Our time in Golden Bay was over, but a last glimpse of the atmosphere of love which hangs around these hills was to be experienced during a unique event: the Rainbow Gathering. Born in the USA in the 70’s and promptly exported around the world, it represents a spontaneous meeting of people in a secluded area of natural beauty. These people happens to become the “Rainbow family”, and spend a whole moon cycle living all together, with no alcohol and no electronic devices. Simply living in the woods, having only each other and the nature as interaction, the family self sustain itself, and its members puts their talent, whatever it is, at the service of any other. Many people play music, chant, hug each other, practice nudism and yoga, giving to the event a peaceful and spontaneous vibe. Taking shots was almost forbidden to me, but I managed to take a couple of memories.
After we left the Rainbow, I headed with only one of my mates, Fabrizio, towards the South of the South Island. Soon we reached the rugged West coast, where the ocean hits relentlessly the majestic cliffs along the shore. A bright example is the spectacular formation of Pancake Rocks, whose name may lack originality, yet suits perfectly the shape of the limestone once-seabed, now exposed to the sculpting force of the elements.
The Southern Alps, well-known as one of the major beauties of New Zealand, were finally in sight. We picked the Alex Knob trek, alight the Franz Josef Glacier. as the first walk to taste them, but after a long day-drive, we decided to approach the target slowly, admiring it first from the camp on the shores of the Lake Mapourika, whose surface reflected the light of a dramatic sunset of contrasting cold and warm tones.
The first part of this southward migration was accompanied all along by the company of sweet fellow travellers, which shared with us a dip in the freezing Blue Pools, and a night in a Wanaka’s pub, where the chef dropped the food preparation and, after closing, delighted the audience with his guitar.
Jeez, how much I do love the road.
Photography: Matteo Fabi