem a la capital ens vam separar amb les noies, la Melissa tornava al nord a treballar i la Lea començaria a fer d'au pair. Jo me'n vaig anar a casa del Conrad, l'Adam i el Shaun, tres kiwis que em van acollir a una casa enorme al sud de la ciutat. Va ser arribar i vaig conéixer a un munt de gent, alguns d'ells eren gent que havien acollit i s'havien quedat a viure a la casa i d'altres que estaven pocs dies com jo. Poc després d'arribar estava amb una birra a la mà jugant a jocs de beure i passant-ho de conya. Aquesta casa era com una gran familia i em vaig sentir super a gust allà.

Un dia volia fer una excursió i els de la casa em van dir que podia anar per la montanya de vora de la casa fins a la platja i si continuava una bona estona probablement podria veure foques. Així que no m'ho vaig pensar i vaig anar cap allà, després de dos hores caminant veig una foca a les roques, vaig alucinar, m'hi vaig fixar millor i vaig començar a veure més foques. N'hi havien com 50, però com que estan fent la marmota i son del mateix color que les pedres no les veus de primeres. Van arribar uns nois que vaig conéixer i un d'ells es va posar a tocar la guitarra, va ser una excursió increïble, em vaig quedar més de dues hores observant les foques. Al arribar a casa, vaig sopar amb la gent i vam decidir agafar vi per anar a veure les estrelles a la cima de la montanya de vora la casa, aquesta va ser la meva última nit a l'illa nord, quina despedida!


[ENGLISH]
The people from New Zealand call themselves kiwis because there are many kiwi fruits here and the national animal is also called kiwi. You can see signs everywhere warning not to drive on a kiwi or your dog can kill a kiwi. The truth is that it is so difficult seeing one in freedom, due to is a nightly animal, like a bird, quite big and fat, but it walks slowly and it doesn't fly, in other words, it's ideal for any predator to have a good meal.

We continue the trip in the north island towards Coromandel peninsula with Melissa the british and the new mate Lea from Germany. I'm seeing many beautiful beaches but the water is too cold to swim because it's winter. I've been told that there's the hot water beach, so one day after a hike we went to see what's that. We arrived to this beach, we digged a hole in the sand, like a small pool, and the water that pops up is burning that much that I can't stay inside. Then a local woman borrowed me a bucked and told me that I should mix it with cold water from the sea to lower down the temperature. Such an experience and at the end I swam in the cold water of the sea.

New Zealand is well known for being the scenery of many movies of lord of the rings (among others), so I couldn't skip the visit to hobbiton, the place where they filmed the scenes in the town of the hobbits. In cinema almost nothing is real, like the tree on top of Bilbo's house that is artificial and they painted all the leaves one by one, or the same door is in different sizes to simulate that the hobbits are smaller than the rest of the people even the actors are not.

We arrive in Rotorua, an area with volcanic activity where there are geysers, steam going out from the ground or the lakes, smell of sulphur and green water. If I would locate myself in the pyrenees with the image of this place I'd think that there's fire in the forest, but it's only the steam of the geothermal activity. Here we met a german guy, Denis, who joined us for a couple of days to visit the area. We went for a bath in a river with a small waterfall where the water was worm.

Gaelle and Julio, two of my flatmates in Barcelona went to live in New Zealand at the same time I left the flat to go travelling. They phoned me because they had three days of holidays and they'd like to meet, so we agreed to meet in Taupo. On the way to Taupo, we stopped in some waterfalls and, while I was taking some photos, someone covered my eyes from the back, it was Gaelle!! I still hadn't arrived to the city where we were supposed to meet and we had met already. We cooked spanish omelette, some wine and we played catan (a game that we used to play in the flat). On the following day, we did a excursion next to the Taupo lake and they left at night. I was really happy of seeing them.

