Monday, 6 January 2014

Some time in Fiordland

Hey everybody! Who knows when you’ll get to read this. We’re “off grid” at the moment. Right now we’re sipping white wine while gazing out of our campervan window at a wonderful mountain lake, with mountains in the background. If we ever find some decent public wifi here is a picture. If not, just imagine it.

If you’re following us on a map, this is Lake Moke. We’ve driven just beyond Queenstown.

But how did we get here? What HAVE we been doing? Does Doubtful sound live up to the hype?

To answer the last question first.

No.  It does not.

It is one of the few places we have been that is beyond the hype.  It is an incredible place. Hopefully here is a picture Helen took from the kayak, but that doesn’t capture the sheer grandeur of waterfalls pouring off 900 metre high cliffs all around you. This only happens on really rainy days.  It was a really rainy day.

There’s so much to say about the place, but ask us when we get home.  It was an excellent day out. And our guide really was an Irish-Welsh-Italian called Cloudi Rainbow.

So after that day and a three course meal in the local tavern for our anniversary (lovely venison medallions for James and salmon wellington for Helen since you asked) we decided we should have a gentler day to follow it.

This started with a luxurious lie in followed by breakfast at the local café. Then we took the van up to Te Anau and popped into the visitors centre for some advice on a straightforward walk in the afternoon.  We also wanted to get above the tree line and take in some views, so we settled on a quick jaunt up another bit of the Kepler track towards luxmore hut. James isn’t very quick at mental arithmetic of turning kilometres into miles and didn’t realise this would be the longest walk he had ever done.  And we started at midday. The round trip was 25.8 km. The ascent was 952 metres. That’s more than you do on Sca Fell pike and without the nice flat bits on the way.

It was stunning up there. Again, hopefully here is a photo or two.

Today we thank God for the invention of blister plasters.

So onto today, we left our campsite of the previous three nights and drove onwards towards Queenstown, which was an incredible shock after the quiet of where we’ve been staying. So we’ve headed beyond it up to the quiet of this mountain pass. Helen has already done a mountain bike ride round the lake while James recovered from yesterday.

More news soon!

Word of the day: Clumsy.

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