Free shipping on all orders! (U.S. only)

January 18 2024, Roses Hut to Queenstown:
I woke up at 3:30am by the natural alarm clock of my mind. I rustled Lenses awake however she hadn’t slept at all due to the allergies from the nearby grasses clogging up her sinuses. They seemed to make her legs itch all throughout the night.
We were most excited to wake up early in order to see the stars, but it was cloudy so we didn’t see any whatsoever. We summited Roses Saddle using our headlamps as it was still dark. As we were about half a mile over the saddle, the sky began to turn sherbet, shifting between pink, orange and purple.
I pushed on a bit to hike alone and met up with Lenses where we had to start the river crossings. It was so striking cold by the time we made it down to the water. The morning sun didn’t reach us anytime soon. We were shivering, struggling to warm up each time we had to cross again, yelling out loud as we felt the numbing needles tingling in our feet. We attempted to walk on the grass any chance we could if it meant avoiding the water for even a few steps.
Then, we trekked through the old Macetown which was an uninhabited gold mining settlement. It gave off a very eerie vibe, as if someone had recently died there. Along the trek, I met a guy with a Pink Floyd shirt so naturally I struck up a conversation with him for a bit. Finally, we made it down to civilization and went to the first café that we saw after I read they had ‘flat whites’ on the menu.
Lenses got in touch with her Japanese friend, Dai, who was on a working holiday visa in Queenstown. He offered to host us for the night, saying we could sleep on the floor of his room. We were stoked! He said he would pick us up from Arrowtown, but when he arrived to the area, he struggled to find us. Lenses called him and attempted to explain where we were.
“We at the café,” she said.
“Which one?” he asked.
“There’s only one,” she said.
After several minutes, he found us. Apparently there was an entire town just a few feet further that we had no idea about. We were so spent that we just wanted to stop at the first place we saw.
We greeted him with hugs and I was happy for Lenses to be able to speak in her language. I told her to have fun and that it didn’t bother me that I had no idea what they were talking about.
We stopped for a burger and fries, then got to his place. At first he said we could stay there while he went to work, but then later let us know the owner of the house didn’t feel comfortable with us being there since we were strangers. So, he asked us to hangout in town until he got off work around 11pm. We locked the house then started walking to the center.
“It’s too far,” I said, “let’s hitch.”
“Let’s just wait for the bus,” Lenses said.
“How about we hitch at the bus stop and if we can’t get a ride then we’ll take the bus. I can feel a ride is coming,” I said.
Seconds later, a group of cute guys picked us up and dropped us off at the library. It did feel super weird to hitch without our packs. It felt we had to prove we were backpackers in some way.
Time went by, we took the bus back to his street and all walked back to his place. We received the perfect clear night for stargazing as we had hoped we would have gotten earlier that morning. Then, we met the owner of the house and he had brought us back all sorts of goodies from the bakery he worked at. Lenses and I indulged in what she considered to be the best cheesecake she ever ate.