A Travellerspoint blog

Tuesday 13th May - Day 100

Not Fox's Glacier Mint

Yes, today is the hundredth day since I left England.

Today I get to walk over a glacier called, Fox Glacier. There are only two places in the world where temperate glaciers exist: Argentina and New Zeland. Walking over the ice isn't the hardest part of the walk, it's walking for three quarters of an hour up a mountain to get to it. We're given crampons to put on our walking boots to walk over the ice. It's almost a unique experience but not a difficult one to participate in. We're quite safe walking over what is basically a huge piece of ice.

It's a photo opportunity and a chance to drink pure meting ice water. An experience to remember.

We drive on to Wanaka.

Posted by rajchopra 23:21 Comments (0)

Monday 12th May - Day 99

No it's not a mirror it's Lake Matheson

An early, not too early, morning around the lake shows us what people are talking about:

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There's a 'photographer' who's been there since dawn and wants the perfect shot.

He turns out to be an architect from Kansas, USA. He normally works 2 weeks and travels 2 weeks all year round. He leaves his wife at the Hilton Hotel or equivalent while he pursues his hobby. Unfortunately, there aren't any similar jobs available in his office as I should be happy to do the same.

Posted by rajchopra 21:34 Comments (1)

Sunday 11th May - Day 98

Is that a mirror ?

We have to leave our comfortable surroundings and head move on.

The views of rolling hills, countryside, quiet, winding roads, forests will be an everyday occurrence from now on.

We arrive at Lake Matheson, early evening and free camp in the car park. Lake Matheson is renowned for it's stillness and mirrored look when their are no ducks swimming across it causing ripples.

A walk in the dark to the lakeside doesn't achieve a lot, but it is very peaceful nonetheless.

Posted by rajchopra 21:20 Comments (0)

Saturday 10th May - Day 97

is that tweety pie ?

A routine that becomes the norm begins: quick shower, breakfast, sweep, tidy up and clean the campervan and get ready to drive to the next site.

The lay-by we have parked on has a walk coming off it called 'the chasm walk' which heads into the forest. We decide to try the walk before we move off. It leads us through the forest and to a pretty running stream and a bridge. It's very quiet pretty and idyllic and we take a few photographs.

A little bird (a robin) appears and starts stamping his foot very quickly. It's standing on the footsteps we have just taken. Then it pecks on the ground and pulls out grubs to eat. It doesn't seem too bothered by us. In fact, it's within a metre of me and next to my rucksack that I have just put on the floor. For the next 5 minutes or so he has us transfixed watching him. We are at one with nature. He flies up and perches on my bag - wow. Then he spoils it all by doing a big poop. Thanks little robin.

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We go back to the campervan and I drive a little further along Arthurs pass. Another walk takes us to see a waterfall. Again quite pretty.

We drive on and get to a campsite - Jackson's retreat. it turns be one of, if not the best, campsite we stay at in New Zealand. There are showers, a kitchen and a lounge. Everything is in brand new condition. And tonight there are no other guests on the site.

Posted by rajchopra 19:39 Comments (1)

Friday 9th May - Day 96

Camper van day

I'm assured that my fears of having to 'run around' are groundless and we should proceed with the trip.

We hire a campervan, which we pick up from the airport - not quite as new as we were led to believe - and it takes a little time to book out, sign, pay, etc, but it's getting late now and we're (that's me) ready to start driving. It's 6.6m long and 2.7m high. It feels like driving a truck, it's got a shower, toilet, sink, cooker, beds and will be the tin can I'm in for an average of 15 hours a day for for the next 26 days.

We decide to head over Arthurs pass, which is a road from Christchurch to the west coast of the south island. I'm hoping we can drive accross the whole of it today. At around 5:30pm it get's dark but I would prefer to carry on driving until we reach a campsite called 'Jacksons Retreat.' Unfortunatley, we have a difference of opinion as my travel companion strongly objects to 'driving at night and missing the views.' This turns out not to be the last of our disagreements but I'll refrain from chronichling.

We 'free camp' (that means staying in the campervan but not at a camp site) in a lay-by on the side of the road for the night. There is enough water onboard to have 3 very quick showers and to be able to wash dishes, etc in the sink. The heater and microwave only work if the campervan is plugged in at a campsite. It's a little cold at night so the hot water bottles we bought will turn out to be handy.

Posted by rajchopra 03:53 Comments (0)

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