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1





We spent half of our stay in New Zealand going "tramping" (hiking). Finally we can tell you that a hike is like a good cake. Once you have gathered the right ingredients and with the right method the tramp will be successful for sure.

2





Obviously, an extraordinary place is essential. We did choose first Arthur Pass National Park. The randomness of hitchhiking led us inside the vehicle of a postman throwing newspapers through the window, while speeding at a hundred km.h. This latter stopped at St Arnaud, the departure point of the hikes in Nelson Lakes National Park. Then we decided to go for the Travers-Sabine tramp, since fate brought us there.

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Another ingredient is behind our back. The backpack must be as light as possible. We left our surplus in the Visitor Centre and started with the bare minimum for five days of hiking: sixteen kilograms each. The tent, a sleeping bag, our belongings, a camping-cooker, a pan, three litres of water each and the compact and light food for hikers. This strict minimum had been a lot on our shoulders.

4





Having an unstoppable motivation is essential as well. Every day hiking is more difficult that the previous day, the muscles get tired, alarm clock rings early and we must hold on... and entertain ourselves with games provided in the huts. A thousand sets puzzle, eight full hours, five brains together and much pleasure that we well deserved.

5





The good weather is ought to be on the list. Without it, roads are slippy, rivers go wild, we get slowed down by the cold, wind blows on the stove preventing us from eating hot... on the other side, good weather allowed us to present you sublime pictures like this one!

6





For the crazy adventurers, don't forget protection against insects. Because in New Zealand, sandflies, that ravenous midges, are that pinch of bitterness that just want to suck your blood. We run out of insect repellent but we have been brave and enduring belligerents against the multiple assaults of these countless enemies.

7





Finally a minimal preparation including a map, studying the itinerary and booking slots for the nights, should be added to this exhaustive list, for an unforgettable tramp.

8





1. Start mouth-watering and prepare your eyes to appreciate an always surprising trail.
The hikes mix forest pathes, rocky roads, steep slopes, screes, high grass valleys and muddy trails. There is something for every taste!

Here is the splendid Travers track.

9





2. Wash the ingredients before beginning
Get a bath as soon as possible and wash your clothes as well. Soak your clothes but not too long: eels will appear to play with your socks!

We jumped in the water at the Rotoiti Lakehead.

10





3. Add a mug of camping in green lands. Stir gently.
Start the timer and prepare yourself for the night in five minutes. It is, for us, a well-performing organisation of gestures perfectly executed. The installation and removal of the tent must be quick or sandflies will catch you!

The clearing in front of the Upper Travers Hut where we planted the tent at 11pm in the total darkness.

11





4. Mix this with meeting other trampers.
To soften your recipe, share good relaxing moments after exhausting days, with some mates from all over the world.

11pm: it's time to stop playing cards, enlightened by candles.

12





5. Simmer and keep in mind to always leave at the early morning.
And reach the passes and enjoy a view that shows the wonder of New Zeland's wilderness.

Here we were on the top of the Travers Saddle

13





6. Beat unexpected obstacles and push back your own limits
Has the bridge been washed away? This could only be a little setback. Indeed we crossed barefoot the river despite the strong current! (And we realized two minutes later a bridge was mentioned upstream...)

Sabine Creek was swollen.

14





7. Stir ideas in your mind and start meditating
During hiking or in front of spectacular nature places where we laid while resting, we had plenty of time to indulge in personal and deep thinkings.

Meditating Benoît in front of the Lake Rotoroa.

15





8. Add progressively the whole fauna you discover during hiking.
A variety of flavours can be added to your delight. Bathing with eels sliding along your legs, listening to birds singing or spying a quiet trout... When you observe it patiently, the nature is full of improbable flavors.

This little bird was curious, flying around us.

16





9. Nibble your last provision and surpass yourselves
Hunger gnaws our stomachs. Fatigue is more and more important. Muscles pull. Ankles crack. And stocks lower ... All of this can lead to arguments. We must be able to stand it. During the hike, we unconsciously surpass ourselves. This is the main contribution of a tramp and its greatest asset.

17





10. Serve when it's hot...
...in an article, including a maximum of details and sprinkling a lot with irony. And the icing on the cake is to conclude with an invitation to travel: now you know the theory, it's time for practice. Get started on the trails of our beautiful planet!
To illustrate another experience of hiking, I propose you to watch Wild, a film by Jean-Marc Vallée (2014) which is a very good analogy to our trip. Cheryl cross the Pacific Crest Trail in North America during three months with her backpack.

