4/24/11 Franz Josef -> Wanaka
I would like to start this day off by saying Happy Easter! I didn’t even realize it was Easter until someone said it to me. And even then I doubted it. How could it be Easter? It’s so early! And it’s autumn, not spring. Confusing!
But anyways, we started out early again this morning, 7:30 am. We headed out along a very twisty road to hit up Lake Matheson. Due to the cloudy weather we did not “catch the perfect mirror reflection of Mt. Cook.” But we did spend an hour or so walking around the lake. It was still pretty, despite the clouds and brief rain.
Most of the rest of the day was spent driving. We stopped at the Gates of Haast (which is a bridge) and checked out the river. I have seen so many rushing rivers in the past few days and yet I’m still amazed at each one.
After regaining the road we traveled up and over the Southern Alps, leaving the west coast behind. We were soon captivated by the beauty of Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea and stopped to take pictures of the latter.
From there it was a quick jaunt over to Wanaka the town and our lodging for the night, Base Backpackers Wanaka. Since it was still early afternoon we decided to wander this scenic mountain town, starting with a trip to the bank. As I mentioned before, today is Easter, but it really didn’t feel like it. We had to keep reminding ourselves that things weren’t open because a) it’s Sunday and b) it’s Easter. We did manage to get in a nice bit of shopping and visiting places, though. We even climbed a tree by the lake.
Bods, our driver, told us we could feed the freshwater dolphins that lived in the lake, so I went to buy some bread (which he said they’d eat). We never, however, actually made it down to the lake at sundown to feed them. Sad but ultimately probably a good thing since we just sat around eating the bread right after I bought it.
We did manage to walk downstairs to the Mint Bar for $6 dinners. Dinner was from 6-8. We got there at 6:45 and they were already out of carbonara, my dinner choice. I went with the curry instead. After dinner we played a brief round of cut throat pool and that was it. We went back upstairs and got ready for bed. Another rousing night for the American Uni students on vacation.Picture of the day: