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Published: November 18th 2018
(Something happened to my last blog it was published on the website but subscribers didn’t get emails to tell them... so if you didn’t read it go to the PREVIOUS button above this and click , then you can read it. )
1 st November
I am writing this looking back on the adventures we have had .... waking up to crisp sunny mornings with snow on the mountain tops on New Zealand’s West Coast we would set off and let Colin take us down beautiful valleys , cross narrow wooden one way bridges , marvel at the wide river valleys and stop for viewpoints. Wherever we could we would get out and do walks ...through bush , listen to the birdsong and take photos. Some of the little towns like Hari Hari were perfect stopping places for coffee or a peek into a craft shop. Jenny’s first day driving Colin caused some excitement as we ventured up a gorge to view a lake and the road became a gravel unsealed day road and got narrower and narrower with steep forested drops on both sides then came the grader in front of us and we had to follow him
for many km until he could let us pass. Soon Jenny would learn that roads in NZ have bend after bend and go up hill and down dale .
The sky was blue , the sun was shining as we got to Fox Glacier so we both agreed it was perfect for a helicopter ride . Credit cards at the ready we booked and were soon donning our headphones and scrambling into the helicopteR .... and up we soared . It felt so smooth and wasn’t at all scarey over the town and the river valley then the Glacier and then we landed on a snowy peak looking down on Fox Glacier. It was just a wonderful once in a lifetime experience as we stood there about 10 mins in the snow and marvelled at the sights before us. Up again and right across the Glacier we went dipping down to se the great crevasses and Jenny was the lucky one who sat in front so she had the job of official photographe. All too soon we were down to Earth but still full of the wonder of it. So now boots on the ground and we tackled a
walk up to the base of the Glacier .... which I had done in 2011 and I could see how much it has changed as the Glacier has retreated . Now you have quite a strenuous walk over moraines steeply going up and down , crossing streams, rough track at times . We got so far then I decided I’d had enough and Jenny kindly said she’d come back with me.
Staying in a nice modern motel in Fox we could go back have a rest and then go out for another walk around Lake Matheson,which has some pretty perfect viewS of the mountains , before popping out to the pub on the corner for local beers and lamb shanks for dinner.
There were many other walks and stops on the route down the West Coast the following day ...waterfalls like Roaring Billy , Fantail Falls, Knight's Lookout where, with the binoculars, we saw seals on the beach below and Ship Creek with its Lookout Tower and a gorgeous pebbly beach . We had been told it was whitebait season so stopping at the Hard Antler pub ( where else ) at Haast we were intrigued by the
sign which said “ whitebait patties “!! In England whitebait is usually served breaded or battered and they are individually fried. So of course we tried It.... whitebait here are somewhat smaller than our U.K. ones and are mixed up in a batter and then it looks like a little omelette and is served in a crusty bun. Perfect for lunch with a beer. The weather was changing as we drove in,and now across the Haast Pass ...more winding roads , up and up and down and down ( my turn to drive ) . Yellow Lupins began to appear at the sides of the road and made a beautiful backdrop to the lakes Hawea and Wanaka. On the lakeshore here in Wanaka someone has made a photo of a lone willow tree famous ...so now everyone goes to take a photo , including us !! perhaps it has its own Facebook page I didn’t check !
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