1





We spent half of our stay in New Zealand going "tramping" (hiking). Finally we can tell you that a hike is like a good cake. Once you have gathered the right ingredients and with the right method the tramp will be successful for sure.





Obviously, an extraordinary place is essential. We did choose first Arthur Pass National Park. The randomness of hitchhiking led us inside the vehicle of a postman throwing newspapers through the window, while speeding at a hundred km.h. This latter stopped at St Arnaud, the departure point of the hikes in Nelson Lakes National Park. Then we decided to go for the Travers-Sabine tramp, since fate brought us there.





Another ingredient is behind our back. The backpack must be as light as possible. We left our surplus in the Visitor Centre and started with the bare minimum for five days of hiking: sixteen kilograms each. The tent, a sleeping bag, our belongings, a camping-cooker, a pan, three litres of water each and the compact and light food for hikers. This strict minimum had been a lot on our shoulders.





Having an unstoppable motivation is essential as well. Every day hiking is more difficult that the previous day, the muscles get tired, alarm clock rings early and we must hold on... and entertain ourselves with games provided in the huts. A thousand sets puzzle, eight full hours, five brains together and much pleasure that we well deserved.





The good weather is ought to be on the list. Without it, roads are slippy, rivers go wild, we get slowed down by the cold, wind blows on the stove preventing us from eating hot... on the other side, good weather allowed us to present you sublime pictures like this one!





For the crazy adventurers, don't forget protection against insects. Because in New Zealand, sandflies, that ravenous midges, are that pinch of bitterness that just want to suck your blood. We run out of insect repellent but we have been brave and enduring belligerents against the multiple assaults of these countless enemies.





Finally a minimal preparation including a map, studying the itinerary and booking slots for the nights, should be added to this exhaustive list, for an unforgettable tramp.





1. Start mouth-watering and prepare your eyes to appreciate an always surprising trail.
The hikes mix forest pathes, rocky roads, steep slopes, screes, high grass valleys and muddy trails. There is something for every taste!

Here is the splendid Travers track.





2. Wash the ingredients before beginning
Get a bath as soon as possible and wash your clothes as well. Soak your clothes but not too long: eels will appear to play with your socks!

We jumped in the water at the Rotoiti Lakehead.





3. Add a mug of camping in green lands. Stir gently.
Start the timer and prepare yourself for the night in five minutes. It is, for us, a well-performing organisation of gestures perfectly executed. The installation and removal of the tent must be quick or sandflies will catch you!

The clearing in front of the Upper Travers Hut where we planted the tent at 11pm in the total darkness.





4. Mix this with meeting other trampers.
To soften your recipe, share good relaxing moments after exhausting days, with some mates from all over the world.

11pm: it's time to stop playing cards, enlightened by candles.





5. Simmer and keep in mind to always leave at the early morning.
And reach the passes and enjoy a view that shows the wonder of New Zeland's wilderness.

Here we were on the top of the Travers Saddle





6. Beat unexpected obstacles and push back your own limits
Has the bridge been washed away? This could only be a little setback. Indeed we crossed barefoot the river despite the strong current! (And we realized two minutes later a bridge was mentioned upstream...)

Sabine Creek was swollen.





7. Stir ideas in your mind and start meditating
During hiking or in front of spectacular nature places where we laid while resting, we had plenty of time to indulge in personal and deep thinkings.

Meditating Benoît in front of the Lake Rotoroa.





8. Add progressively the whole fauna you discover during hiking.
A variety of flavours can be added to your delight. Bathing with eels sliding along your legs, listening to birds singing or spying a quiet trout... When you observe it patiently, the nature is full of improbable flavors.

This little bird was curious, flying around us.





9. Nibble your last provision and surpass yourselves
Hunger gnaws our stomachs. Fatigue is more and more important. Muscles pull. Ankles crack. And stocks lower ... All of this can lead to arguments. We must be able to stand it. During the hike, we unconsciously surpass ourselves. This is the main contribution of a tramp and its greatest asset.





10. Serve when it's hot...
...in an article, including a maximum of details and sprinkling a lot with irony. And the icing on the cake is to conclude with an invitation to travel: now you know the theory, it's time for practice. Get started on the trails of our beautiful planet!
To illustrate another experience of hiking, I propose you to watch Wild, a film by Jean-Marc Vallée (2014) which is a very good analogy to our trip. Cheryl cross the Pacific Crest Trail in North America during three months with her backpack.

.