Mountains, Hiking, & Raisin Cookies – Wanaka (ft. Isthmus Peak) Day 180

Have you ever heard of someone talking about how their trust issues stemmed from eating what they thought was a chocolate chip cookie and after a bite they realized that the chocolate chips were actually raisins? That was this hike for Rach and I. Yesterday we got up at 6am ate a filling breakfast of oatmeal and drove out to a hike that apparently is the sister hike to Roy’s Peak – Isthmus Peak. It was about a 30 minute drive there so by the time we started it was about 7:30. The view from the starting point of the track was enough to encourage us to take on the massive 5.5 hour climb we were about to embark on.

The hike itself was slightly more interesting than just shrub and grasses.. we passed a few trees which provided shade for about 3 seconds and we also passed a dead sheep and what at one point was a dead sheep but all that was left was some guts and hoofs. Yikes. Anyways the raisin cookie analogy comes into play here.. it was a wicked hike up. Super steep and all switch backs and all sunshine. Every time we though we got to the top of the peak we would come around the corner and see the path going further up over another sandy shrubby mountain. That was me biting into the raisin. Although I have to say when we were about 10 minutes away a super chipper gentleman was on his way down and made some quick chat with us. He high fived us and gave us a little motivation saying we really were almost there and the view was worth it. On we trudged up the mountain until we reached the look out. It really was worth it – so so so beautiful. We picked a gorgeous clear still day and the look out had a 360 view of both Lake Wanaka and the neighbouring Lake Hawea. Rach and I sat at the top soaking in the view and munched on some baguette, hummus, apple and trail mix – inspired by our departed vegetarian friend Michael from Cali. 

While we were hiking Roy’s Peak as a way of making conversation, Michael asked us if we could be any animal what would we be – Rachel answered a sheep because she could graze and nap and be in the mountains. During this hike when we were on the slippery steep decent we saw two sheep just grazing away on the mountains and enjoying the sunshine ‘bah-ing’ at each other… I started to joke that they were like us because we had spent some much time in the mountains in Wanaka. 

When we finally got to the bottom we were exhausted but somehow still buzzed from the beautiful morning in the mountains. 
In the afternoon I trimmed Jeff’s hedge and tidied up the kitchen. We had an awesome vegan healthy dinner (my sister would be so proud) and then went down to Lake Wanaka to meet up with a few of Rachel’s friends from Whistler, Ash and Jeremy. We had a glass of wine and chilled and then came back to the house for a well deserved sleep. 

Other fun things that happened this week that are worth documenting:

– A few nights ago we met up with another friend of ours from KatiKati, Gualliam who’s also Canadian (Québec). He is travelling with 3 other girls and another guy and invited Rach, Michael and I to grab a drink at the local Irish pub. It just happened to be an open-mic night so we had another chance to hear all of Gualliam’s favourite songs to play. We chatted with lots of people hanging out in the bar and Rach even bumped into a few of her friends from Whistler. It was a really fun night full of new friends, stories, and lots of conversation. 

– an old WWOOFer of Jeff’s, Whitney, who has taken residency in Wanaka came over to visit the other night and watch a National Geographics program with us called Lawless Oceans. It’s about a guy who is investigating a murder that happened at sea that is linked to drugs and piracy.  She happens to be really good friends with the lead guy so it was equally as entertaining watching the show and listening to Whitneys commentary on how he is different in real life. 

– I have taken a great liking to watching this British trivia game show with Jeff that comes on from 5-6 just before dinner called The Chase. We have a snack and drink a beer and try and guess the answers to the varying questions the contestants have to answer. It a really fun way to hangout with Jeff because it almost always brings out a great story from him.

– Coffee stops! Jeff loves his morning coffee and has been more then kind in treating us to cappuccinos and flat whites in sweet hidden gem cafes around Wanaka.

– The other day Jeff took us to a deserted old Welsh village for an afternoon picnic. We had delicious sandwiches and a glass of white wine and just hung out at the top of the hill in a little shady spot. Because of Jeff’s walking condition it can be hard to find things that are outdoors and adventurous so picnics are lovely because we can all relax outside with beautiful views and good food and there’s nothing strenuous about it.

I’m going to be heartbroken when I have to leave here but I’m trying very hard to push that to the back of my mind and soak up all the magic that I feel here. On Monday Jeff is taking us to Dunedin where he has a date with a lucky woman named Kay. We are tagging along and will go on our own date in a restaurant nearby. After that we’ve got one more splendid night in the paradise that is Jeff’s home and then it’s off to Queenstown!
Sending lots of love. Xx❤️


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