Thursday, 15 November 2007

Wanaka

A word of advice if you're ever in New Zealand and headed down the West Coast of the south island - don't stop in Haast. One week later and we've still got itching sandfly bites all over our ankles. If you must visit Haast (and I don't really recommend it) you can apparently repel the vicious little bloodsuckers by drinking meths.

Driving away from Haast towards Wanaka was made even more enjoyable by some spectacular scenery: wide, shallow meltwater rivers, smooth as glass and clear as a newborn baby's eyes; giant rocks just sitting there all like "what are you looking at?"; and enormous lakes with huge mountains rising up out of the shallows. Awesome stuff.

Wanaka itself is treating us very nicely indeed, thank you very much, due in large part to the generous hospitality of my old friend from Leeds, Simon. We're staying with him and the Four Four Three boys, Julz and Jamie, along with their nutty cat, Nitro (short for Nitrous Oxide). Debs is now a cat lover(!), and I have discovered that I'm not allergic to all cats, so when we go home, we're getting a cat and we're going to call it Animal.

We've been spending our time drinking in the stunning Wanaka scenery, including a good 4 hour walk up to the Rob Roy glacier and back. We have also been drinking in the beer. Oh ja!

Tuesday we spent volunteering at Wanaka Wastebusters, where Si works. We designed 8 badges in 2 hours, then spent another hour in the afternoon cutting and pressing them into shape - see here now!

Apparently the visiting recycling bigwigs from Australia and Wales were delighted with the results, ooh la la!

And there's more! Puzzling World entertained us for a couple of hours - a bit longer for Debs and Simon who couldn't compete with my speedy maze-solving skills, hem hem - and on Thursday we drove over to Alexandra for a 2 hour workshop on the Art of Storytelling with Katy Mills, President (no less) of the NZ Guild of Storytellers.

An entertaining and educational evening - one of those nice things that just pops up randomly in your path when you're freewheeling around the world. We're looking for more experiences like this as we continue our travels, and Debs pursues her quest for a new career. The evening was topped off nicely when Si was pulled for speeding by the cops, literally minutes after he had said, "you've got to watch out for the speed traps along this road"... LOLz0rz!

And that's all the Wanaka-related news. We're off for a final party tonight (Jamie's birthday) then setting off tomorrow for Milford Sound and the south coast next week, on our way up to Christchurch.

Avanti!

Ben

1 comment:

Bobby said...

i say! what a quality garment Benjamin!