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Day 15-16- Hiking & W(h)ining!

Rain, Roy's Peak & Wine!


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Today’s plan was a serious hike, one that’s been on my list pretty much since we decided to come to New Zealand. Having spent most of the night hearing the rain hammering on the roof of the van, our alarms startled us awake early. We abruptly decided this wasn’t hiking weather! Trying to decide what there was we could do for the day in Lake Wanaka that wasn’t out in the miserable wet, we decided to go play badminton in the leisure centre. This decision was largely made due to the promise of a free hot shower afterwards!

We came to New Zealand for Christmas to escape the English winter, yet it feels pretty wintery. We’ve really enjoyed camping; we’re used to Glastonbury style camping (cramped in a tent waking up to almost suffocation from the heat and a bad back from a deflated air mattress, with a mother of all hangovers) so in a van is quite a luxury for us. However, when it’s raining it quite quickly becomes a little claustrophobic.

After an hour of badminton, we enjoyed the novelty of a real shower and not a basic campground shower block. Back in the van hiding from the rain we had an hour to kill before our wine tasting so set up a quick game of banagrams, which ended up being a little longer than ‘quick’ and somehow having done nothing for the day we were late...as always.

Driving like a maniac to the vineyard we realised we’d booked the tour for yesterday and not today so we were more than a few minutes late. We were a whole day late! We rearranged it for the following day and head to a put to warm up and dry off a bit.

The rain finally stopped in the middle of the night and we woke up to clear skies.

Getting to the base of the mountain we consumed our croissants and hydrated on juice, packed a bag with a lot of water, snacks, pack lunch and some treats. Within a couple of minutes we were both silently reconsidering our decision, it was an instant incline which continued consistently the entire way; within five minutes I was wanted a stop. We took the wrong tactic of walking fast in short bursts, realistically we should’ve just ambled up.

The hike was 6km (3.7miles) up to 1,578meters, we cut it in to sections of thirds (1.3 miles) milestones- not that it made it any easier. Two and a half hours later (felt more like 10 hours) we were at the viewpoint. The view was incredible, felt like you were on top of the world. We had stopped hundreds of times on the way up and murmured how impressive the view was but being at the top was something else.

There was a queue to the best spot for a photo so we waiting in line. After snapping a few shots (standard, arms in the air) we found the perfect spot out of the wind for our pack up. We couldn’t believe the view and before we knew it we’d spent two hours at the top and it was time to head back down.

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As soon as we started the descent my knee twinged which wasn’t great for the distance we had to go. Towards the bottom my ankles and big toes were hurting and knee was agony. Due to the heavy rain there was a couple of super muddy spots that spanned the width of the path. Andy being the agile being he is managed to step in to the worst part and slipped off the path, due to the steep mountain side I panicked, Andy covered in mud and sliding further he managed to scramble back on to the path.

Take two for the wine tasting, we made it with enough time today and both excited to try some of this New Zealand wine we’ve both heard so much about. There was five different wines to try, an Osteiner was up first- a sparkling white wine, very sweet and easy drinking. A sauvignon Blanc, a rose, a Pinot noir and a Reisling. All very delicious, the host was telling as a lot of information about the vines, the weather, the different types of soil and how they affect the grapes. It was interesting. Having been on a wine tour before where we visited three vineyards, this half an hour was more informative then any of the others, plus it was free! The view wasn’t bad either I guess! We purchased a bottle of our favorite (the ostinger) to bring the family for Christmas and headed for a well deserved rest. Hoping we wouldn’t ache too much in the morning.

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On the way back we took a few photos at Puzzling World- another Wanaka attraction!

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Posted by Bears on Tour 15:15 Archived in New Zealand

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