We went towards the east, Napier, a city with buildings art deco that suffered a terrible earthquake some years ago. The cities here don't have so much historical part because the first people arrived here on the 13th century. In other words, the cathedral of my town is much older than any building of New Zealand. After that we went to Gisborn where Rori hosted us, a really kind kiwi that treated us so well and introduced us to his friends. They were preparing the recording of a short film for a cinema festival of New Zealand, on Friday they'd receive the topic of the short film and they'd have 48 hours to submit it. We helped them recording some sounds for the introduction of the short film and they told me if I'd like to stay over the weekend to act in the short film aswell. It would have been great but we didn't have much time, so the next day we went to Wellington, the capital.

Once we arrived in Wellington we split with the girls, Melissa was going back to the north to work and Lea would start working as au pair. I went to the home of Conrad, Adam and Shaun, three kiwis that hosted me in their huge house on the south of the city. From the moment I arrived I met many people, some of them were people that had been hosted and they've stayed living in the house and others were staying a few days like me. A few minutes I had a beer on my hand and I was enjoying a lot playing drinking games. This house was like a big family and I felt so well there.

One day I wanted to do an excursion and the people from the house told me I could go through the mountain nearby to the beach and if I would continue for a long time probably I would see seals. I didn't think about it two times and I went there, after two hours walking I saw a seal in the rocks, I couldn't believe it, I looked deeper and I saw more seals. There were around 50, but due to the fact that they are lazy and they are of the same color than the stones, you don't see them at the beginning. I met some guys and one of them started playing the guitar. It was such an incredible excursion, I stayed more than 2 hours observing the seals. When I arrived home, I had dinner with the people from the house and we decided to take some wine and go to top of the mountains nearby to see the stars. This was my last night in the north island, such a farewell!

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Kiwilandia (New Zealand)

  
[ENGLISH FOLLOWS]
Després de tot el percal amb els vols ja no sabia que esperar-me al arribar a Nova Zelanda i l'únic que em va dir la de migracions és si ja tenia el ferry per creuar a la illa sud, vaig respondre que no amb temor que encara em diria alguna cosa, i em diu que m'aconsella que ho reservi amb temps perquè s'emplenen i que disfruti Nova Zelanda.

Em passejo pels carrers de Auckland i no paro de comparar les diferències amb el que he viscut fins ara. Miro a la gent i tots son rossos i blancs, asiàtics o de pell morena (Maoris, la població originària). Estic enviant audios amb el mòbil sense preocupar-me de la seguretat i no miro a terra sense por de xafar una merda de gos o trencar-me la cama per culpa d'un forat a terra. Cada vegada que pago alguna cosa, encara que siguin uns cacahuets, pregunto si puc pagar amb targeta al que responen "of course" (per suposat) i al supermercat no hi ha gairebé ningú que et cobri, t'ho cobres tu mateix.

He trobat per internet a una noia anglesa, la Melissa, que s'ha comprat un 4x4 i vol fer un viatge cap al nord, així que quedem per trobar-nos la mateixa nit per parlar-ho. Ens posem d'acord i en un parell de dies marxem cap al nord amb un altre noi anglès, l'Alex. Anem rumb al nord i comencem a buscar allotjament fins que trobo a una parella gran per airBnB, la Carolyn i el John. Ells estaven contentíssims de tenir companyia un divendres per la nit així que ens obren les portes de la seva fantàstica casa. Vam alucinar, la Carolyn va posar uns pastissos de marisc al forn, va obrir una botella vi, i allà estavem parlant a vora del foc, jugant amb els gossos, sopant i menjant brownies acabats de fer. El John ens va ensenyar la colecció d'avionetes que tenien i ens tractaven com els seus nèts. Era tard i ens van dir que si ens venia de gust tenien un jacuzzi exterior, es pot demanar alguna cosa més? No ens ho vam pensar i al cap d'una estona estavem al jacuzzi mirant les estrelles i un halo gegant que envoltava la lluna, quina rebuda! Al dia següent m'anava a preparar un cafè instantani per esmorzar i la Carolyn no em va deixar, va moldre cafè, em va preparar un cafè deliciós i vam anar tots a donar una volta per conéixer el poble.





