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Published: March 24th 2018
We have reached the furthest point of our journey, almost 12,000 miles from home. Today we travel west to Fjordland National Park.
But first, Dunedin parkrun. It has its pros and cons. Con: it starts at 8 am. Pro: it’s in the botanic gardens so very picturesque. Con: it’s steep and prides itself on being NZ’s toughest parkrun. Pro: the view from the top is spectacular. Con: you have run up there twice.
The old man has done no running and eaten a significant number of chocolate caramel slices since last week so I am hopeful of catching him up. I manage this on the final uphill but am too wussy on the steep, gravelly downhill and finish 5 seconds behind.
We return to the hotel, shower and check out with minutes to spare and set off on the 4 hour drive across South Island. We take a break in Gore, NZ’s home of country music. I’m hoping for a strange guitar shaped sculpture and I’m not disappointed. It’s on the village green next to a huge fish.
We don’t plan to stop again but our attention is drawn to a pristine steam locomotive sitting in a
field. Ironically we have accidentally stumbled upon Croydon. The train is in the Aviation Heritage Centre. It is, not unexpectedly, full of old aeroplanes. Some guy latches onto us to give us an unsolicited guided tour. I attempt an escape bid but get cornered in the car park. Luckily I am spared and we continue on our way.
The first half of our journey was through pleasant rolling green hills but the second half is really special. We are surrounded on 3 sides by snow capped mountains, their tips peeping above the clouds.
At the end of the road, Te Anau, a town on the edge of a lake. It’s stunning. Our motel is opposite the lake, so we check in and go for a walk along the lakeside trail. It’s a pleasant stroll until a weird caterpillar falls down my cleavage. The old man gallantly volunteers to fish it out.
Caterpillar successfully retrieved, we buy a curry and sit on the motel lawn, watching the sun set though a small gap between the mountains and the clouds.
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