Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Day 5 & 6

While I was writing the last post we ran into an American from New York in the Internet Cafe and she talked our ears off about how she and her 3 kids were on a world tour for the last four months, we talked about the places we had on our itinerary and she didn't have a good thing to say about any of the places we were going. She had all three kids with her and they were just horrible... talk about just a generally toxic person. So if it felt like I cut off the last blog entry that's why, we had to get away from the psycho lady and her screaming kids. It took a full day to get her out of our system.

After leaving Queenstown we drove to Lake Hawea where we found a "Holiday Park", or RV Park as we call them in the States. We rolled in at 10:00pm and booked a cabin for $40NZD and rested. When we woke up we found we stayed in a beautiful place, snow capped mountains, turquoise lakes and green meadows. The Wanaka area is the place were Kiwis go to "the cabin". It made it tough driving due to all the scenery. This turned out to be the start of the Southern Alps of the South Island.

As we drove we stopped at small cafes and towns along the way. After we got to the coast we made our way North along the West coast. The Ocean on one side the white capped mountains on the other with rolling meadows in between. The most common words out of our mouths were "gorgeous", "wow", "WATCH THE ROAD!!!!".... ;)

As we made our way up the coast we found there was an area that had two active glaciers. The Fox and the Franz Josef glaciers. So we grabbed lunch in Fox township at a country western restaurant/bar and drove to the Franz Josef. We took about 20 min walk to the glacier and took some photos. Since we pretty much knew what snow and ice looked like we didn't feel the need to stay too long. It was still pretty cool to see an active glacier in the middle of a tropical island in the South Pacific. Only in New Zealand.

We stopped in a pub in small town South of Greymouth for a break and met some of the locals. On the TV there was what looked like a version of Women's American Basketball, Jen was very excited to watch it but it turned out to be some really sterilized version of the sport. It's called Netball, and I guess it's the second most popular sport in the area next to rugby. Just imagine American Basketball without dribbling and no contact. The hoop is a standard hoop but without the backboard. So there were no layups, no three pointers, they just passed the ball, once they got it they couldn't take any steps. Once under the hoop the shooter stopped and made the shot. The only defense was between passes and an occasional hand up in the air trying to block a shot. But it looked like the blocker couldn't move their feet either once the shooter started her shot. Strange game.

We made it into Greymouth and checked in to the hostel. Found a grocery store and stocked up for dinner. Jen found a bulk bin full of giant gummy worms, actually they looked more like pythons. So for dinner we split a bottle of Australian Cab/Merlot, made noodles in a cup and PB & J sandwiches with gummy snakes for dessert.... mmmm. ;)

Today we drop off our trusty 1990 Nissan Pulsar at the train station and take the Tranz Alpine train ( ) across Aurthur's Pass to Christchurch where we'll pick up a new car and stay for the night before heading North to Picton. This should take up the rest of the day going through the Southern Alps, we should get plenty of photos as it's supposed to be one of the most scenic train trips in the world, so says the marketing.

The train leaves at 1:15 and takes about 5 hours. I'm actually looking forward to it, I'll be able to see all the scenery without having to worry about staying on the road.

We'll try to get out another update once we make it into Christchurch with some photos from the trip.

Hope everyone is doing well, thank you for the comments it's great to hear from everyone back home. Keep them coming.

Love, Mike and Jen


Craig said...

Hi guys - We really enjoy reading your updates so I thought you might like a Kota update also. He decided to shred the towles in his kennel today. it definately gave him somthing to do!! Right now he is sitting on Craig's lap watching TV and waiting patiently for a rawhide. Can't wait to hear what you thought of the train ride. Love ya, Amy

Trent Fox said...

All I can say is WOW! and WOW! again. This trip is amazing and I am so happy that you both are doing these kind of trips. You are making memories that will last a lifetime. The pictures are great! Keep posting as many as you can. I have been in Atlanta for the last 3 days and was able to to read your posts and follow the trip. Love to you both from all of us.