Wow the last few days have been a total blur! We did manage to get a hike in up north of the South Island. We tried to summit a mountain but when we saw the ridge we had to walk over to get there and the clouds rolling in, better judgement ruled out and we headed down. The car ride just to get to the car parking area was an experience in itself. It was like 4 wheel driving without the 4 wheel part. Straight up a gravel road is not my idea of fun. I closed my eyes while H drove and insisted on doing the driving down or else I would have had a heart attack!
The next 3 days we were either on the road or in a bed. The views of the ocean were spectacular, "Panacake Rocks" were a sight to see. We only had one night stays along the western coast of SI, too much driving and not enough rest. The glacier hike on Franz Josef Glacier was a half day of wonderment and excitement as we scaled the temperate ice in the rain with about 50 other folks, with guides (pics on FB-it was so fun!). Quick night's sleep then off to our current location, Wanaka, which is near two BEAUTIFUL lakes that are surrounded by mountains. We have yet to see the tops of these mountains because it has been cloudy/raining the last few days here. It is still stunning scenery. We are at a cute little B&B with really nice rooms overlooking the garden. The main living area is for all guests and we even saw our first taste of CNN in about 8 weeks last night! TV in New Zealand is even worse than Australia. Which is fine..I am out of my TV withdrawal for now.
Today is H's birthday. I surprised him with flowers and "Tim-Tams" this AM. Tim-Tams are New Zealan's version of devil food. Little chocolate cookies (they call them biscuits) that are to die for. I HOPE we cannot find them in the states! We will go out for dinner tonite for his BD, in one of the thousands of fabulous seafood restaurants we have seen/eaten at on our travels.
Tomorrow we head over to Queenstown for the last hour and a half of driving. I will be SO GLAD to get out of the car! The drive stress for 2400 miles on 2 lane highways has been a bit much although it is really the only way you can see this beautiful country...Sunday we start our trek on the Milford Track, a 4 night 5 day catered hiking experience where we will truly be remote for awhile. The hike is suppose to be overwhelmingly beautiful and hopefully the weather will clear for at least part of the walk. There will be 7, 8 and 13 mile walks in the daytime, lodges at night (thank goodness)..
A week from tomorrow we are heading home. Today we have been gone 8 weeks. It seems like in some ways the time has flown by and we are getting a bit homesick. The vacation has been outstanding, more than what we ever thought it would be but I think in a week it will be time to get back to real life, which may take awhile to adjust to again! I miss my people!!
I hope to blog one more time before we leave next week. This is the only way I remember what the heck we have been doing here!