Some days feel from the onset that they are not going to be good. Today was such a day. Actually it started yesterday. We arrived at our hotel and it was cold and damp. It smelled of mildew (fungus). I had hardly passed the door and I started coughing and wheezing , something I had not done for a week or so. To be honest the room looked kinda dated, worn and desolate too, but you know you can’t hit the jackpot every time.
By bed time I really was coughing my lungs from y body. It was clear that now way this was going to be a comfortable night for me. SO put the heater on and it at least took some of the dampness out of the air which meant that I eased my coughing. Even SO was sniffling by the end of the evening. We decided there and then that we’d only stay one night regardless of the cost.Our health being much more important than money. .
The next morning we checked out. As expected our money was not returned as the owner hid behind the terms and conditions of the website we used for booking. Load of crock if you ask me. But as said our health was more important. We did find a great place for breakfast. Even watched FC Twente play Zenith which was kinda funny and lifted our spirits. After breakfast we walked to the glacier. We could not be bothered with the slight rain. I mean we are tough aren’t we? How bad can it get?
So we walked through the rain. I had my polar fleece and raincoat. SO was wearing a sweatshirt and raincoat. We have no issues with some minor bits of rain. but where one dop falls, often more drops start falling. No exception here. The walk to the galcier edge is about 45 minutes one way, 90 minutes in total therefore. By the time we got the the glacier edge we were soaked but just our front. This was the result of a slight slant uphill and facing the wind. Everything is always balanced so on the way back we soaked our backs. How wet were we? Well my bottom and backpack left their wet imprints on my raincoat. That is how wet we were. Thankfully we both had spare pants that we changed in the toilet cubicles. We were very grateful for the heating system in our care and dried up nicely on when driving.
Via Fox Glacier where we did not stop we arrived in Haast. Population 300. Even less than Karamea. We’d seen some pretty amazing stuff along the road and had stopped a few times. One time I managed to really bang my head against the car and we imported a flock of fruitflies into the car. Not a success. Fruit flies sting and they are mean and tiny, but the bites disappear quite quickly, within a day. so it is not a biggie. But there are sprts where it is less than successful, for instance your upper lip makes you look as if you just had your botox (me) For a few hours we were trying to kill the flies. Oh well.
From Haast your cross the Southern Alps. Oh man that was pure enjoyment. Pure, wonderful and exciting. It is as if you are driving through a fairytale landscape, yet wild and weird. And slowly the sun came through. it made that the clouds that persisted took on the form of cotton balls skirting the mountains, slowly rising. We enjoyed every minute of this part of our trip. Beautiful lakes and very very few people. Lots of birds, birds of prey etc. In every bird I see an Eagle, but they don’t live here.
In the mean time we were also trying to sort out accommodation in Wanaka. Turns out there was an A&P (agricultural) show in town and all accommodation in Wanaka was booked. So we had no choice but to drive onto Queenstown or Arrowtown. Thanks to the Lonely Planet we ended up in Queenstown in a great lovely hotel. Unfortuntaly we could only have the room for one night., but what an improvement over Franz Josef. This time we did hit the jackpot. We immediately fell in love with Queenstown. The whole evening we enjoyed a table on the lake with nice food and drinks. We really felt in holiday mode with the Remarkables in the background. Life does not get much better than this. So a happy end to a day that started of rather badly.