After an amusing night in Kinloch allowing three Germans to take the complete piss outta my skydive dvd and the facial expressions on Mullers face, I settled into my dorm for a good night sleep.. Just to clarify the situation, there is NO such thing as a good night sleep in a dorm unless you are a). Locked outtas your skull or b). so exhausted that you would fall asleep standing in a cow shed up to your eyeballs in manure.. Anyhow Christian and the girlfriend did warn me they were getting up early and would try and keep the noise down... They didn’t, but did try and make a valiant effort. I was not much better when I got up 15 mins later and poor Israeli lassie in the bunk underneath was subjected to stage whispering cursing as I tried to manouver this body off the top bunk... It has been years!!
Anyhow the sun was splitting the stones and all I can say is the catchphrase for Kinloch and Glenorchy is not wrong. In fact it is damn right about paradise...
A little bit of a geography lesson. Kinloch is on the north-western most tip of Lake Wakatipu. Queesntown is half way down on the east side of the same lake. Anyhow the last 12km to Kinloch are unpaved roads so you get an idea re remoteness. They do warn to get your food and petrol well in advance of travelling here. The mountain range at the back of Kinloch are the Thomson and Livingstone Ranges while on the other side of the lake are the Richardson Range. I cannot again do justice to the landscape by either written or pictorial explanation but by god you think you are in heaven....especially on a day and morning like this. The sun was splitting and the air chilly... it is autumn here after all and it’s beginning to show especially in some of the trees. I am determined to stay in the shorts for as long as I have an unbitten section of flesh from the sand flies or until they eventually turn blue. I travelled along into Queenstown with the sun glistening on the lake on my right, the whispy clouds sticking to the sides of the incredible mountains. With the window down and my arm frozen out and me beating out time to a song on the Glenorchy easy listening radio 92.4FM called “Tequila makes my girlfriend lose her clothes”.. Crystal Swing look out!! Anyhow I am driving along this most beautiful vista and to top it off the almost full moon is still out over the Thomspon Peaks at 10.45 am!!!! WOW and wow yet again.. I refuse to use the most overused word in Oceania which begins with AWE and ends in SOME but it truly is!! Spent some time just sitting on a rock typing this sitting in the sun and Lake Wakatipu glistening below me and the steam liner chugging its way up to Queenstown. Does it get any better than this? It is said that that this road route is one of the most picturesque in world and I well believe it. I can’t imagine though what it is like in the rain... hehe I have been spared this so far but others were not so fortunate. The landscape changes a good bit to rolling farmlands as you make your way towards Lake Te Anau and the population of sheep increases a thousand fold... the bloody things are all over the place. I of course took a pic or two to confirm this.
I had told the German others that I was going to head down to Te Anau Lake (Pop 3000) later in the day to make my way out either on the Milford or Doubtful Sound over the next few days.. I think we all ended up having the same idea in that the plan now is that Julia, Carmen and I will drive the Milford Drive in the morning up to Milford sound (pop 170),come back here tomorrow night and then on Friday take the overnight Cruiser into Doubtful Sound overnight on Friday night. We were gonna start bargaining with your one behind the cruise counter but she got there ahead of us and said there was a $70 reduction but the girls will have to put up with me in their 4 berth cabin! I hadn’t the nerve or the brain power to start haggling for another $10 off the fare. Its still a bit fuzzy and I could not string a sentence together this evening. Go back to the Barnyard Backpackers 8km outside Lake Te Anau and met more Canadians and even a guy from Dublin, Barry, woofing his way around NZ. He told me he spent a good bit of last year woofing in West Cork and had a ball. Where were these guys when you needed some cheap work done on the house? As stated before if someone did my ironing they could stay for free anytime!
I am now on orders to collect the girls at 07.30 in the morning... So much for rest on holidays!! Anyhow its definitely something to look forward to and to get another million pics. Weather is due to be crap on Saturday /Sunday so need to make the most of it. For those of you wondering where exactly I am... try looking at a map of NZ and the south island. I am in the South West at the moment in Fiordland. This place is incredibly under populated. For example some of the local towns I passed through today and there were only about 4 of them in a 3 hour spin including Athol had a max of only 100 inhabitants. However all the villages etc have a motel or unique quirky coffee shop and all home made fresh produce. These guys here definitely know how to make the best of and not exploit their tourist role.. no overcharging... friendliness to a non gushing extreme and above all incredible cleanliness and hygiene standards with loos that you could walk barefoot into without worrying. Tick tick and tick again! One guy told me the other day on Mount Isthmus that I should work for the NZ Tourist office, I was waxing so lyrical about his country. I told him they had it all sorted and needed no further help..Now Bord Failte on the other hand... hmmmmmm...where do I start???!!