Edit Blog Post
Published: January 10th 2011
The Final Blog
I hope this is the last missive I'll send out. Only major drama on the way home would provide the
occasion to post again and we don't want that.
I don't have much to say about Mt Cook since it was in the clouds the day we were there. It was
pouring down rain but we stayed in the DOC camp there and listened to the frustrated mountaineers
grump. Example: ALL Americans hate ALL Canadians! Really? I don't care for Celine Dion but I
love Steve Martin...
Near Wanaka are a number of glaciers but we chose one of the lesser tramped ones, the Rob Roy
Glacier at Mt. Aspiring Natl Park. It was a relatively short hike (10K) but with killer scenic
value! A waterfall that got blown back up, a glacier and a Kea which is the wild parrot with a
wicked sense of humor.
The Wanaka area is so beautiful (I could definitely live there). Our holiday park was so awesome
that I never wanted to leave. However, we had a cruise on Doubtful Sound scheduled so off we
Very LOTR-ish we thought.
cruise was great. By this time I was beginning to get tourist fatigue: standing in lines,
routine chitty-chat, riding buses, etc. However, the cruise was the most relaxing, scenic thing
I've ever done. A beautiful boat ride up Lake Wakapiatu then a short bus ride (sweet, cushy bus!)
over a pass brought us to the head of the sound. There the Fjordland Navigator waited for its 70
passengers. There were lots of viewing decks and relaxing lounges to watch the amazing scenery
outside. Rob took advantage of the kayaks to view the waterfalls plunging down the cliffs. Ant &
I were definitely over kayaking after Able Tasman!
The weather was stunning and the crew let us know how lucky we were. On the Christmas cruise
nobody could go outside on the decks because of 80 knot winds. The food was really good which I
hear is the hallmark of a great cruise.
Lastly, the penguin colony at Oamaru. No photos though. Cameras were banned. We assembled at an
amphitheatre overlooking the sea near an old quarry. The quarry had overgrown with native bushes
and at the foot of
On the way up to Mt Aspiring. I know I take a lot of pix of cows but I like them!
it was a grassy, hilly area. I can only describe it as Shire-like. The little
hillocks had small openings built in which were the nesting boxes of the penguins (provided by
humans, of course, as Penguins can't hold a hammer). Just after dusk small groups of blue
penguins, called "rafts" began to swim in from the sea. They waddled up the steep shoreline and
into the nest area. If they had chicks they would scoot to the nests quickly but otherwise they'd
stand around in little groups socializing and doing the little penguin dance. Some would bump
chests or slide down the little grassy hills.
We stayed until they were done coming in from the sea and the host invited us down to the fence to
see them very close up. One sneaked under the fence and stood on Rob's foot. He was ecstatic.
They're a very small penguin, about a foot high and weigh around a kilo. He bonded immediately
with the little guy.
OK, really lastly, I made Rob & Ant go to an English garden with me. Anthony stayed near the van
and juggled but
Rob went with me. I wish my sister Carla had been there. She would have loved
it. I'll include some pix of that, too.
Tot: 2.409s; Tpl: 0.054s; cc: 10; qc: 51; dbt: 0.038s; 2; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.3mb