Europe and the Routeburn

One day a German a Swedish a French and two British were on a trip in New Zealand. An evening having beers with a New Zealander, the Kiwi guy mentioned this mythic trip in the mountains. No, it is not the start of a jocke, but the start of an adventure on one of New Zealand most scenical tramp.

The trip was supposed to start at 10 am as the team expected a hike of at least 8 hours that day. The amazing european coordination skill entered into play which led to an early 11:45 start. No need to mention that it was not germany’s fault! Also, the team was reduced to three after the famous Brexit. The brits preferred to isolate themselfs somewhere on an island (Steward’s Island).

The weather conditions were amazing, like a french spring with sun and great views. The path was climbing up on the mountain side and the landscape constantly changing. The more going up, the closer it was coming to a german spring. No need to mention that it was not much of the view left and no one stayed dry. Also it was getting darker and darker. One could feel that Sweden was getting closer.

At about 6 pm the highest point has been reached, however not the campsite. A difficult decision had to be taken. Either continue at least two hours to the official campsite. Stay the night in the emergency shelter (which is forbidden if it is not an emergency) and wake up at 5:30 am to avoid problems. Or go off track for about one kilometer in the unknown.


As a tradition Germany and France forced hand a bit and imposed austerity measures to the rest of europe who loves dry huts and proximity to bathrooms a bit too much. The squad of refugees plunged into a side valley in hope for a better futur. A small track was to be seen from time to time and after climbing a few natural fences led the 3 in the great green meadow which from far looked very confortable and promissing. The grass was lush and green, the location perfect and everything seamed almost like a dream.

However when stepping in the field it was like waking up by someone putting your feets in cold water: it was a swamp! Cutted through by many small rivers. After an adventurous crossing where France partially dropped Sweden in cold water the trio ended up spending the night somewhere in Lappland, waking up in the morning with tents covered with ice.

Luckily, when leaving lapland an anticyclone was bathing Europe from north to south in the best weather possible and the team could fully enjoy the great beauty of Fjordland.


One Comment Add yours

  1. That was a beautiful description of your hike and very humorous. The best of all 🙂 Lots of love and wishing you happy holidays with your family. Catherine


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