És hora de continuar el viatge i anem cap a Whangarei, de camí parem a unes cascades i fem una excursió a una montanyeta. Lo bo d'anar amb cotxe és que et pots parar cada dos per tres, i això a Nova Zelanda és imprescindible, tens fotos de postal a cada cantonada. Avui passem la nit a casa la Cathy, una noia d'aquí que he trobat per couchsurfing i ens allotja a casa seva. Ella se'n va a viatjar per Europa en un mes així que li recomano un munt de llocs. L'endemà ens porta a fer una caminata a una montanya on hi han unes vistes impressionants.

Continuem més al nord a on hi han les Bay islands, allà ens allotja el Josh, un informàtic d'aquí (kiwi) que gairebé no podia estar amb nosaltres perquè li tocaba cuidar una casa per les nits, així que ens dóna la clau de casa seva i ens diu que fem com a casa nostra. A l'Alex l'informen que començarà abans que s'esperava a fer un voluntariat a un vaixell per investigar balenes, dofins i foques, així que abandona el barco.

Ens dirigim la Melissa i jo cap a casa del Shane, un caçador i apicultor que viu a una casa que s'ha construit ell mateix al mig de la montanya. Ara mateix té 200 panells d'abelles, així que com que no pot viatjar ha decidir convidar a viatgers a casa seva. Vam estar a la gloria a casa seva. Al dia següent pel matí plovia així que va decidir fer cervesa artesanal i el vaig ajudar per aprendre'n. Ah, me n'oblidava, a la pica de fregar els plats tenia un parell de sortidors de cervesa i l'aixeta de l'aigua, vaja que a vegades t'anaves a posar un got d'aigua i acabaves fotente una birra. Al sortidor tenia una cervesa basada en la chouffe, una de les meves belgues preferides. Vam compartir conversacions super interessants fins a les tantes cada dia, li vam cuinar el sopar un parell de dies i l'últim dia va preparar-nos un super sopar amb verdures, tubèrculs i una vedella boníssima rostida. Per acabar-ho de rematar em també tenia un jacuzzi exterior així que em vaig fer un bon bany una de les nits. Un dels dies vam anar fins al punt més al nord de Nova Zelanda, Cape Reinga, un lloc preciós amb un far on vam veure una posta de sol espectacular.







Diuen que la gespa és més verda a casa del veí, no sé si és veritat però almenys aquí és la gespa amb el verd més intens que he vist. L'ecosistema de Nova Zelanda és molt delicat i portar restes de plantes d'un altre país a les botes pot matar espècies endèmiques. Tot està super protegit i s'ho prenen molt en serio per no destruir el que els queda. Fa anys algú va portar conills i opòssums aquí i ara tenen una plaga que els ha matat un munt d'espècies locals, així que està permès matar-los. Vam aturar-nos al kauri tree park on hi ha uns dels arbres kauri més grans de Nova Zelanda, al entrar i al sortir del bosc havíem de netejar-nos les botes per no introduir res que pogués afectar al entorn.

No havíem buscat allotjament per aquella nit, així que pregunto a una parella gran a través de couchsurfing, el Hugh i la Sarah, si ens poden allotjar d'ultim moment. Ells encantadíssims ens obren les portes de la seva granja on tenien cavalls, perquè passem la nit. L'endemà vam esmorzar amb el Hugh i vam parlar una bona estona.


Anem cap a Auckland de nou a recollir a la Lea, una noia alemana que s'apunta a continuar el viatge per la resta de l'illa nord. La meva intenció inicial era quedar-me un mes a Nova Zelanda, a dia d'avui porto 10 dies i només he estat a northland, la punta nord de l'illa nord, una zona que no vaig saber que existia fins pocs dies abans de venir. Ara em queda la resta de l'illa nord i la sud, que m'han dit que encara és més maca que la nord. Ja veig que em quedaré més temps del que pensava... I si, ha valgut la pena tot el percal amb els vols!

[ENGLISH]
After all the mess with the flights I didn't know what to expect arriving in New Zealand. The only thing that the woman from migrations told me was if I already had the ferry to cross to the south island, I answered no with fear that she would tell me something. She told me I should book it in advance because the get full and enjoy New Zealand.

