Forgive me for being a tad late in my recapping May post! As you’ll soon read about, Mac & I went on another multi-day hike which left things like blogging, editing pictures, and WiFi usage on the backburner! But no fear, you’ll be able to read about our (absolutely incredible) experience on the Abel Tasman Coastal Track soon (as well as a few other posts from the last bit of the month)! In the meantime, here’s what I got up to in May!

Writing

Looking back, I’m fairly happy with what I was able to post while we were road trippin’! Here’s what I wrote about:

NZ’s Hidden Gem: The Catlins – Parts I & II

NZ Roadtrip: Dunedin to Oamaru

Steampunk HQ

Remarkabl(-ly Rainy) Scenery – Mt. Cook to Queenstown

While in Wanaka…

Adventures in Glacier Country

Doing

We did a LOT in May!! We finished up April in Te Anau & the fjordlands and headed south to Southland. We explored what I think is a truly underrated area of New Zealand – the Catlins. After our time spent south, we headed to the east coast. A few days in Dunedin were then followed by a fairly interesting drive up the coast to Oamaru where we went on a tour of a Steampunk workshop (so cool!). It was here that we were introduced to the friendly rain that would follow us across the country for the next three weeks. Because of the rain, our time in Mt. Cook, Queenstown and Wanaka were perhaps not as fun (or picturesque) as they might have been. There was nothing to be done about the stubborn weather though, so we just tried to grin & bear it and attempt to stay positive.

Aoraki Mt Cook, NZ

At this point we were back on the west coast. We checked out the glaciers here before heading to Greymouth for a 2 week WorkAway stint (which you’ll be reading about soon!). It rained for ~80% of our time in Greymouth, but on days when the sun was shining, you better believe we were outside soaking up the rays!! And then suddenly, it was June!! What a whirlwind of a month!!

Eating

While in Greymouth we had access to a full on kitchen. Being that we were there for 2 weeks, I indulged in a few groceries that I normally might not get while on the road. Because of this, I cooked up a storm!! Check out some of the treats I whipped up!

1// Banana Oat Cake from Good Good Things 2// Sweet Potato & Roasted Red Pepper Quesadillas from The Full Helping 3// Carrot & Date Cake adapted from Gimme Some Oven 4// Chickpea Flour Pizza Crust from The Colourful Kitchen 5// Chocolate Banana Cake from The Viet Vegan 6// Dreamy Baked Bananas from The Plant Powered Kitchen 7// A simple & delicious lemon & garlic pasta dish with peas & broccoli 8// An amazing feast at Priyah Indian Restaurant in Greymouth & 9// A superb veggie pizza from Fat Pipis in Hokatika. Our tastebuds were truly satisfied this month!!

Recapping May

Reading

During all the downtime at the hostel I breezed my way through 5 easy, not-really-thought-provoking novels. Nothing very noteworthy, but I did enjoy a book Mac found at an Op Shop in Russell – ‘The Sex Lives of Cannibals’. It’s almost nothing like what it sounds like – an American and his girlfriend end up working on a small atoll in the Pacific Ocean country of Kiribati – but the stories he shares from their experiences there are pretty hilarious.

Learning

These articles really caught my attention this month. Maybe they might spark your interest as well!

These edible six-pack rings could change the face of ocean pollution. Instead of becoming trapped in the plastic casing, sea animals could instead eat the plastic that so often causes them harm (or wait for them to biodegrade).

I’ve tried BBQ Pulled Pork (vegan style – using jackfruit!) before, but this recipe looks like a true winner!

A new company has started up in Toronto to help combat food insecurity. Instead of food drives, this company focuses on peer-to-peer deliveries – meaning that fresh produce and other food items are hand delivered to the person in need. The founder of GoodFood Help has found that this method helps those with food insecurity maintain their dignity while other methods of obtaining food during trying times can lead to uncomfortable situations. This is a new company, but I’m interested to see how it grows!

One man has the idea to tax red meat in an effort to combat climate change. There’s no question that eliminating or reducing red meat from your diet is a healthy choice, but it would also reduce your carbon footprint drastically. Adam Briggs (a researcher at the University of Oxford) is wondering if a tax will persuade consumers to switch from a meat-heavy diet to one rich in fruits & vegetables. An interesting concept – and one that’s in line with the UK’s plan to tax sugar-heavy foods.

Another new company in Toronto is helping with food waste efforts. FlashFood is a soon-to-be-released app that would connect buyers with perfectly good food headed to the rubbish bin. Companies or businesses with these foods (restaurants, grocery stores, cafes, etc) would take a picture of the bin-destined food and post the image to the app at a discounted rate (minimum of 60%). App users would then receive an update and can purchase the food right then and there. This is a really interesting concept and I’d love to see it work!

Anticipating

Now that we’re already into June, Mac & I are nearing our flight home! Craziness! Don’t worry though, we still have quite a few places we want to see before we leave this beautiful country. The first week of June was spent in the Abel Tasman region where we did another 4 day hike followed by a few days exploring the Golden Bay Area. From there, we’ll head to Nelson/Picton after which we’ll catch the ferry back to the North Island! We’re planning on maybe checking out the volcanoes there and working our way north along the east coast. I’d like to head back to Rotorua & Taupo to do a bit more hiking & thrill-seeking! Lots to pack in to the next 1.5 months! I can’t wait! (There’s also that whole thing about the fact that we’re flying HOME after an amazing & crazy 18 months of travel… but I’m not ready to dig too deep into that just yet!! #alltheemotions)

McLean Falls | The Catlins, NZ