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Hello, it's me

Dunedin is a college town on the South Island of New Zealand. It is a cluster of coffee shops, university flats, and even contained the world's steepest street (which I had the pleasure of witnessing first hand). The moment I jumped off the plane, my friends from Sewanee, Hannah and Alex, picked me up from the Dunedin airport in a Rent-a-Dent. After fidgeting with the audio system for a half an hour, we deemed the aux chord hopeless and decided our journey to the Kepler Track would be filled with stories instead of songs. Their friend that they'd met abroad Abby joined us as well, but she was not particularly annoying by our Sewanee discussion because she had heard so much about our mountain cult before, and considered it to be like an exam, testing the knowledge that she had retained. Anyways, we stopped at the grocery store New World (free wifi) and discovered the Golden Kiwi which is similar to the kiwis we have in America but the skin is not rough and therefore you can bite into it like an apple. Amazing. Nature's candy, I'm tellin ya. That night it began to thunderstorm so we took shelter in a hostel in Te Ainu. My head hit the pillow and immediately I began a shallow snore, according the my traveling company.

The next day we woke up between the hours of 6 and 7, ready to hit the track. It was tough. Steady uphill for 9 miles. But the view was incredible. We are our pb&js and rested our legs at the Luxemore hut, which is apparently one of the nicest in the system.

Visual references below. The walk out was killer and seemed to last forever under the trees without a very rewarding viewpoint but the car was a beautiful sight and we shook off our shoes and basked in the sun in the parking lot. I had my first New Zealand pie, Thai chicken (DOPE)! Meanwhile this is Wednesday, November 09 meaning it was Tuesday, November 08 in the States. AKA Election Day. We all thought Hillary would win, no brainer. However our intuition was shaken when some kiwis informed us about the Red sweeping the nation. The rest of the day we spent in the car, surfing the radio for news and stopping in New World Groceries for the free wifi to check the stats. The victory of Donald Trump was announced at 7 PM.

We got back to Hannah's flat and I passed out cold. So wiped out. The next day, we went to a lunch place called TexOtago only to see a sign explaining that they were closed in order to reflect on the terror of Trump's presidency. All the way in New Zealand!! Realizing this post is ridiculously long right now. I guess I'll write about the next adventures later.

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Julia Bridgforth