I am walking around the streets in Auckland and I can't stop comparing the differences with what I've been living until now. I look at the people and all are blond and white skin, asiatics or brown skin (Maoris, the indigenous people). I'm sending audio messages with the cell phone without caring for the security and I don't look on the floor without taking care of stepping on a dog's shit or breaking my leg for a hole on the floor. Everytime I pay something, even if it's peanuts, I ask if I can pay by card and they answer "of course" and in the supermarket there's almost nobody in the cash, you do it yourself.

I've met on the internet a british girl, Melissa, that has bought a 4 wheels car and wants to do a trip in the northland, so we agree on meeting the same night to talk about it. We agree on the plan and in a couple of days we head north with another british guy aswell, Alex. We head north and start looking for acommodation until I find an old couple in airBnb, Carolyn and John. They were so happy for having company this Friday night, so they welcome us in their wonderful house. We were amazed, Carolyn put some seafood cakes in the oven, opened a bottle of wine, and we were there talking next to the fire, playing with the dogs, having dinner and eating brownies. John showed us a collection of small planes he made and they were treating us like their grandchildren. It was late and they told us that if we wanted they had an outdoor hot tub, what else could we ask for? We didn't think about it and in a short time we were inside the hot tub looking to the stars and to a giant moon halo. Such a welcome! On the following morning, I wanted to prepare an instant coffee for breakfast and Carolyn didn't allow me, she grinded coffee beans, prepared a delicious coffee and we went for a walk all together to know the town.

It's time to continue the trip to Whangarei, on the way we stopped in some waterfalls and we did a trekking in a mountain. The good thing of going by car is that you can stop every now and then, and this in New Zealand is so important. You can have postcard's photos on every corner. Tonight we will spend the night at Cathy's home, a woman from here that I've found in couchsurfing. She will go to travel in Europe in a month so I recommended her many places. The next day she took us to a walk in a mountain with amazing views.

We continue towards the north where the Bay islands are. There we are hosted by Josh, an IT guy from here (kiwi) that almost couldn't be with us because he was doing house sitting at night, so he gave us the key of his home and told us to feel like at home. They inform Alex that he will start sooner than he was expecting to do a volunteering in a boat to research for whales, dolphins and seals, so he abandons the trip.

Melissa and I went to Shane's home, a hunter and bee keeper who lives in a selfmade house in the middle of the mountain. Currently, he has 200 hives, and due to the fact that he can't travel, he has decided inviting travellers to his home. We stayed like in heaven in his home. The next morning was raining, so we decided doing artisanal beer and I helped him to learn. Ah, I almost forgot, in the sink he had to taps for beer and the water tap. Sometimes you were going to take a glass of waterand you ended up with a beer. In the beer tap he hada beer similar to chouffe, on of my favourite belgian beers. We shared really interesting conversations everyday until late at night. We cooked for him a couple of days and the last day he prepared an amazing dinner with vegetables and a delicious roasted beef. To finish even better, he also had an outdoor hot tub, so I took a bath one of the nights. One of the days we went to the northest point of New Zealand, Cape Reinga, a gorgeous place with a lighthouse where we saw an amazing sunset.

People say that the grass is greener in neighbourg's home, I don't know if it's true but at least in New Zealand is the most intense green I've ever seen. The ecosystem of New Zealand is very delicate and wearing leftovers of plants from another country in the boots could kill endemic species. Everything is really protected and they are so strict in that in order not to destroy what still remains here. Some years ago someone brought rabbits and possoms here and now they have such a plague that has killed many local species, so you're allowed to kill them. We stopped by the Kauri tree park where there are the biggest Kauri trees in New Zealand. When we entered and went out of the forest, we had to clean the boots in order not to introduce anything that could affect the environment.

We hadn't looked for accomodation for that night, so I ask to an old couple though couchsurfing, Hugh and Sarah, if they could host us. They were so happy to host us in their farm where they had horses. The following day, we had breakfast with Hugh and we talked for a long time.

We are going back to Auckland to pick up Lea, a german girl that will join us to continue the trip in the rest of the north island. My initial plan was staying in New Zealand for a month, currently I've been 10 days and I've only been in the northland, the northest part of the north island, an area that I didn't know it existed until some days before coming. Now I want to do the rest of the north island and the south one, that they've told me it's even more beautiful than the north one. I'm already seeing that I'll stay longer than I thought... And yes, it's worth it all the mess with the flights!

