11.03.2014 - 13.03.2014
View of Mt Cook from Peters Lookout
The view of Mt Cook from the holiday park when we arrived in the evening was remarkable. The sun was setting behind the peak giving the snow cap a golden hue with the moon glowing over the front. Sometimes (every time?) A photo cannot do justice to what you can see with your eyes. So you'll all just have to take a trip to New Zealand to see it for yourselves.
The next morning we learnt our lesson from Milford Sound and waited till midday for the cloud coverage to burn off to walk the Blue Pools and Hooker Valley tracks getting an amazing view of Mount Cook- but not making it to the end because of the sun! We returned to the camper with red necks and drove onto Wanaka.
Mt Cook from the Hooker Valley track
After sweating out on the Hooker Valley track we broke our 'every other day in at a basic DOC site' rule (this means non-flush toilet and occasionally water from a lake or tap $0-6pp) and went somewhere with showers, kitchen and flush toilets. ($10-20pp) I got my moneys worth as a pretty European (surely?) girl stalked around the ladies naked before and after her shower.
The next morning we went into town and sat on a bench outside a cafe with free wifi to work out our driving distances for the last days of the trip. We ate lunch out the back of the camper by the lake and stocked up on petrol, food and hokey pokey muffins. Not one to miss the opportunity of a vintage/second hand rummage I asked Dan to take me to Waste Busters - a community run shop at the recycling depot. With joy I picked up a giant date stamp for $3 which doubles up as a great miming microphone to Katy Perry in the car.
Miming to good quality tunes including One Direction- we both watched the 1D film on a plane. Every one has a guilty pleasure right?
Journal writing and NZ beers/girly cider
In the evening we arrived at Gillespies Beach free DOC site for 8 campers. We drove 10km down a very narrow windy unsealed road through dense forest to find about 30 campers already in situ... So we wedged in between two tree trunks and ate Mexican rice by the sea.
The next day we went to see both the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. It was shocking to see how much FJ has receded in the last 4 years and we are perhaps privileged to have seen it at all. With changes in climate it is possible that it will melt completely. On one of the viewing platforms we met an older Australian couple. We think they were in their 70's judging by the walking stick, white hair and smart dress. It was a good ten minute slippery uphill walk to the view. If they are still doing it why isn't everyone else? This trip has taught me how easy it is to travel. If you want something enough you can make it happen. They even had an ipad to send photos to thier worried children at home. Hero's.
Dan at Franz Josef
FJ in 2010 and now
1907 and 2014
We spent the afternoon in Hokitika going to a glassblowing workshop but Dan drew the line at visiting the sock machine museum. A top Hokitika attraction.