Road Trip Day 1
Hokitika Travel Blog› entry 11 of 52 › view all entries
Glaciers In The Mist
With Military precision we decamped our lovely hotel in Queenstown and headed up the East coast (of the South Island) in a very unsexy, but highly practical Toyota SUV. Tom, Jonny & I took turns in driving. Anna was distraught at the weather, which was raining down in an English shade of grey. We did our best to assure her that the scenery was still fabulous.
The journey was about 8 or 9 hours in total and we tried to keep sane with the usual travel games, which always & inevitably descended into puerility. Eventually though we managed to drive each other just a little bit loopy: Tom, Jonny & I would provoke hellish fury every time we even thought about mentioning our beloved university, Royal Holloway; The boys deserved to be kicked out & left at the roadside when they started talking in trader speak; A certain frostiness developed between the sisters (quickly thawed).
Stopped and looked at two Glaciers. Very fabulous to see them up close & to be able to chart their retreat through the land. Understand that Glaciers are integral to the ecology of the planet but still had no plan to walk up them (especially not in my flip-flops) Other tourists were more hardy and you could see them staggering back proudly from long, cold hikes.
We arrived into Hokatika in time for a retina-burning sunset & gargantuan plates of food at the superb Tin Cup Café, served by a hyperactive local lady. The town itself was refreshingly un-touristy & by that I mean it was ever so slightly scary! The next-door hotel (a bare shell with corrugated roof & scaffolding) was flanked by a warning sign: No Spittin’ No Cussin’. The only cars to be seen in the empty streets were occasional pimped-up fords driven by rock-hard looking kids, riding low with the bass up high. We could not have been more out of place with our English accents & sky-blue SUV!