The sweetest antidote...

Trip Start Feb 12, 2011
Trip End Jul 09, 2011

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Where I stayed
A wonderful unit of grandparents friends.

Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Friday, April 15, 2011


After the non stop crazy of queenstown, the lively hostel at all hours, arriving in wanaka was a breath of fresh air, and as the guidebook explains - the perfect antidote to queenstown.  We arrived at this beautiful lake, with a little town spread out along the side, cafes lined the front and the trees all the beautiful autumn colours, we got told many times that we had visited at the most beautiful time of year, so much so that this week it was the festival of colour, the town becomes full of dance, drama, theatre and art performances.

A little silver car pulled up and out popped Joyce and Laurie, such wonderful friendly faces, friends of my grandparents who had offered to put us up while we were in Wanaka! how totally wonderful!! Our bags in the boot and soon we were driving through wanaka and we pulled up infront of the most adorable apartment/bungalow, and this was ours for as long as we wanted, their house was further up the town and they were letting us stay here!!! ahh comfort, luxury our own space, it was such a lovely place, kitchen diner, lounge, bedrooms, bathrooms, sunroom, i've never felt so lucky.

We dropped our stuff before they took us out on a drive around the town, we saw their lovely house where they gave us a wonderful lunch, the nearby vineyards, the farmlands, the beverly hills of wanaka (an estate where each huge section of land is bought by the rich and they have built huge houses, some beautiful, some make you wonder what the designer was thinking, but all real statements!), before ending up at the supermarket. We stocked up on fresh fruit and veg, treated ourselves to a bottle of wine before they dropped us back and we unpacked and settled into the peace and quiet, amazing.

The week was heavenly.  We spent lots of time with Joyce and Laurie which was amazing, they were so kind to us.  They drove us up the valley which when the road runs out and becomes a gravel track their four wheel drive truck was so fun! we crossed rivers and streams, bounced around on the track, ploughed into a herd of sheep as they bleated past us, viewed all the homestays (farmhouses) on the farm ranches along the way and with the beauty of travelling with locals we also learnt the history all about the place.  We ended with pulling up, a cup of tea out of the boot before we headed off on a track up the valley and over a very swingy suspension bridge with rapids over rocks below.  On the way back we picniced by the lake, before stopping at a vine yard for wine tasting and then taking a lovely evening stroll back to the appartment along the lakeside, beautiful. 

One day Laurie drove us right along the lake and dropped us off so we could do the majority of the lake side track, it was a beautiful hot day as we climbed around the edge of the hills lining the lake, up, down and round with the views of the mountains reflecting in the crystal clear lake and rising up above them all was Mount Aspiring, very inspiring, perfect.  They spoiled us to lunch in a beautiful lake side resort where we tried the tender New Zealand lamb and chatted blissfully with the views right in front of us. 

We explored the nearby puzzel world another day with its huge maze that we ran around and around in record time, finding all four coloured corners up and down over the bridges that you find are taking you in the opposite way to where you want to go, we recovered in the cafe with mind game puzzels before heading into the illusion rooms.  Full of 3d effect laser pictures and rooms where you can see whats infront of you but cant believe it as it just doesnt make sense and you cant see why its happening.  Giants in one end and hobbits in the other we looked at each other in surprise and have photos to prove we were those "sizes"! Heading into the room where water runs upwards, chairs hurtle towards the ceiling and you have no balance was interesting! everyone was gripping onto stragically positioned bars, the brain was definately hurting after that but it was truely fantastic! We wandered back towards the town and headed off on the Mount Iron track, a steep zig zag climb to the top, a mountain of rock that stood the test of the glaciers sweeping through the valleys which flattered and carved out many of the shapes we saw from the panoramic viewpoint, the horizon lined with mountains we saw lakes and rivers carving through the valleys and below us the little town of wanaka.

The week was pure bliss, a chance to spend time in one place, the four nights we spent there were the longest we've stayed in one place for over two months.  Liking the stability of the same bed each night, the same kitchen, our own space, chance to wash all our clothes, catch up on the news - travelling constantly we dont hear much new zealand news let alone world news, it really is a bubble - cooking proper food we loved gorging on fruit and vegtables here and relaxing with wine and long evenings.  We have so much thanks and gratefullness towards the really generous and kind Joyce and Laurie, we hope we can offer you the same hospitality one day.

Rested and happy we move onto the next place,

Lots of love to everyone,
P xxxxxxxxxxx
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