Monday, 14 August 2017

Chile rumb a New Zealand / Chile on the way to New Zealand

 

[ENGLISH FOLLOWS]
Creuo els andes desde Mendoza per arribar a Viña del Mar tres dies més tard del que esperava ja que la frontera estava tancada primer per neu, després perquè no funcionava el sistema de migracions i finalment perquè se'ls havia congelat l'aigua. En fi, ja ens vam cagar en tot amb una tele local que ens va entrevistar entre tot el caos de la gent que portava varis dies a l'estació, jo per sort vaig aprofitar per fer amics i conèixer Mendoza una mica més.

A Viña del Mar m'allotja el Seba, un noi chileno molt amable. Vam anar a fer sandboard a unes dunes d'allà, vam visitar Viña i Valparaiso, vam probar la gastronomia local i vam sortir de festa, on em vaig trobar a un americà, un dels amics que vaig fer a l'estació de Mendoza.




Valparaiso em va enamorar, és una ciutat on podria viure un temps, així que decideixo quedar-me algun dia més a un hostal d'allà. Cada dia descobria una part de la ciutat, és com un museu a l'aire lliure on tens grafittis impressionants per tot arreu als diferents turons de la ciutat i amb el port sempre abaix. Vaig conéixer al David, un noi d'Eivissa que és clown i ha vingut a actuar a un festival de clown a Chile. Al dia següent em diu que l'han convidat a una variete de circ i si em ve de gust anar-hi. Una estona més tard allà estàvem, a la carpa blava veient circ. Al acabar l'espectacle ens van convidar a menjar empanades a una cuina de vora la carpa on vam conéixer els artistes. Aquella escena em va recordar a un espectacle que es deia cocina pública que vaig veure a la fira del teatre de Tàrrega, el grup que la representava es deia teatro container i era de Valparaiso. Bàsicament consistia en un menjar popular on la gent podia recitar poesia o discursos, tocar música, beure i menjar, i tot sortia d'una cuina ubicada dins d'un container de càrrega de vaixell. Ara entenia el perquè del container, doncs a Valparaiso està ple de containers de vaixell al port. Amb aquestes que una noia em diu que ella havia estat treballant amb els teatro container, jejejeje, sempre em passen aquestes coses. Després anem cap al desé aniversari del teatro museo a veure un espectacle i fer festa per celebrar-ho. Va ser una nit molt divertida! 

 




Al dia següent vaig a la isla negra, una de les cases de Pablo Neruda, on em capbusso a la seva historia. Em va sorprendre especialment el fet del Winnipeg, és el vaixell amb el qual Pablo Neruda va ajudar a més de 2000 refugiats republicans, la gran majoria catalans, a exiliar-se a Chile. Allà vaig conéixer a l'Alexander, un alemà ocupa que construeix vaixells i havia vingut al sud de Chile a aprendre l'ofici. Eren interessantíssimes totes les conversacions que vam tenir, així que a la tornada vam anar al seu hostal a cuinar el sopar i es va acabar montant una festa a l'hostal.

L'Alexander em va recomanar anar a una zona de montanyes 10 hores més al sud, Curacautin, així que cap allà em vaig dirigir. Aquesta zona no és gaire turística així que no hi ha transport públic per anar als parcs nacionals de la zona. Vaig tenir sort de conèixer a una parella francesa a l'hostal que tenien cotxe i volien anar al parc nacional Conguillio, així que vam llogar raquetes de neu i vam anar a fer una excursió tot el dia. El dia següent volia anar a fer una caminata per un altre parc nacional on hi ha un volca nevat, el Lonquimai, així que vaig agafar un bus que em va deixar a l'encreuament i d'allà vaig fer autoestop. Aquí a Chile és alucinant, aixeques el dit i paren de seguida, fins i tot varies vegades m'han parat sense estar fent dit i em diuen que em porten. De tornada no vaig ni haver d'agafar el bus doncs una familia em va portar fins a la porta de l'hostal i em deien que anes amb ells fins a Valdivia, 5 hores més al sud, que em podia quedar a casa seva.

