Saturday 23rd May
A storming night last night at The Ballarat Trading Co. pub to see Thom’s band, Freefall. The place was rockin’! Really nice to speak with Thom, who I haven’t seen for about 25 years! He’s been in NZ for about 11 years now working in finance, and having a bloody nice time. Like every other Brit ex-pat I’ve met over here he says he’d not move back to England. And why would you??? Anyway, a great night, and our latest night out for some months! Didn’t get home til 1am, and had to have an emergency McDonalds on the way! We realise we’re too old for late nights now! We’ll be having a little sleep this afternoon to catch up!
Very sad to leave Queenstown, but onwards and upwards we must go on the never ending voyage of beauty! Today we’ve travelled a short distance to Wanaka, over the Crown Ridge Pass which in places had hairpins reminiscent of Alpe d’Huez. Breath taking scenery as always. We absolutely must come back here one day, if only to cycle all these roads. Every one would be a classic in its own right.
Wanaka is a lovely small town on Lake Wanaka, with Mount Aspiring towering above. We walked the 6k loop over Mt. Iron for some much needed exercise, then found our camp spot for the night, on the Clutha River, 1km away from the road. Stunning, and incredibly peaceful.
With regard to the 6km loop we walked, I said to Charlotte that the guide book advised doing it clockwise. This completely stumped the poor old girl, who couldn’t get that this wasn’t dependant on which ever way we were facing. “What if the author was facing the other direction?”. Apparently, like East and west, clockwise and anti-clockwise are interchangeable….. I fear her brains have turned to mush.
Big congratulations to our lovely friends Lydia and Graeme who have got engaged!!!! Well done you two! And for Lydia, at the tender age of 32ish(?) this will be the 47th time she’s walked down the aisle…… She just can’t get enough of wedding cake! (Only teasing Lydster!!! Very very happy for you both!🍸🍸🎊🎊🎉🎉💝)
And we have some exciting news too!! (No, I’m not pregnant, despite the evidence of those photos). Good old Bruce has asked us if we’d be interested in doing a ten day tour in Spiti in the Indian Himalaya in October with him and his daughter Katie!!!! He describes it thus -“Rocks. Once you’ve finished your tatts and piercings. When you in SE Asia (mid Oct) would you fancy 10 days in the Indian Himalaya (Google Spiti). Cheap from here, mate runs a company there (semi freebie) and am planning on taking Katie for an adventure. Wondered if was something you’d fancy. BKK to Delhi. Fly to Manali, jeep over 5400 metre passes to Spiti, yak safaris etc, back to Delhi, hop to Agra to see Taj and back to BKk. 10 days or so……interested?” Bloody hell! Of course we’re interested! Sounds amazing! And although Bruce hasn’t actually said it, I can tell from the accent of his message that really he’s offering to pay for all the flights (First Class), all expenses, and give us pocket money when we’re there. I hope I’ve read that right Bruce?…. Bruce??? …..Hello Bruce, are you there????
Tomorrow we’re doing the walk up to Rob Roy Glacier. It’s a 32km gravel track to get to the start point, but we’ve been reliably told it’s definitely worth it. Should be fun!
Sunday 24th May
Another cold cold morning with ice on the inside of the windows! But somehow we’re always nice and cosy in our bed, so it doesn’t bother us at all.
We conducted a closely controlled scientific experiment over the past 24 hours, and the outcome is that Charlotte is now banned from eating eggs, in the interest of the environment (or more precisely, MY environment). Even the trees around the van are wilting…..
The drive up the gravel road was every bit as arduous as we’d expected. Our guide book suggested we took the road at 60-80kmh in order to flatten out the bumps???!!! So I did! Bloody hell! Aidy could never have done this road, not with his piles….. But the reward was the brilliant 1 and a half hour walk up to the viewing point of the Rob Roy Glacier. Very nice walk, and very nice views. A great day out!
At the viewing point we were besieged by tiny mountain mice! Charlotte ending up feeding them some of her nutrition bar (which looks just like nutty poo) so I imagine they will now be super-mice, threatening all the walkers who’ve gone up there this afternoon. Either that, or she’s killed them by introducing alien food into their life…..
Back to the same camp as last night, for a spot of Nordic Blond hair dye, and a bottle of Cloudy Bay!!!
Monday 25th May
Woken up to four inches of snow!!! Very unexpected! A complete surprise!!! So there was a bit of angst as to whether we could actually get out of the camp, but as a result of professional and diligent driving we managed….
It is absolutely beautiful!!!! I love snow!!!
Next, we’re going to (foolishly, perhaps) attempt the Haast Pass to the west coast……