Down the West Coast

PunakaikiThe last few days have been filled with very long bus journeys and clouds, so not many photos, which is lucky as the internet is very expensive here and you pay by data usage not time. Our first bus journey was nearly ten hours from Nelson to Franz Josef. It would have been pretty boring if we didn’t have some lovely (and entertaining) passengers near us to talk to, who were also on our journey to Wanaka this morning. The lovely was a lady from Edinburgh, spending her retirement travelling, the entertaining was a guy from South Korea. Some highlights included him showing Rob photos from an orgy he woke up to in his hostel room, shouting “Chicken” and running after a Weka, quizzing German travellers on their knowledge of Nazi Generals in WW2, telling me how he wanted to hug a seal and then roll it down a hill like a snowball. He was very very endearing and certainly brightened our days.
pancake rocks
We made various stops on the way to Franz including a speedy tour around the Pancake Rocks for photos. The views from there were pretty amazing, and I was glad that the coach stopped there as I was worrying that we would miss out on sights like that by not driving ourselves.

Franz Josef was exactly what we needed for a day’s break. We couldn’t really afford the crazy prices to go up to the glacier itself, and it rained for almost the whole time we were there. Luckily we were in a cosy hostel with lots of warm sofas and spaces to read, catch up with friends on Skype and plan our accommodation for Australia. We did go for a walk around the whole town, which took about fifteen minutes in total.
pancake rocks

This morning we woke up to briefly clear skies and managed to gets some shots of the mountain and (what I assume is) the glacier, but by the time our bus had arrived the clouds had set in. The journey today was the most spectacular in terms of views and the driver was very good in giving us lots of photo breaks. This is real Lord of the Rings country. I’m re-reading the trilogy for the first time since The Fellowship came out (nearly ten years ago!) and it’s perfect timing for where we are right now.

Wanaka is very cute, set around a lakeside with an insane backdrop of mountains, the NZ Southern Alps. We are staying in a very fancy hostel which is right on the lakeside and makes the most of the views. Right now we have just been and done our grocery shop for the next couple of days, we are looking over the lake and drinking tea (Rob is reading the paper). Relaxing times.

Nic & Rob

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