The Big Trip – Day 7

Mostly listening to: ricky gervais podcast (finally finshed series 3 and morsies breathes a sigh of relief), van morrisson, iain archer

Sleeping on/in: campsite at lake wanaka.
Coffess: 3
KMs (kilometres): 1650
Eating: lamb sagwahla
Sand fly count: nil – yippee
Newspaper headline of the day: ‘idiot’ catches 1.3m shark with bare hands. (pg 4 of a sunday broadsheet)
Placename of the day: gout creek
Weather: 27 degrees. Sun.

Woke up with the sun. So did the sandflys. Spent the dawn hours killing them one by one with my finger from the secuity of my sleeping bag. Occasonal tactical losses in this battle. Gave up and got out of bed using the ‘burkah’ technique of mosquiot repellant – all layers plus hat.

Left camp and vowed to find motel tonight.

First stop at the glaciers. Franz-josef (or franz-ferdinand as morsies calls it), and fox glacier, (or fox’s glacier mint glacier). Spectacular stuff. Stood at the bottom of fox and marvelled at the sheer scale of the thing. Debated how to pronounce crevasse.

The glaciers just reminded me of a trip i did to the pyrenees mountains. Filled me with the hillwalking/mountaineering bug that has lain dormant in my system for a while now. It was the cold wind off the glacier that did it. I haven’t felt a chill wind since i left ireland. Made me kind of nostalgic for it.

Drove some more, crossing the crazy blue rivers on the one lane bridges – shared by two lanes of cars and occasionally trains.

Left the west coast and headed in land. Spectacular gorges and river valleys on the road toward lake wanaka. The rivers (and i do bang on about this) are spectactularly blue. Crystal clear and other-worldly blue. I think there must be a guy up river adding dye. Me and si sat on the shore and thre rocks at other rocks. I could do that morning to night, no worries.

The road runs by the side of lake wanaka, and it is simply breathtaking. I’m not so good with the superlatives but it was just one of those scenes that will just stick with me forever. Something that’ll get incorporated into all my dream sequences from now on. Moments like that are pretty cool.

Wanaka itself is an alpine ski resort in winter and adventure playground in summer. Pretty cool place really. So cool we may even stay here more than one night and try out that new fnagled concept called ‘the holiday’ that we’ve been hearing so much about.

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February 2007

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