I stayed for 10 days in Arthurs Pass with a very nice couple running a bed and breakfast. I helped them paint their house, working from 2 to 7 hours a day depending on the day, in exchange for a nice room and delicious food! Painting outside in nice sunny weather was quite fun, and after work I had plenty of time to explore the local area. Thanks Geoff and Renee!
Arthurs Pass is the gateway between Greymouth and Christchurch, it takes about 4 to 5 hours to drive the whole way. Arthurs Pass Village is situated in the middle of the highway, so on one of the days when we went on a shopping trip to Greymouth Renee took us to the Pancake Rocks (where I had already been but are spectacular every time I see them!)
One of the day hikes I went on was up to the local ski field, which is unique because you have to hike 45 minutes to get there. Locals put their skis on a lift but hike up the rest of the way and stay in the lodge you can see in this picture.
This is me and Mirium reflected in the window of the lodge. Mirium was also WOOfing for Geoff and Renee. She is from Spain but has been living in India for the past 2 years and is headed back there in a few weeks for another six months with her new French boyfriend, whom she met in Nepal.
Here's Geoff and Renee's B and B! I took this picture before we were finished painting. They painted it the green color you can see on the right, the same colors as a kea, which are the alpine parrots that are common in the area.
Mirium picking rosehips, which Geoff turns into sweet syrup to pour on pancakes.
They gave me a day off to go up Avalanche Peak, which is one of the best day hikes in New Zealand! Its an 1833m summit that I got up and down in about six hours. Renee checked the weather for me and sent me up on a perfect day.
These were taken last week, and since then it has snowed! It would have been a completely different view and a much more slippery climb had it been snowy.
Valley towards Greymouth
Valley towards Christchurch
Arthurs Pass, population 30!
And another day Joel, a friend of Geoff and Renee's, took me to go bouldering at Castle Hill! He had an extra pair of climbing shoes that he loaned to me. This is a world reknowned spot for bouldering as it is very smooth rock with not a lot of handholds or footholds. Its difficulty and the immense number of boulders attracts climbers from around the world.
I can see myself living in Arthurs Pass for a summer to go climbing here everyday! James would have loved it here, wish he could have come. (For those of you who don't know, James and I had to separate because he got a job in the North Island picking kiwifruit.)