Feb 8th, 2013

This is the first story in a series as we look back over 20 years in business. 

Thanks Mike for sharing your story with us.....

 

 

I saw your email asking for stories from the earlier days of Hiking New Zealand, so I thought I'd let you know how my life has changed completely because of you!

Back in the days of NZ Nature Safaris (Jan-2002), I found myself waiting on a street in Auckland in the early morning for the tour guide (Karen), tour bus and the fellow walkers. Everybody arrived on time apart from one girl Anne, she - according to the guide - had overslept but was on her way by taxi. The taxi arrived and I could see Anne with a huge grin sitting in the front seat. I thought to myself, I'm glad we waited; it really was (for me anyway) 'love at first sight'.

 

Over the course of the next 10 days, we spent plenty of time together. There seemed an obvious attraction between us but we both were unwilling to act in case we 'rocked the boat'. The last thing either of us wanted was an awkward few days stuck together in the small group if the feelings weren't mutual. Anyway, after the Tongariro National Park walk we stayed in a lodge next to a river and this is where we had our first kiss (some good old local wine lowered the guard somewhat)! By the time we got to Wellington, we were inseparable and were planning to spend my remaining few days in NZ together.

Our final week together was great (staying at the Rosemere Backpackers), we explored the sights of Wellington and got on famously. Unfortunately, I had to fly back to the UK and Anne continued on to the South Island. The parting wasn't easy but we promised to keep in touch. However, the likelihood of us getting together was remote; she was from Germany and I was from the UK.

It was two months before we met again - after Anne returned from her travels - this time in London and it was great! We made plans to make the relationship work and for the next few years we commuted between London and Frankfurt every few weeks.

Anyway, that was all ten years ago! What are we up to now? Well, we live in Germany, we were married in 2008 and have two beautiful daughters.

We keep talking about going back to NZ but as our second daughter is only a couple of months old, I guess it's going to be a few more years yet.

 

Regards and good luck for the next 20 years!

 

We are on the lookout for more tales of old, if you were on one of the safaris in the early days and have a story to tell we would love to hear from you.

 


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