I had so much grease yesterday from the mince pie then fish and chips that I woke up with a shiny film on my face from it leaking out my pores. But I do look years younger!
We also woke up to rain today. Not wussy San Diego rain but torrential monsoon stuff.
We met at Tess and Laura’s cabin for breakfast.
“You can’t come to Pancake Rocks without eating pancakes!” Said Tess.
“But please start with just one while we finish making more”
“But Kellen can’t count to one in pancakes” I said.
“His pancake number starts at four” added Hubby.
Laura made the most delicious pancakes. They were thin and crispy around the edges. Fresh berries, caramel bananas, yogurt and whip cream to accompany them.
After breakfast the rain let up and we took a short drive to do a hike with “just a nice hill” at the start.
We got to cross an awesome swing bridge. Griffin, ahead of the rest, thought it would be big fun to jump as hard as he could and swing it from side to side. Not everyone in our group was amused. But I was! I was hysterically laughing grabbing the edges but was unable to take a single step forward. We must have been doing this a long time because Laura was waiting tapping her foot. Later I heard her tell Tess that she’s never taken so long crossing a stupid swing bridge with any group before. And something else about being “easily amused”. We are!
We entered the jungle and started going up. And up. We have an extremely fit group and they all fly up the hills. I do not fly. I felt like Nelly the Elephant tramp tramp tramping off to the jungle. Let me guess, there’s no one reading this who gets this reference. It’s such a great song, and one I sang to myself the whole way up the “just a nice hill” here you go:
Laura picked some “Kawa Kawa” off a plant and told us we could all have one but only one. These little guys have medical properties and will get you intoxicated if you have as little as three. I tried to grab more because why have only one when three is the magic number? But I got a finger wag from Laura. My little, sad, singular berry tasted a little sweet and a bit spicy. I would like to see what 10 would taste like.
The rest of the hike had undulating hills and was the best hike I’ve ever done. It took about two hours in total, it was just fabulous.
We haven’t seen too many animals in New Zealand but we see these guys frequently. They’re called “wekas” but we call them “weird chicken things”:
Every single tourist things they are kiwis and it’s so funny to see how excited they get. But the elusive kiwi is nocturnal and we’ve been assured we will never see any. The only kiwis we are guaranteed on this trip are Tess and Laura.
During our picnic lunch Tess gathered us together to tell us some news. “Guys we have a change of plans. There’s been a pretty bad “slip” in the pass and we can’t get through to the west coast that way anymore. We have to take a much longer detour and we won’t be going to Franz Josef Glacier as planned.”
“How much longer do we have to drive now?” someone asked.
“Right” she continued avoiding the question. “The Outdoors Adventure office has already found an alternative route for us with hikes to do along the way. Look at it this way; you will get to see the whole South Island now. Everyone ok with this?” I mean what could we say? Not like any of us had much choice. “As long as we’re together we can handle anything!” I yelled.
So it was back to Ernie for a long ass drive for who knows how long, but we were all completely bonded now and in good spirits. And if you have a long drive to do, there is literally no better place on earth to do it.
After a few hours Ernie stopped and let us out to do a hike around an area the Dalai Lama himself has claimed “The Most Spiritual Place on Earth”.
Then it was another long drive until we arrived in the town of Methvan. Outdoors Adventure has found us all rooms at The Methven Motel for the night. With such a last minute change of plans, they did an awesome job getting us an alternative itinerary for a few days. The change was totally seamless to us.
We had a choice for dinner ’cause Methvan is a two pub kinda town: The Brown Pub or The Blue Pub. We chose Blue and we chose well.
We were “shouted” local beers from our fabulous guides and Rich and Borut have been doing an awesome job keeping us all hydrated on the local wines. For dinner, Kellen went for local pulled lamb.
“Bags To Ernie” tomorrow morning at 7:00am. We have a long drive ahead of us but no one knows how long that is except for Tess.
New words for today:
slip- rock slide
Jumper- a sweatshirt
Plinth- a box-like structure you put a sculpture on ( maybe this is just a regular word that most people know, but I didn’t and and Laura got me an “h” in GHOST.
Glacier is pronounced “glassier”
“Just a nice hill”- a huge hill that totally kicks my ass
They have “Black Boy” peaches here. This shit would just never fly in The States!
* After comparing Iphone steps, we have now deemed the “Health” app a crock. Just know that I’m doing a TON of them!