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Published: March 13th 2014
New Zealand falcon
Early morning Kidds Bush
Wednesday 12th March - Lyn up early at the crack of dawn with her camera. Great sunrise, great sightings of a NZ Falcon, the moment was shared with a young French girl. Breakfast then back along the 6km gravel road towards Wanaka and the I-Site. Clear blue skies so Tony booked up to go paragliding from Triple Cone Peak (at a 1,000 metres it's the highest commercial paragliding site in NZ). Flight not until 3.30 so drove to Diamond Lake for an hour's climb up to the Wanaka Lookout. Eat our sandwiches at the top, chatted to a Shropshire farmer who appeared over the brow, then back down towards Triple Cone. Arrived just as our French girl's partner was landing. Tony all ready to go - alas the wind had got up and it was too dangerous to fly any more that day. So back to Wanaka and we treated ourselves to a lovely meal overlooking the lake. 2 glasses if wine later we set off to find a shortcut to Kidds Bush. 2 hours later we gave up as we were semi-lost. We decided to retrace our path in the gathering darkness back towards Triple Cone for freedom camping as
Tony is scheduled to fly at 10.00 in the morning.
Thursday 13th (should have been Friday 13th!!) - lovely sunrise, soon gave way to heavy cloud. Paragliding cancelled so decided to try a walk recommended in Craig's tramping book. This entailed a 31km drive along a gravel road into Mt Aspiring National Park. Fantastic road and en route we encountered a shepherd with his Ute and 4 dogs moving a mob of over a 1,000 lambs along the same road. It was great to see the dogs working even though we were stuck behind them for about 3.8km. Sometime later we reached Raspberry Creek at the end if the road for the start of our walk into the mountains up to Rob Roy Glacier (3 to 4 hour return walk). By now the grey skies had started a little drizzle - us deterred we put wet weather gear on, locked the campervan and set off. After an hour the drizzle had become heavy rain - interesting as there were warnings of rock falls and avalanches in wet conditions. The path followed the gorge with roaring rapids and waterfalls. The path also was washed away in places which made for
hazardous walking. We reached the lookout for the glacier but it was lost somewhere in the rain and cloud and our cameras were too wet to take any photos anyway! A tricky descent back down and into the campervan, a change into dry clothes and we were ready to head back to Wanaka.
Bugger! The electronic ignition key was so wet it wouldn't start the van. No probs we'll ring Maui! Bugger - no signal. Not to worry we'll wait for another vehicle. Bugger - nobody else here! Still the sun was beginning to breakthrough and so did a young German couple. We wrote down all the details if where we were stuck and they said they would phone Maui when they had a signal at the end if the valley. They had been gone about half an hour when a private campervan turned up driven by Martin the Aussie. Typical Aussie prepared for every eventuality he even had a spare lithium battery for the ignition key so we were mobile once again.
Just as well for when we reached the end of the valley ourselves we rang Maui to cancel the SOS call. They were relieved because
Wanaka Lookout above Diamond Lake
they couldn't find Raspberry Creek on any of their maps and didn't know where we were! As we said to them if we're going to get stuck its best to get stuck in the middle of nowhere.
We stopped at a powered site tonight so we could wash & dry all our clothes. The end of an eventful day - just as well the paragliding was cancelled!!!!
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