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17.12.2019 Live and let live. On our way to Christchurch we have come through some truly remarkable places. In Springs Junction we stayed with Robyn and Peter, who live in an off-grid house with a rain water tank, a compost toilet and solar panels on the roof, and who manage to convey the impression that adopting an environmentally conscious and sustainable lifestyle is not a huge challenge, but simply the most natural thing to do.  Our two hosts suggested staying a second night and joining them on a bushwalk to help with a job they do on a voluntary basis for the Department of Conservation: They regularly check over 400 traps and empty, repair and bait them. This means walking many kilometers in the bush – all year round, and in all weathers – and it evidently also means killing animals. However, minimizing the numbers of harmful predators such as rats and possums is a necessary measure to protect native birds and help them survive. So of course we agreed to become trappers for one day and carried new traps up towards Lake Daniells, where we were rewarded with a nice view, sandwiches and a swim. Two days later we reached Hanmer Springs, a small town that attracts both locals and tourists with its hot springs and open-air thermal pools. And after all the hiking and trapping, the conquest of Lewis Pass and a night at a simple DoC campsite, we decided we deserved another rest day and a bit of dolce vita in the hot pools. Yesterday evening we arrived in Waipara, for a final stop before Christchurch, and here we are staying at a place with several vintage railway wagons withdrawn from service a long time ago. However, they now live a second life as hotel rooms, and we totally enjoyed the experience of sleeping in such an exceptional location, plus waking up to freshly baked bread this morning. Oh, what a life! #scoutbound #neuseeland #newzealand #nz #springsjunction #lakedaniells #lewispass #departmentofconservationnz #doc #hanmersprings #trains #waipara #warmshowers #scouts #dpsg #worldbycycling

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