Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Jasmine Ayla is a free-lance writer, traveler and amateur photographer based out of Maui, Hawaii, USA.

The Routeburn Track continued

Every few hours on the Routeburn is like walking into a completely different country, from dense rainforest to windswept tundra. The epic second day with gale force winds made it all the more memorable. If we didn’t have such bad weather we would have missed out seeing hundreds of waterfalls falling down into Lake Mackenzie surrounded by mist. Absolutely stunning. It’s a busy track but we did get to meet some pretty interesting characters along the way, some of which were well over 75 years old and passing us with ease!

The Routeburn Track will always be my favorite – I think the wonder of that first hike will never fade away, which is really something special considering my memory or general lack thereof. Everything was stunning, and I took photos of everything. This resulted in about 800 photos of mountains, sky, clouds, trees, trail, rocks, birds, leaves, waterfalls, rivers, and a few of my friend’s bum (my meandering pace usually disqualified me to lead the way). Yep, she set the crackin’ no-nonsense walking speed that probably saved our lives millions of times, while I snap snapped away, stopping every five minutes to look at fluorescent white moss, an orange dinosaur-flower with a mud-like substance at its center, tiny fat golf-ball shaped birds with no tail (mountain wrens), rocks with fossil pictures of skulls or miniature men, leaves changing colour, etc.

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