8:00 am Scenic drive to Lake Tekapo and Church of the Good Shepard before continuing to Mount Cook. Take optional excursion ski plane flight. Lunch at Hermitage Hotel and see Lindis Pass and Kawarau Gorge on the way to Queenstown.
There was a change to/from Daylight Saving today. Since it is March I was ready to “spring forward” but this is New Zealand and the southern hemisphere so they “fall back” in March. As I said before everything is justly slightly different than you expect it to be. It’s kept me a little off balance the entire time I’ve been in New Zealand (losing a day getting here, cars driving on the left, race horses running clockwise and now “spring back”).
Thanks heavens for the extra hour since we had to have our bags outside our room by 7 a.m. for pickup. We have a new bus driver (for the South Island), Julian, who is not Maori and who picks us up at 8. It proves to be a long day.
We stop at Lake Tekapo to see a statue of a sheepdog and a stone church by the lake when Karin falls off a ledge, backwards, and seriously injures herself. We find out later that she has broken 3 ribs and punctured her lung in the fall but at the time it appears to be even more serious than that. She somehow finds the strength to get up and get back on the bus although she is obviously in a lot of pain. Luckily there was a doctor nearby when she fell who could do the initial check on her and Linda, who has medical training, kept an eye on her in the bus. (The Queenstown doctors later have her stay an extra week in Queenstown to recover a bit before the long plane ride home.)
Lunch was at the Hermitage
Hotel with many other tourists and was an interesting mix of New Zealand and
oriental food. (Since there are many
Chinese, Japanese and Taiwanese tourists oriental food is common. There was always rice and other dishes I
couldn’t identify available for breakfast. . . .and I do mean always. .
.everywhere.) I tried what looked like
an egg drop soup with corn in it that turned out to be quite spicy and very
good. (As a side note, people line up
here to go around buffet tables in what I consider to be the wrong
direction. We had this problem and had
to be corrected every time there was a large group buffet. I guess it’s related to the driving on the
We are supposed to go to Mt. Cook and my husband and I have signed up for a plane flight to the glacier. However, the weather is cloudy and rainy; we wouldn’t be able to see anything and planes wouldn’t be able to fly. We pass Mt. Cook hidden behind clouds and continue on.
At the Twizel “comfort stop” we spotted a cheese shop, the first one we’d seen in the entire country and we’d spent a lot of time looking while we were in Auckland. As you can probably tell we love cheese with a glass of wine and had only been able to find cheese in grocery stores. We went a little crazy in the cheese shop and bought a light garlic goat cheese, a blue cheese, an herbed cheese and several others. We had so much that we asked Ed, Debbie and Gordon over to help us eat it that night. Later the five of us walked to the Queenstown Pig and Whistle for dinner. (I can recommend the chicken wrap sandwich.)