Two cars, well there were eight of us. Pick up Greymouth drop off Queenstown. First stop – Franz Joseph.
It was wet, there were holdups where the road became a single lane as it negotiated terrifying washouts and landslips. Most bridges were single lane and we were mistified as to the logic of who should give way. We gave up when we almost sorted it and decided it was alternate… Nah.. it wasn’t!! Interesting trip.
Our accommodation was a youth hostel and we were surrounded by young things. Felt good!! Well of course until breakfast when we had to wash our dishes – before using them – and use the teatowls, but it was cheap and cheerful.
Franz Joseph glacier is just out of town so we decided to go and have a look. It was wet. Midges were killers and the bus wasn’t coming back for two hours. Killing time.
Queenstown and our AirB&B was situated a couple of kilometers out of town, straight up a hill. The vista overlooking the lake was outstanding, the weather was absolutely sensational. Many of our company were suffering cabin fever and had to get some exercise. Some walked around the Botanical Gardens others walked up a mountain beside a perfectly serviceable gondola others took the gondola and took one of the many walks into the mountains. It made me tired hearing about it.
I stayed in. I got my house in order, checked my money, walked into town and made sure I had medication for midges. I needed to sleep without scratching!
Our cruise aboard the steamer TSS Earnshaw on lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Farm for a gourmet dinner, was organised for six. Di and I couldn’t resist the $10 Espresso Martinis as an aperitif before we left.
Well now Diane…. a kinder soul you’ll never meet. Uncomplaining, brave, resourceful, the best group traveler. A bicycle accident, resulting in a serious shoulder injury has prevented her from riding but this intrepid traveller was not detered. She accompanied us to every destination making the most of the beautiful walks, the local ambience and was waiting for us in the afternoons with a warm smile and a story or two. A real gem!!
Excellent evening topped off with a real touristy demonstration of sheep dogs and a bit of shearing. Still it was good.
Getting a bus for the following day was way more interesting than I could possibly imagine with all sorts of combinations and permutations being discussed. Eventually we all decided to walk our luggage down the hill and take the bus to Twizel where the real fun was about to begin. This would be the beginning of our Alps to Ocean (A2O) ride of over 300km. Should be interesting!!!