El meu pla inicial era anar uns 5 dies a Santiago, però tot això és tant bonic que vaig escurçant l'estada a la capital. Arribo a Pucón, un poble a la ribera d'un llac i al costat del Villarrica, el volcà més actiu de sudamèrica. Vaig conèixer a gent molt maca allà amb la que vaig fer una excursió a una cascada, vaig fer hydrospeed pel riu amb un instructor que també fa d'instructor a Sort i vaig pujar el Villarrica. És impressionant pujar al volcà totalment nevat, arribar al cràter i veure lava. Fins i tot haviem de portar màscares de gas perquè al girar el vent no podies respirar amb el fum de sulfur.
Ja nomès em queda 1 nit a Xile així que vaig cap a Santiago. La ciutat em va agradar força i vaig aprofitar per quedar amb la Inge, una xilena que vaig conéixer a Belize, que em va portar a menjar peix a un mercat i a conéixer la ciutat.







És hora de fer un canvi radical i anar cap a Nova Zelanda. Aquesta nit tinc el vol així que em poso a fer el checkin però no puc, que extrany. Vaig a buscar l'email de confirmació i m'adono que el vol era la nit passada. No m'ho puc creure!! Miro el google calendar, que et posa els vols que reps a l'email automàticament a l'agenda, i em posa que tinc el vol aquesta nit, és a dir que ha estat un error de google. He estat agafant un munt de vols els darrers anys i em fiava 100% del google calendar perquè no m'havia fallat mai. Agafo la motxilla i me'n vaig de cap a l'aeroport a buscar solucions, la millor opció és pagar 900€ per un nou vol i demanar el reembols del que havia perdut pagant una multa, és a dir que en total perdo uns 500€. Quin remei, pago el vol, però aquí no acaba la odissea. Quan vaig a facturar em diuen que necessito un vol de tornada, jo havia llegit que demostrant que podia pagar un vol de sortida del pais era suficient, i ja tenia el comprovant del banc, però de cap manera em deixaven embarcar, així que un dels responsables que resulta que havia visitat Andorra i el mercat de la Seu, em va aconseguir un vol de tornada que podia cancelar al cap de 2 dies i em retornaven l'import menys 40€. Per un moment vaig estar a punt de dir, a la merda Nova Zelanda i em quedo a llatinoamèrica.

En fi, ja estic rumb a Nova Zelanda, amb un sentiment de que s'acaba una part del viatge increible. Llatinoamèrica, la seva gent i els viatgers que hi he conegut m'han ensenyat un munt de coses i m'han fet reflexionar molt. He viscut cada dia molt intensament i cada vivència m'ha provocat un canvi intern que em constitueix com la persona que soc ara. L'experiència ha estat totalment diferent a fa 6 anys, doncs no soc el mateix i veig les coses de manera diferent. De totes maneres, m'he deixat a propòsit un munt de coses per veure així com coses que m'agradaria repetir uns anys més endavant. Estic molt emocionat pel que m'espera a continuació encara que ja extranyo llatinoamèrica.

[ENGLISH]
I'm crossing the Andes from Mendoza to arrive to Viña del Mar three days later than I was expecting because the border was closed first due to the snow, then because the migration system wasn't working and finally because the water was frozen. Well, we already complained to a local TV that interviewed us between the chaos of people that had been for several days in the station. In the meantime, I took the advantage of making friend and know Mendoza a bit more.

In Viña del Mar, Seba hosted me, a very kind chilean guy. We did sandboard in some dunes, we visited Viña and Valparaiso, tried the local food and partied, where I met an american guy, one of the friends I did in Mendoza's station.

