Trip Start Jan 24, 2012
29Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Jade court motor lodge
We were up before the sun, packed up and driving towards the fox glacier viewpoint that we had seen last night. After the starry sky the night before, we were hopeful the sunrise would be spectacular.
It was not to be though as raindrops dotted our windshield. Darkness turned to day with no fanfare and clouds covered the snow-capped peaks. Rain became more steady, forcing us to eat our muesli from the front seat of the car, looking out at a cloud filled horizon.
We drove to the Lake Matheson cafe-- a most beautiful place on a clear day when Fox Glacier and the line of snow- capped mountains reflect in the still water. We made ourselves comfortable at the cafe, enjoying hot drinks as we caught up on the Internet. Hours later, with the sky still gray, we decided to drive on, accepting that we would not get to photograph Fox or Franz Joseph glacier.
The drive north took us along the west coast, sometimes with the ocean beside us at the bottom of a steep cliff. During a non rainy spell we stopped, walking on the beach looking for rocks. Many were perfectly white, oval or round. Other visitors had created a rock pile from these white rocks, writing messages on them that were inspiring or factual. We strolled pleasantly, finding treasure after treasure.
We reached the coastal town of Hokitika in late afternoon, opting for a nice room rather than camping in the rain. Later after visiting some of the Jade shops in town, we dined at a French restaurant, enjoying the best meal since we've been in NZ. Everything, including the wine and ambiance was exquisite.
After dark we ventured to a place a short walk from the road called a glow worm dell. Glow worms can be seen in a number of places here and we have been seeing signs or advertisements for tours to see them for sometime now. Many tours cost $40 or more and some require a boat ride to a cave. This one was a short walk from the road, a short drive from our hotel. And it was free. Also!! We were the only ones there. Gold!
It was amazing! I was blown away by the thousands of tiny lights surrounding us as we stood in silence, looking up into the canopy above us. Such an amazing world in which we live!