Nelson Lakes National Park

Who is looking for loneliness ...


Six nights in the peaks of Nelson Lakes National Park. All alone. A test for the mind, when the mind should come to rest and has nothing but jokes in the head.

So many people, faces, >in the past weeks - a colorful cocktail, stirred and shaken until it only tastes of sugar and cheap schnapps. What remains are a headache.

Only a lot of water can help against such a murder cat. That's in Nelson Lakes National Park in the Northern Alps of New Zealand. Nothing but the sound of the Travers River and the twittering of birds. Quiet, contemplation, loneliness and a backpack full of instant food.

I took six days to hike from St. Arnaud at the head of Lake Rotoiti to the Travers Saddle at the end of the valley, with side trips to the summit huts to the right of the path. 30 kilometers, a good 2,000 vertical meters up and down and up and down again. Goes faster, but doesn't have to.

It is low season. I don't notice much of the handful of people who are out and about in the park. I have the huts to myself.

That's nice, that's what I was looking for: four walls in a crevice, the wood fire roars in the oven, the curry chicken something bubbles on the gas stove. In the evening, the dawn colors the snowy peaks around me first orange, then blue, then black. Yes, these are moments of contemplation. Look out the window. To drink tea. Then nothing.

Only: the mind is not good for doing nothing. Somehow stupid all alone. Then you want him, the lone and handsome stranger, who, exhausted but happy, arrives at the hut in the middle of nowhere after dark - my hut that night. He throws his backpack in the corner, wipes the sweat from his forehead, the flames flicker in his eyes and ...

Stop! Life is not a penny novel. Anyone who sneaks through the high mountains at this time can only be a crazy redneck with a bulbous nose and certificate of good conduct. So: gather all your courage, get out into the dark and get the ax out of the wooden shed. After all, I don't want to make it too easy for the madman. Barrier the doors and into the sleeping bag.

There I now lie, like a thick black maggot, in the last corner under a table - minimal view from outside. Now sleep. I said sleep! No chance. My eyelashes scratch the nylon with every blink, like fingernails on a slate. Every scraping, every cracking throws an adrenaline rush through my gut. My hot cheeks pound on the ice-cold blade of the ax. Soon is tomorrow, soon is bright, definitely.

In the morning everything is forgotten. I sit on the veranda with freshly brewed tea and the sun laughs at me. Stupid girl. I wink back. Wasn't that wild. When it is light again, the mind has time to idle. See how pretty the dew sparkles on the grass. Clear your throat, talk to yourself, the first step to madness.

Yes, if you are looking for loneliness, you will find peace and contentment. But it also finds psychological abysses. But above all, he finds moments that don't stick to the tongue like sugar and schnapps. He finds moments like a sip of cold, clear water.

  1. how beautiful =)

  2. Great photos, great trip - I want to go there too.

    Best regards

  3. Hi,
    wrote the post nice :)
    One thing only .. I can understand the creep but the huts are there for everyone and if someone arrives late for any reason (accident, time assessment, etc.), the door must not be locked. Who knows whether you will sleep too tight or not open for fear and someone will have to freeze to death because of it.

  4. I'm not sure if I was made for lonely hikes. I will probably only find out when I start my journey. Were there moments when you met strange people and were even afraid during the day?

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