We had been warned that the lower you go in NZ the more vicious the sandflies get and they are not wrong. I now dont need a daily walk or hike. ... just the moves alone to squat the little buggers is enough for several daily workouts. All you can hear everywhere is the slapping of flesh with the appropriate level of cursing. No wonder the Kiwis were able to invent the haka... It was not a tribal dance .. it was to squat the blood sucking biting bastards!! In addition to the further south, you add rainfall and the lushest vegetation then you will understand that I am now of twiggy proportions and getting worried about over doing the exercising. Yippie I am now allowing myself to live from now on on a diet of choccie bikkies and cheap plonk.... starting today. ... ahem.. well.. since I arrived.
Sleep in the Ivory Towers.. was a fitful affair broken several times by the deluge of rain that was pounding on the corrugated iron roof. Left the place in the lashings again and got to get up to see Fox Glacier but from a long distance. They had to close the path to it as there had been a few minor landslides or something so nothing to wory about. We then went to another viewing platform and met with a lovely mum from the UK and her over active son. They were one of the friendliest people we have met here. Their names are Ingrid and Peter or “Peewee” as his mum affectionately called him for short. Every time we went from one viewing place to another during the course of the day we kept bumping this hilarious duo.Lunch was like a comedy.. we had only orignally meant to stop for 10 mins for a coffee and a biscuit but once they joined us and were horsing into a seafood bowl we decided to remain on there in Haast for another hour and do the same.Anyhow it was miserable out and we were laughing so much with them it was difficult to head off. Maybe I should have though, as I broke my back tooth on something hard in the meal and swallowed the broken molar for spite! Population of Haast by the way is 300 and the only place to eat in a long journey to Wanaka. Pee wee and Ingrid were constantly chattering away and on two different topics as well as nodding and smiling in unison with each other. They were the only pair I have every come across who could multitask in such an effective way. It was so refreshing meeting them.
Anyhow on the drive to Waneka you pass by the most incredible national parks including a place called Aspiring which had beautiful waterfalls at every bend of the road .They were named Thunder Falls and King Billy etc. We kept seeing the dynamic duos red car screeching to a halt and we knew there was something spectacular ahead. So we ended up chatting with them for ages during the day. We also found Peewee to be a mind of information.. he was telling me about partiuclar mushrooms on the walk and the best way to dry, preserve and smoke them!! By god this boy was knowledgeable!! He would bound up the paths and had a level of energy that was infectious. Everytime he said something shocking his mum would quip....”thats my boy” and giggle to herself knowingly. Then she would say something almost equally controversial and he would nod and smile in agreement. They were the perfect pair.
Now did I forget to mention that Peewee is 37 and Ingrid is 64!??
We were laughting for ages after they took their leave from us and headed to Queenstown.. We headed into Backpaka Hostel in Waneka passing the most wonderful scenery in the brighest of sunshine.Checked in with Hannah the lovely lady on reception and tired to get the rooms sorted.. she looked up the computer in front of me and I spied the fact that guy who took the booking had said “Dj Mulcahy... talks real fast difficult to understand” The cheeky bastard.....
We were greeted by James , Julia who fed us again between them with their food from the barbie.. Delish.. then the troop of us including Alice and Carmen ended up drowning St Paddy in the local pub... Great laugh with some competitive games of pool thrown in..The Irish got a discount on the the drink of $4 per drink which were normally 7. In addition green food dye was squrted into each drink to add to the atmosphere. None of us are sticking our tongues out today though as we look as if we have a contagious version of black tongue. A kiwi was the musical entertainment for the first part of the night with repertoir his 6 Irish songs which were sung in a different tempo to what I had ever heard. I nearly offered to take over and sing Molly Malone for him instead but they did not pay enough!
Back to the hostel late and chatting and character assassinating with Julia until about 2. Then a good nights kip. Woke to a beautiful morning and on impulse I cajoled ... nay bullied Julia into agreeing to go sky diving this morning. She actually agreed quite willingly (that was easy) and so we went and booked.. There was a bit of a problem though... we did not have much time to get over anxious.. We booked at 09.30 for the 11.00 jump... Collected by Alan a brawy Glaswegian at 10.45 and bricked it out to the airport and signed our lives, insurance policies and mortgages away. We had just signed along the dotted lines when the bold Alan said the wind was too high and that the next one is at 14.00... wind dependant.. otherwise its tomorrow morning.. This is like the Kiwi version of torture.. Julia and I have just been going through various shades of paling reacting to the place and plane and suits and hulky skydivers when we now have to go through this again later if we keep our nerve!! Is it normal for your hand to get clammy and to loose all feeling??
Watch this space!