12.02.2016 - 17.02.2016 28 °C
In the last blog you left us at Kaikoura a small beautiful beach town and the Lazy Shag hotel. Since then we have been blighted by at best dodgy and at worst non-existent internet hence the delay in what is to be the officially the Seventh blog.
Firstly let me (Rob) state for the record that this is my first ever blog so stay with me on this one, and secondly that rumours of our demise in Christchurch’s latest earthquake are untrue.
Leaving Kaikoura we began our journey along the coast and across the top of New Zealand’s south island to Kaiteriteri which aside from being another beach town also boasts to be close to some of the best wineries in the country. Home for the night was a little wooden cabin in the Bethany Park resort which by some weird coincidence was also hosting a Christian retreat. After dumping our bags we headed into town in search of food accompanied by our small travelling companion, followed by an evening dip in the sea before bed, associated photos below.
The next day I rose early leaving Sarah to sleep and took to the water in a sea kayak for a paddle around the coast. After a fair amount of hard work and some amazing views Sarah and I were reunited on the bus to begin the journey to Westport.
Before we move on however I feel I should publicly apologise to Sarah for stealing her hot water token leaving her with nothing but a freezing cold shower that morning. Sorry Sarah....
The journey to Westport took us via the Nelson Lakes for a brief stop and a spot of lunch with a truly breath taking view. Sarah even found time for a brief paddle in the water before it was back on the bus bound for Westport and our bed for the night at Bazils Hostel.
After a quick check-in we were off again this time together for my second water based activity of the day, paddle boarding. For those of you who don’t know (which to be fair included me previously) paddle boarding is a cross between surfing and punting on a river. After a few slips and trips down the river bank we were off in the most unusual of transportation methods paddling down the river. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of this to upload nor any of when Sarah fell in the water, but luckily once the disposable camera (thank you Natalie) has been developed these will become available.
The night ended with the most amazing of steak dinners served on a hot stone for you to cook yourself, with fries, salad and drink all for the low low price of seven pounds.
After a night sharing a dorm room with the most annoying gentleman ever, which is a story all in itself we hopped on the bus destined this time for Lake Maihinapua.
Along the way we stopped for both the Cape Foulwind walk and Pancake Rocks both equally beautiful, and both photographed below.
Arriving later that day at the Lake Mahinapua Hotel we checked into the most amazing of placings. Firstly because it was pretty amazing, but also because our bus driver for the last couple of days (Ross) offered up his own private room to us as a present on our first valentine’s day as a married couple.
Leaving the bags in formally Ross’s private ensuite room Sarah begin our stay with a little Jade carving (or green rock as the locals call it), making herself a necklace which as you can tell she is somewhat proud off.
This was followed that even by a dip in the lake for me and a sunset on the beach for us both later both pictured below, as well as Sarah eating roast pork (not pictured).
The evening ended with the famous Kiwi bus fancy dress party in the hotel bar and a couple of cheeky drinks for all.
The next morning rose with some of the clearest heads among our travelling companions many who had partied till the small hours and jumped aboard the express bus to Franz Josef. Now although Ross has made only a brief appearance in this story, and fun as it was, we left him behind to drive the normal bus and so he shall not appear again.
Franz Josef is famous for two things, firstly being named after an Austrian Emperor and secondly it glacier.
Taking the helicopter, yes that’s right a helicopter!! We travelled to the base of the glacier for a guided hike around this true amazing, fascinating and bizarre landscape. Pictures are below which do not really do it justice. What you need to know is that its breath taking but on a sadder note its disappearing and rapidly. Where once you could walk up it from the ground, you now need a helicopter to get there, and by 2050 you will not even be able to get there by helicopter it with have retreated so far.
On a happier note however a small travelling companion made another appearance, how gnomes will travel (maybe for the first time to this glacier).
The evening finished with a trip to the glacier hot pools, and a pizza feast back at the hostel.
With that this blog comes to an end there is so much more I haven’t included, mostly train related but so now yep that’s all folks