Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Saturday 9th February 2008 - Rob Roy Glacier walk

Yesterday, after visiting the Nature Reserve in Te Anau, which looks after injured birds, such as the rare Takahe, we drove north in the Silver Bullet (pictured above) to Wanaka, to the aptly named Mountainview Backpackers. At Kingston, at the south end of Lake Wakatipu, we picnicked on the shore, with the whistle and hiss of the Kingston Flyer, a black steam engine, just ready to depart.

In Wanaka, enjoyed more warm weather in the garden till about 9.30pm.

Today, we drove to Mount Aspiring National Park along 20km of unsealed road, with my legs wobbling as the car juddered over the uneven surface. The Rob Roy Glacier was the object of today's walk, along the track towards the Aspiring Hut, then across a suspension bridge and up a side valley, through fine birch woodland with splendid ferns. At first the path was great, then we came across a notice suggesting that the path had been 'upgraded'. Mmmmm. In actual fact, the Department of Conservation, had, in my view, been the Dept of Destruction, in producing a motorway through the native bush, completely ruining a lovely woodland walk. I steamed up it, to escape its clutches above the treeline, where views of the glacier took my mind off the dreadful path. Actually, the glacier hung just above us, with a number of waterfalls below. The Hawkweed (very similar to a profusion of dandelions) created a carpet of yellow.
I prepared an a la carte lunch whilst waiting for Martin, who arrived in time to spend a happy hour admiring the views towards Rob Roy Glacier and elsewhere:

At last, a Kea! These parrots are green, with red under their wings and have very sharp bills. This one was intent on investigating the contents of two rucsacs that had been abandoned near us! They have been known to pick out the rubber of car windscreens around Mount Cook - when the driver sets off, the windscreen falls in!!!

Nice lunch spot, then we followed a very narrow path up the hillside. Martin turned back but I continued, over a few precipitous areas, until the path ran out, with an excellent view of the upper part of the glacier and a lovely waterfall.

It was my turn to drive back along the horrible dirt road, but speed did the trick! The car was happier over the surface and Martin even managed to sleep, woken by a jolt as I hit a hole in the road - oops! Today we learnt that 'cattle grids' are 'cattle stops'.

The evening has been spent outside, over a dinner of garlic mussel salad washed down with a bottle of Marlborough Chardonnay, hence the rambling. The overcast sky has cleared this evening - blue skies prevail.

Will tomorrow be 'Sky Dive Day'?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

looks like you are having fun
love Andrew.

Nick said...

Nice car - I think I get the 'Silver' part of the name...

Phreerunner said...

We know her as The Silver Bullet. Others less in awe of the Japanese automotive industry may recognise her as The Grey Slug - look carefully and you can see the antenna!

Phreerunner said...

Thank you Andrew
We had a great time and are pleased that you were following our progress. Can you show us where we were on the map of the world when we see you on Friday?
[Sorry not to reply earlier - we didn't spot that the message was from you and not from Big Andrew (aka Notchy)]
Love from Martin and Sue