I fell in love with Valparaiso, is a city where I could live in for some time, so I decided staying there some days more in a hostel. Everyday I was discovering a part of the city, it's like an open-air museum where you have amazing grafittis all over the hills of the city with the harbour on the bottom of the hills. I met David, a guy from Ibiza who is a clown and has come to act in a festival in Chile. On the following day, he told me that they've invited him to a circus' "varieté", so a bit later we were seeing circus in the blue tent. At the end of the show they invited us to eat "empanadas" in a kitchen next to the tent where we met the artists. That scene reminded me to a show called public kitchen that I saw in the theatre's fair of Tarrega. The group that were performing it was called container theatre and was from Valparaiso. Basically, it was about a popular meal where the people could say poetry o speeches, play music, drink and eat, and everything came out from a kitchen inside a cargo container from a ship. Now I understood why they had a cargo container, as Valparaiso is full of them in the harbour. One girl told me that she was working with this theatre group, hehehe, it always happens those thing to me. After that we went to the theatre museum to celebrate its 10th birthday. It was a really funny night.

On the following day I went to the black island, one of the houses of Pablo Neruda, were I digged into his history. I was so surprised, specially with the Winnipel, a ship with which Pablo helped to more than 2000 republican refugees, most of them catalans, to exiliate to Chile. There I met Alexander, a german squad guy that build ships and came to the south of Chile to learn the job. We had such interesting conversations, so on the way back we went to his hostel to cook dinner and it turned out into a party in his hostel.

Alexander recommended me going to a mountain area 10 hours south, Curacautin, so I went there. This area is not so turistic so there's not so much public transport to go to the national parks. I was lucky to meet a french couple in the hostel that they had a car and wanted to go to the national park Conguillio, so we rented snow raquets and we went to do an excursion the whole day. The following day I wanted to do a trek in another national park where there's a snowed volcano, Lonquimai, so I took a bus to the junction and I hichicked from there. Here in Chile is amazing, you raise your thumb and they immediately stop. Even sometimes they stom without raising the thumb and they ask if you want a lift. On the way back I didn't even have to take the bus because a family took me to the hostel and they told me if I wanted to go with them to Valdivia, 5 hours more south, that I could stay in their home.

My initial plan was staying for 5 days in Santiago, but all this is so beautiful that I was everytime making shorter my stay in the capital. I arrive in Pucon, a town besides a lake next to Villarrica, the most active volcano in South America. I met really nice people there with who I did an excursion to a waterfall, I did hydrospeed and I climbed the Villarrica. It's impressive climbing a volcano completely covered by snow, arriving at its crater and seeing lava. Even we had to wear gas masks because when the wind was changing the direction you couldn't breath with the smoke of the sulfur.

I only have one night left in Chile so it's time to go to Santiago. I quite liked the city and I took the advantage of meeting Inge, a chilean girl that I met in Belize. She took me to eat fish in a market and to know the city. It's time to do a radical change and go to New Zealand. Tonight I have the flight so I'm doing the checkin but I can't, it's so weird. I look for the confirmation email and I realize that the flight was last night. I can't believe it!! I look google calendar, which introduces automatically the flights to the agenda when you receive the email, and says that the flight is tonight, so it's an error of Google. I've been taking many flights the last years and I trusted google calendar 100% because it never failed. I took the backpack and I went straight to the airport looking for solutions. The best option is paying 900€ for a new flight and asking for the refund of the one I missed paying a fain, in other words I lose 500€. I don't have other options so I pay the flight, but this is not the end. When I went to do the checkin they told me that I need a return flight, I read that justifying that I could pay a flight to go out from the country was enough, and I had the proof from my bank, but they weren't allowing me to take the flight, so one of the managers that he had visited Andorra and my home town, he got a return flight that I could cancel afterwards and I got all the money back but 40€. For one moment I was about to say, fuck New Zealand and I stay in Latinamerica.

Finally, I'm on my way to New Zealand, with a feeling that an incredible part of the trip has ended. Latinamerica, its people and the travelers I met have tought me so many things besides thinking a lot. I've lived everyday in a really intense way and every moment lived has caused me an internal change that it builds me as the person who I am now. The experience has been totally different to 6 years ago, so I'm not the same one and I see the things on a different way. Anyway, I've left on purpose so many things to visit as well as thing that I'd would like repeating in some years. I'm so excited for what's still waiting for me, although I already miss Latinamerica.