Saturday, 30 January 2010
Friday 29th January
Feeling much recovered after a night in a lovely B&B, not only did the lady feed us a huge cooked breakfast but also packed us off with muffins and plums "just in case...." apparently.
Drove down towards Aoraki / Mt Cook. En-route we stopped at a woolens shop with the biggest jumper in the world (!) and for some reason, not explained to us, a full sized copy of the Bayeux Tapestry, complete with an ending to replace the bit that's been lost, painted on a backing of millions of steel teeth from weaving machines. Weird... The cloud lifted and it was a brilliant sunny day. We never saw the Southern Alps in sun on our previous visit to NZ, and they are stunningly beautiful. Every 10 minutes Caroline shouts "photo stop" and Olly slams on the brakes. Luckily there is not much traffic in NZ! Amusingly tyre tracks attest to other motorists having done the same.
We decided to treat ourselves to a night at the Hermitage alpine hotel, however this proved very disappointing. Instead of turn of the century elegance (a la Chateau Tongariro) it was more motel meets Little Chef with a hefty price tag. I think I have slated it sufficiently now...don't stay there...
Visited the DOC centre and got sorted for a long walk tomorrow. Fingers crossed for the weather holding. DOC centre has not one but four in memorandum books for those who have died on these mountains. Alarmingly the last entry in 2009 was a guy on the track we are planning tomorrow. Hmmm...?!