Lakes, land speed records and free drinks!!
29.12.2012 - 29.12.2012
View The Millie's Tour around NZ on Mike.millington's travel map.
After a late night it was a pretty slow start this morning, no one moved a muscle until gone 9:30 and even then it was a struggle.
We managed to get the kids up and into the showers by 10ish. Ollie's developing some sort of phobia to showers as he kicked up a real fuzz when we tried to wash him.
Must be a boy thing!
All pretty relaxed at the hostel as we spent quite some time talking to the couple who run the place. They'd only recently taken over running it and had been working in the UK previously.
We headed off into Geraldine for a rather late breakfast around 11:15 before hitting the road to Lake Tekapo.
This was our first taste of the country roads in NZ behind the wheel of Big Blue!!
Reality kicked in as I noticed the huge tail back of cars behind us, Big Blue wasn't gonna set any land speed records!
She isn't the quickest thing around and I needed to pull over frequently to let people past. That said it actually added to the trip, everyone waves as they go past and we all get to enjoy the stunning countryside.
We arrived into lake Tekapo around 1:30. The lake's an amazing site, a fantastic turquoise colour set against an alpine background.
We first stopped at the 'Church of the good Shepherd'. It's an old stone church built on the 1930's on the shores of the lake. The view out of it is pretty spectacular and the lady running the place let us know that it's common for the clergy to be looking past the priest blankly admiring the view as he preaches!
I wasn't really following what she was saying as I was looking out of the window!
Tekapo's a great spot and a real pity we couldn't find somewhere to stay on the shores the night before.
Anyway we let the kids play in the rocks along the front while Mel and I had a snooze on the grass admiring the view.
Bit of a mistake as the sun's pretty strong here with no ozone layer so we both got burnt, me more than Mel.
We had a late lunch lunch; gone 2:30, at one of the cafe's on the front before agreeing to let the kids play mini golf on the course in front of us.
Now when I say golf if was more like hockey as the kids merely dribbled the ball to the hole with their clubs rather than hitting it. It still dragged on for ever as they couldn't get their balls down the holes and frustration levels were rising between the kids.
We were further held up behind a German family who insisted on playing every hole as it should be no matter how difficult!
So we didn't finish until gone 4pm even more sunburnt! That said it was funny watching the kids wack their balls around instructing each other on how best to take a shot.
Only Mel managed hole in one!! beginners luck!
4:15 and we began the long drive to Wanaka with the sat nav telling us it'd take approx 2 hours to get there.
The sat nav wasn't appreciating the vehicle we were driving and it kept telling us we were going to arrive later and later the closer we got!!
It was funny and gives the holiday a bit more of a leisurely feel, the Southern Alps; that we were driving though were breathtaking, even Aimee commented!
Still no getting over how slow the van is, when you notice cyclists over taking you!!
actually it's amazing how many nutter cyclist there're riding through the mountains here.
Mel made a good observation in pointing out that most appeared to be couples where the girlfriend looked like she'd been talked into it by the adventurous boyfriend and was flagging miles behind looking totally peeved regretting the whole thing.
Sounds like my wife's getting wise to the kind of stunts I'd pull. I'll need to be more inventive it seems!!
The other thing I've noticed about Big Blue is that she seems to be recognised at every petrol station in NZ!! This is completely understandable since the amount of fuel she goes through means you've gotta stop at every station in NZ to fill up!
I guess it's only to be expected from a 38 year old van.
We made it to Wanaka at 7pm with great plans to head straight out, have a bite to eat and get the kids in bed at a decent time!!
That was of course until we saw the hot tub in the motel, so Mel, Aimee and I hit the tub with a few beers!
We never got out for some thing to eat until nearly 9pm!
We found a great little Italian restaurant that looked like it served great pizza's. They told us we could have table but we'd need to wait 15-20mins, so we agreed.
I got the vodka and coke to try and wake up while had Mel a glass of bubbly. The kids were in a good mood as well.
They eventually got us a table and we ordered our food and another round of drinks. The place had a great atmosphere and another round of drinks was ordered while waited for the food.
And so we waited and waited, I now moved on to the Peroni and was feeling pretty good, although it had to be said the kids were getting hungry by this point.
We were just about to complain when they came over to apologise, our order had accidentally been placed at the back of the queue and the chef was working to rectify things soonest.
As compensation they'd supply us with complimentary drinks. FANTASTIC, I'll have another beer thanks!!
What a great place this is. The food arrived shortly afterwards and tasted superb. I guess anything tastes great when you wait that long and drink that much.
So we headed back to the Motel around 11:15, with Aimee and I not letting Mel and Ollie getting more than a Metre or so from us. Lesson learnt from last night.
Looks like we failed miserably in getting everyone in bed early, still a very enjoyable evening.
Oh had forgotten to say how much Wanaka feels like a ski resort, which is exactly what it is in the Winter!!
Queenstown, home of bungy jumping tomorrow!!