07-11-2008 From Haast to Queenstown.

Travel blog about our trip to New Zealand in October/November 2008
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Pieter
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07-11-2008 From Haast to Queenstown.

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7 November 2008 - Queenstown, New-Zealand

6/11. Another thing, we’re not staying in New Zealand. Apart from all the beauty and lots of opportunities, it’s hellish to get something posted on the internet. Drums and smoke signals work even better. In the bigger cities all is very modern, but the rural communities are forgotten. There is lots to be done for the coming governments to get people connected to the rest of the world, but instead they’re nagging about the Europeans not supporting the US of F***ing A. Time for them to hit the ground again and focus on the important stuff, knowledge for all. Enough said, time to calm down (P)
Ha-ha, Daddy is angry; This is what internet (or the lack of) does for you!! (M)

7/11. Here we are, at a 5 star rated cimpervinpark, in a decent size city down south, with first class (for N/Z) wireless connection to the world wide web. Daddy is growing happy again :lach1: :lach1:!! I’ve send him on his way to the showers, they are nice and clean early on the day and I’ve started this blog. I understood that for Heit&Mem (Dad and Mom) our stories have to be online at 8:30 NL time :knip1: :lach1:. It’s nice to know all of you are with us in our daily trips. Oh, before I forget: Mieke dear colleague: Happy Birthday!!!! I hope you’ve got the birthday card on time, but I don’t think so.
Oké, our day in chronological order. It’s some hours later and we do have something to tell. About today? We’ve never seen so much beauty, how to tell it all without missing things. Mount Aspiring National Park is breathtakingly beautiful and after that the scenic route from Wanaka to Queenstown, completely in aw, especially with the weather we got. No clouds in sight and therefore a cold night. It’s hard to keep it cosy in the campervan with an electric heater the size of a toaster :sad1:.
This morning we left Haast Township for Haast Junction to see if the boiler unit had arrived, but alas, no such thing. We both were very angry, but again, we will NOT let this spoil our holiday. We’ve kept each other warm last night … :lach1: … and decided to get on with our trip, despite the fact that the water pump has some issues to :sad1:. We also decided NOT to call United again, it doesn’t help anyway. We’re going to let Kuoni and TUI sort it out by sending them another email :lach1:.
Eventually we were on the road again at 8:50 and at 9:00 we had our first roadkill, a little bird flew right in front of a wheel :sad1:. Till 11:00 we drove along the most beautiful route with several stops for views and waterfalls. We made a stop in a place called Markarora West (a big difference with Markarora, there’s nothing there). Here we were amazed by a young man who manned the cappuccino machine … my sis Marijke would have done 20 in the same amount of time!!! (Luv U Sis XXX).
At 11:30 we passed a magnificent view over Lake Wanaka and decided to make a stop. Sadly there were some swarms there, first of all the notorious sand flies and secondly a swarm of Japanese tourists with their cameras :lach1:. Noisy little bastards!!!
At 12:15 we arrived in Wanaka, a lovely little town, at least it was bigger than all the ones we past through the last couple of days. We picked up some groceries and had a lunch at the Cheeky Monkey, and a good lunch it was. Pieter is still recovering from the largest ham-cheese toasted sandwich with skinny fries! No big meals tonight!!! At about 13:15 we left Wanaka up the Crown Range, a good choice because it is beautiful (it’s getting boring).
The photos will have to tell the story. I’m letting the story about the icicles and Arrowtown to Pieter, I’m going to make somethings warm!!
PS Dyan: all plans have changed because of the expected bad weather in the south-west (minus 2 tonight!!! Brrrr). I’m thinking to call you your time Sunday morning, but I’ll let you know via email. We’ve got a good connection and don’t have a big trip planned for tomorrow. Oké, Pieter’s turn, I’ve said enough! (M)

Next week we’ll be driving this campervan right through the window at United so they can fix it right away. Most of our trip has been revealed, only the road from Wanaka to Queenstown remains. It’s nothing special in the beginning, but along the way it gets a little confusing. Are we going up? Or are we going down? Only the small stream next to the road, sometimes left, sometimes right of the road, reveals that we sure are going up, because the water is flowing the other way.
The last part really climbs and there are layby’s where you could fit chains when in icy conditions. It’s getting cold as well, nearing the summit we see icicles hanging and those weren’t small either.
Suddenly the pass shows up in front of us. There is a large parking so we made a stop at the summit. The sun is shining and yet it’s really cold up here. When looking at the plaque there it makes sense, we are at 1076 metres above sea level and reached the highest sealed road in New Zealand.
The view is spectacular, we even see the state highway we originally planned to use with cars the size of a dinky toy. At the beginning of this road signs stated it wasn’t suitable for towing vehicles and I was wondering why until we went down the other side. The road downhill is of a category no nuts, no glory.
This part of the road is only 2 kilometres long and I’m not clear on what level the bottom is, but it was very steep. Nice for warming up the brakes :lach2: :lach2:. Also the hairpin turns are tight and follow short after one and each other.
Arrowtown was a short detour, but fun to see, it makes you feel like you’re in a Midwest town, with nice shops, I think we could blow our holiday budget around here. To bad for all the cars in the streets, they should be banned in the centre, and changing the sealed road back to sand would complete the picture :lach2: :lach2:.
This campsite is rated with 5 stars and I suspect this is because of the facilities, the site itself is nothing more than a parking, but hey, it’s in the middle of the town and space comes at a premium. It’s a good spot for the night.
Sadly we won’t be going to Te Anau, the weather forecast gives warnings for severe weather in Fjordland with heavy rains and possible flooding. To avoid getting stuck we will take the road all the way south and decide from thereon what to do next. But first getting through the night, the forecast show minus 2 -3 :knip2: so it’s oankruperswaar (cuddling weather) :lach2: :lach2: :lach2: (P)

Oké, me again, we’ve fed the sparrows this afternoon. As soon as you get out of the campervan with a piece of bread or something else, they flock all around you! P made some photos of them. It’s 7:35 local time and it’s getting chilly. It will be freezing again in our campervan :sad1:.
After we’ve uploaded this blog I’m going to check the bank … :sad1: … and then compose an email to United and consorts. We didn’t bother to call them, that’s a waste of time and money. We’re going to file a complaint. Dyan: tomorrow more news about our phone call. Oké? XXX (M)
Don't put your mouth into motion, before your brain is in gear.

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