Up again (not with the peacock this time) We had our breakfast with Pam and Barry and talked for quite awhile before we decided to head for Mount Cook. Just as we were piling into the car both Pam and Barry remembered that we had forgotten to pay. WHOOPS! It was a little embarrassing.
We headed north, back to Queenstown, before turning east for the rest of the trip to Mt. Cook. We pretty much just blasted our way north, with two exceptions. We stopped at a bridge just outside Queenstown to watch the bungy jumpers. We parked at the entrance and walked to the observation stand to watch. I was pretty sure I didn’t want to do it, until I got there, and saw some people jump. If I hadn’t left my wallet in the car, I probably would have gone. But it’s too late to think about that now. Maybe when I get back home.
The second stop was for a huge, technicolor display of lupins on the side of the road. They were everywhere, and just about every color. Purple, blue, pink, yellow, white, and more. We even bought seeds to bring back to the states!
We had an expensive fish-n-chips lunch in Omarama. It cost us almost $3.50NZ for a large platter of food and a soda. It was pretty good (not the best) and seemed to do the trick. Continuing on north, we stopped around 3pm in the exciting town of Twizel to call for directions to our next homestay. For some reason, they decided to cancel our stay with no warning. I was slightly agitated (OK, really pissed off!), since I figured a Saturday night stay would be very hard book on such short notice. I nearly told her what I thought of her business practices. We started driving around, looking for other places to stay, but there weren’t any available. Not just places to stay, but buildings in general. We ended up driving up to Mount Cook town to see if there were any hotels/motels with available rooms. There are only two hotels in Mount Cook; a Tavelodge and the Hermitage. They ran $185NZ and $300NZ+, with only one room remaining in the Travelodge. We found out that they also rent little A-frame cottages for $106NZ per night, and they had only two of these available. We took one, and considered ourselves pretty lucky.
We tossed our luggage into the A-frame, and headed for the Tasman Glacier Terminal. We drove up a huge glacial valley, to a giant pile of rocks (giant, like 1/2 mile wide, about 100 meters high). We parked the car, and walked up to the top of the moraine to a lookout point. You could see about 20Km up the valley over what appeared to be a gravel covered valley floor. A sign at the lookout told us that there are 1 to 3 meters of rock, covering a glacier. It was really weird. You could see huge crevasses in the rocks (glacier), and some blue walls where the glacier ended in the terminal lake. Bill and I sat and tried to listen to the glacier (how do you say “shut up” in Japanese?) Hopefully the clouds and rain will clear up tomorrow, so we can get out and really take a look this place.
We came back to the cottage, made our own dinner (curried rice with chicken and string beans), and started updating journals around 9:00pm. It’s now 10:45pm, and I’m finally caught up completely. Bill was a few days behind, but he’s even starting to catch up to this week. He’s got two days to finish before he’s done. Hopefully that will be tomorrow, since we’ll be starting over with more activities then.