More South Island fun on the slopes and in the Sounds
11.08.2008 -2 °C
Greetings ALL those still faithfully watching the blogathon! WE are in Hamilton, home of the newly arrived James Clarke who has already made his way into 'recommendations' in the Local city guide Last few days spent sadly leaving the South Island and making our way up north ready to get the plane to Thailand on Thursday. Ferry crossing was very rough and I just kept control luckily, despite the sick bags that were placed ALL around the boat which didnt help! Anyways, we made our way from the Glaciers, Franz Josef and also Fox, to Lake Matheson, known for its gorgeous reflections, and from there down South to Queenstown. The first day we went skiing at Treble Cone, where the snow was great, though the slopes challenging, many sneakily becoming black halfway down and not pisted in the main. A great day, with some lovely sunshine, and stunning views over the Southern Lakes. The weather got colder and icier as the day went on and we eventually stopped and hit the town for some 'apres-ski'. The next day was cloudy, so we headed south to the 'Milford Sound', inappropriately named as it is actually a Fjord, being carved from a glacier and incredibly deep. It was a long round trip, despite the short distance, as the mountains make the shortest route impassable except on foot as a 5 day walk, open in Summer. The drive was windy, icy, cloudy, but our Campervan did well and we made it by dusk. The Sound is beautiful, really still and silent, mist lurking up in the mountians, and the odd bird diving into its dark depths. We took a nature boat trip and within minutes spotted New zealand fur seals, a penguin, and many birds. The highlight was on the return when a pod of bottlenose dolphins joined us and swam alongside us, pulled along with the boat, and jumped up and around, clearly watching us and showing off, a truly magical moment
From there it was back to Queenstown, and another day skiing at Cardrona, where, depsite being sunny in the valley, it was snowing, and we had the fun expereince of putting snow chains on the Van to get up the hill! Great snow and good slopes, but bitterly cold esp. as we hadnt got the full gear (Paul in jeans and a hoodie as usual! njo gloves!) and on the lifts we literally froze. My hair iced over at the ends , and in the end mid afternoon the snostorm set in, visibility reduced severely, and we headed back for a Gluhwein, mmm Drove to a town called Omarama where we had the luxury of a holiday park and elecreticity and a shower (5 days with no shower at this point,ewww...) as normally we just pull the van up in some beauty spot. Its pretty freezing at night, minus 3 in the van the other night, I am SO ready for Thailand!
OK folks thats it for now hope everyone is great and enjoying August and We'll write from Thailandia!
Baci, A&P XXX