Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Jet lag hit at 5 AM-I woke up and didn’t go back to sleep until 7, then we got up around 8.  We managed to stay warm enough which was good considering we woke up to frost on the car. The cost of living around here is quite high, especially in tourist towns, even if it is off season, so we skipped breakfast. Before going to the Dart River Boat office, I called Air New Zealand to see if there was any news about the suitcase–they told me it was on a plane bound for Sydney, & would arrive into Auckland in the late afternoon. They wanted to know where they could deliver it, and I asked them just to keep it in Auckland until we get back there next Thursday, because I didn’t see how they would be able to track us down and get it to us. We’re just happy they found it!

The Dart River office was about 100 yards down the road from the lodge. They had waterproof coats for us which was nice.
When the other 10 people showed up we loaded into a small bus and took a ride to a beech forest.

 It is part of a World Heritage site & was beautiful. There are 3 varieties of beeches, known of which are related to the North American beech trees. They are very slow growing, but the ones who manage to live several hundred years eventually become hollow inside. There was one that our guide told us was about 700 years old which we were able to stand up inside.

After our walk we drove down to the river, where a hot cup of yummy tomato soup was provided for everyone before we loaded into the boat. Because the other three groups had 3 or 4 people in it, Jim & I got to sit in the front where there were only 2 seat–it was great! We saw some beautiful scenery, & got to do a few 360's in the boat before returning to Glenorchy.

After unloading we drove back to Queenstown, had lunch at Burger King, then stopped at a grocery store for some snacks. Then we headed to Te Anau where I had a reservation at a farmstay.

Our hosts were Florence & John Pine. They own a large farm where they raise sheep & deer which are really a small breed of elk. John gave us a tour in the back of his pickup which was fascinating.

When we returned to the house Florence had a yummy dinner of lamb chops, baked squash, parsnips, potatoes, & zucchini, and a fruity custard for dessert. After dinner we stayed up with Florence & John and watched the royal wedding.

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