It was a little cloudy in the morning, so we just shopped around for a while and had morning tea. Cohen got a little expresso mug for his tea that made him look like a really goofy adult size person by comparison. Somehow I was really amused by this. I didn’t get any pictures; but trust me, it was hilarious.
In the afternoon Elias and I went on a hike at the Diamond Lakes reserve. Liz dropped us off to go do some drawing and try to get Cohen a nap. Elias and I hiked up to the lake lookout. It was a really pretty walk with a great view from the top, out over the southern part of Lake Wanaka and over the city.
Liz found a place to park next to the lake with a great view across to the mountains. Cohen never slept, but she was able to get some great drawing done. After picking us up, we drove back there and she finished her sketch and we had some dinner.
After dinner we found a campground for the night, showered for the first time in a while, and slept through a frosty night.
We drove further north from Wanaka on about 40km of washboard dirt roads through the Matukituki Valley. Cohen spent of good portion of the drive screaming, “Too bumpy, too bumpy!” The broken dishes in the cabinets would probably agree. The drive was gorgeous, however. Mt. Aspiring sits in the distance as the road curves through sheep and cow paddocks along the river. We saw several shepherds with sheep dogs moving the flocks around. Those dogs are impressive.
Our plan was to hike up to the Rob Roy glacier valley, but unfortunately they just started work on the only footbridge across the river to that valley. After the cave stream incident, we thought better of fording the river with they boys on our back. So, we hiked on past the foot bridge up the valley toward the Mt. Aspiring hut. It was a beautiful valley, and we got up close and personal with lots of cows and sheep. We stopped after about 4km, ate some lunch, and the boys went about their usual throw-rocks-into-water diversion. Elias wanted to take some pictures with the “big camera” and actually got some pretty well composed shots of Liz and I. Even more impressive, he didn’t drop it or break it. Win-win.
There was minimal complaining on the walk back, and we made it safely to the campervan. After getting just a glimpse of the Rob Roy glacier valley, it is definitely on the list of places to come back to. On the drive back toward Wanaka we actually got stuck in a sheep traffic jam; new experiences abound.
We really enjoyed Wanaka and would love to come back and explore some more. Or maybe quit this doctoring business and take up shepherding.
But, time was limited, so we hit the road toward Queenstown. The drive was just about an hour from Wanaka to Queenstown. The last 10k or so is very steep and windy, but with incredible views. We decided to get some distance done while the boys were pretty happy in the car, so we actually ended up driving all the way to Te Anau, arriving late in the evening.
(By the way, we didn't actually run over a cow, but readership was starting to dip a little, so I needed to drum up some interest with a catchy headline).