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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Monday, 27 January 2020

Strike three.... but came good in the end.

So today (27th) gets a phone call from Marilyn. "Now Irene, you must stop making your blog headings all doom and gloom. It's sounding like New Zealand is not a good place to go!" "And, my girl, I will set the DOC wardens on you and make sure the tourism trade know where to find you and remove you from the country! After all the Red Peril is a VERY easy Motorhome to spot!" By now I was in fits of laughter as was Ian. It was the thought of being pursued by irate wardens and travel agents all with a deportation docket in hand. Well, Marilyn, I would love to see that happen!!! As vowed over the phone, I solemnly promise no bad headings (unless it is a necessary requirement to illustrate the day!) OKAY ๐Ÿ˜จ ๐Ÿ˜

 This was to be my heading.....And again a disappointment!!! Jetboat cancelled.

Date:-Sunday 26th, Left for Queenstown and a wonderful early morning glimpse of the sun across the lake.

We could have turned either way for Queenstown at Wanaka, left for the H6 and 106k or turn right along the Crown Range Pass a mere 63k No contest really, the pass it was.
Masses of Lupins along the Pass
Lovely empty road

More Lupins
 This Pass is a must-do although towing vehicles may struggle on the ascent and descent and are advised not to even try. Those S bends come thick and fast but if you do make it to the top, at a lookout called Crown Terrace, the views are spectacular over the valley. Even had Air NZ flight flying right across our eye line and at almost the same height as us.

Crown Terrace

Midday we arrived in Queenstown and driving the roads trying to find a parking spot. Parking in Queenstown was a nightmare three years ago and we were convinced it would be the same today. But the council have introduced a specific car park for motorhomes and at $1 an hour, a very reasonable price. Before we got the ticket Ian phoned the Thunder Jet team to see if parking was available outside their premises. "Good job you phoned" a staff member replied. "Unfortunately the jet boat has broken down and we are cancelling all bookings". We looked at each other in total disbelief! What is it about our trip to New Zealand this time. Seems we have had one set back after another.  We had so looked forward to this so Ian did no more than ring another Jetboat operator leaving from almost the same place called K Jet Real Journeys tour. "We have plenty of room," they said. "What time would you like to go?" So at 2 pm, kitted out with Life Jackets and managing to grab the front seats (which was plastic and red hot and Ian felt sure his man bits were cooking) we sat back to enjoy the experience.

Ian next to the driver with me next to him.

Strange sand sculptures

Taking us through the thicket

Over the rapids
The last few days we have noticed an abundance of Possums, Hedgehogs and Rabbits. None were alive, all were roadkill which would have pleased the New Zealanders (and Marilyn) no end. One expression heard several times was, The only good Possum is a dead one! All those mentioned are now pests, an introduced species to try and eradicate another introduced species. Consequently, the native birds and wildlife have been decimated.

Setting off towards Te Anau another lovely freedom camping site was found, at Lake Wakatipu.
Wow, we have certainly been lucky in our choice of sites.

How many sticks can one Labrador carry? Three as it turned out!

1 comment:

Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

Three strikes and you are out, Irene - out of the country, my girl!! The DOC rangers are on the look out ... A good thing I didn't set them on to you when you were in Hokitika, as there are a few of them there who are professional hunters of introduced pests and love nothing more than to BBQ pommie tourists ...

Glad to see you are having a wonderful time in spite of setbacks in the adventure tourism. Of course, if you acted your age, none of these disappointments would occur! Were you disappointed by Tongaporutu? No! Were you disappointed by the Festival of Lights in New Plymouth? No! See? Age appropriate activities do NOT disappoint!

Big hugs, you ratbags,


PS I expect a list of your campsites please - we need them when we are down that way later this year after a peaceful season on the boat - age appropriate activity ...

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