#scary #Rainy Days
18.11.2011 - 21.11.2011 10 °C
Day 28 - The Kepler Track
As the next couple of days involves a lot of walking/bungy jumping - i thought i would steal the laptop back off of Chris (AND SET FIRE TO IT !! - No, not a joke, she actually has in her brief time alone with it pushed it across a table and continued typing with a nice fat candle touching the back of the screen!! I now have a melted section with a hole in the case and what looks like a giant smudged cat paw print on a quarter of the screen!! ARRRGGGHHHH!! - Chris)
Jayne - The screen just looks pleasantly two-tone now. Anyway, we had a pretty chilly (but free) night's sleep in the basic but large DOC campsite just outside Te Anue. We woke nice and early and packed some sandwiches and every water-proof item of clothing we own in a bid to out-smart the NZ weather and drove around to Rainbow Reach (a large swing bridge entrance on to the Kepler Track).
The Kepler is one of Nz's 'great walks' and is usually hiked over a period of 3 or 4 days. Our plan was to walk as far in to the track as we could, and back - in time to return our hired wet weather gear. The track was through forest and like something out of Lord of the Rings, with picturesque winding paths through prehistoric forests and the sort of bright, lime green colour that I thought could only be acheived with a Pantone reference (Chris - designer joke apparently).
The sun was out and our wet weather gear stayed in our day packs - hoorah!!! After coming across a lovely hut/shelter next to a huge lake - complete with a beach and a view of snow-capped mountains
and chatting to the hut attendant who looked like she had spent most of her life living in a forest, we tramped on to Rocky Point where we ate our sandwiches and the sand flies ate us.
We traced our way back home and completed our 6 hours of walking, happy, tired and happy to see Hector waiting for us!
We drove back to the motel/campsite we had stayed at 3 nights before and realised we hadn't had a shower since we had last been there!!??! This campervan lark is not very glamourous really - luckily you don't tend to meet many people :-S
I booked my bungy jump for the next morning - God help me.
DAY 29 - Kawarau Bridge
For some reason I wanted to get to the bungy site (A J Hacketts original Kawarau Bridge bungy) early and watch a few other people hurl themselves off. We watched a young girl and a middle age guy jump of with no problem at all - they actually seemed quite happy about it. I thought "this shouldn't be too difficult, surely" . So i popped inside - got weighed (errgghh) given a 'white ticket of doom' and told to head up to the bridge when i was ready. There was no intructions/safety briefing or anything to make you think you were going to actually survive the ordeal - just a smiling bloke who wrapped a bathroom towel and a couple of bits of nylon rope around my ankles and hopped me to the edge of the platform.
I then had a 'moment' which involved a lot of whimpering and trying to hop back off the platform. Luckily the two guys up there where experts at trying to calm you down/drag you back to the edge. Before i knew it they had counted 3-2-1 and i was flying through the air.
I still have no idea how i actually got off the platform. After a second or two or three of screaming like a dying animal, the bungy rope started to twang me back up and I realised I probably wasn't going to die. There was lots of whizzing through the air and sky/water/sky/water then before i knew it I was gently dangling over the water - waiting to be loaded onto the boat and unclipped. Blimey, that was the biggest buzz ever, although it was well and truly out of my comfort zone!! I didn't stop smiling for a long time! Actually not for quite a long time as we stopped at a couple of winerys so I could do some wine tasting - I tasted about 10 of NZ's finest (including $100+ a bottle), funny how the last few all tasted the same for some reason :-)
Chris drew the short straw and had to drive the 7 hours to Fox Glacier that afternoon - very scenic drive as usual, but a bit boring after the excitment of the morning.
Fox Glacier township is very small - just some alpine eateries and a lot of places to book all manner of hiking/helicopter tours. We opted for the heli-hike option (20 min flight to near the top of the glacier, a 2 hour hike and a 20min flight back off) and booked for the next morning.
Day 30 and 31
Sorry but not much to write for these 2 days as we spent them in Fox Glacier and Franz Josef waiting for the torrential non stop rain to clear. It was literally coming down by the bucket load for 2 days solid (although as I write this it is starting to clear). Our helicopter flight in Fox was cancelled many times so we have rebooked for Franz Josef tomorrow which looks like the only clear day. Off to a campsite now while we prey for a sunny day tomorrow.