I can now see why so many people spend the big bucks to do guided Great Walks in New Zealand. They don’t make it easy. In fact, so not easy that I am on the verge of throwing up my hands and giving up.
First, It takes hours and hours to get on the web site and then, the booking page is so confusing (for me) as to be simply un-doable. It seems you have to book each walk and each hut for each walk with no explanation of which hut you should book. Trying to figure out which walks to do and in which order is well nigh impossible. In despair, I finally made the long distance phone call. It turns out that the DOC can’t really help. The lovely person on the other end of the line suggested some walks and an order but could only book the one in her jurisdiction. Others require other phone calls. And then some are fully booked and some aren’t.
It all seems enormously complicated. And it seems that charging $50 a night for a mattress (no food or stove or bedding) is a bit steep.
The Milford Track is completely booked for the next season. My thought now is to let it go and do it (if I am going to) the following year. Then I can get in early enough to book the Milford Track plus three others.
Still, it makes a trip to Europe look so easy. What I don’t like is having to plan the entire thing out like a huge chess game (because of reservations) before I go. What I like about Europe is that I don’t have to plan a thing – just go and hike.
I’m not very good at planning. I am, however, very good at ad-libbing and flying by the seat of my pants with excellent results.
New Zealand just has to be so darn organized! This frustrates me. Still, it’s good to know my weaknesses. I will enlist my vet. who is good at this sort of thing, to help me and we’ll see how it goes from there. Right now, it’s far on the back burner. When I made that phone call today I was ready to book everything. But although DOC does bookings, it’s very clear that one phone call isn’t even close to making that happen. I like things to be easy.
Whew! Was that a rant? I suppose so. And in spite of all that, the country gives a very good impression. I think if I lived there and knew my way around, this would all be quite simple. Perhaps it’s just not easy for overseas people and that’s why there are so darn many tour operators.
Okay – enough. My weekend is close to getting started. Hurrah! Hiking here we come! And as for my next trip – that will reveal itself very soon.