How HOT is hot?!
Trip Start Feb 28, 2009
27Trip End Apr 12, 2009
Our first stop was at a spot called Knight's Point. It is just off the side of the road, but well worth the few minutes to gaze out over the huge bay with waves crashing onto the narrow beaches. The eroded rocks in the surf and the beaches themselves look pristine and untouched by humans, which is of course why we were drawn to it in the first place.
Not far from Knight's Point is a waterfall called Thunder Creek Falls that we also wanted to check out. Amusingly, when we discussed it afterwards in the car, was that we both agreed that the creek at the bottom of the falls was much nicer to see and play around with for pictures :P
This was because the waterfall was fairly generic and had just a little bit of water streaming down the cliff, while the small creek had a gorgeous blue colour and many big boulders in it. The creek, with its fast flowing water and clarity, just instantly struck our fancy when we approached it.
We had a similar experience at yet another waterfall that we stopped by (Does this mean waterfalls impress us less thesedays? ;)). This was at the Fantail Falls, and eventhough the waterfall is very nice and quite impressive, it was the riverbank in front of it that caught our attention. That was because it was filled with numerous stacks of rocks that various visitors left behind over the months and maybe even years.
We have encountered this phenomenon before (in Norway specifically) and we still wonder about the purpose and origin of this practice. We both seem to recall having heard or read something about (vague isn't it? :P) it that claimed this was done by hikers before they crossed more treacherous terrain.
So if anyone knows or has theories, please let us know in the comments or otherwise. PLEASE! It's keeping us up at night!!!
Not everything that we intended to stop at along the route was a success in one way or another. The Blue Pools Walk that we were passing was sadly enough closed because of repairs being done on a bridge. We wanted to do this little walk to see the Blue Pools that are rumoured to be SO amazingly blue and clear. We guess this will remain a mystery to us and on our to-do list for a future visit to the region.
We weren't TOO sad as this also meant we could stay in the comfort of the car (aching feet, sandflies, dodgy swingbridges, you get the idea :P).
The last stretch of the drive took us past Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea, the latter of which we managed to get some really nice views and pictures of. And eventually we ended up at our destination: the relaxed little village of Wanaka. Here we spent 2 days just relaxing and enjoying the gorgeous surroundings. Oh, and catching up on some laundry, more about that later ;).
We tried a few suggested scenic drives. One was a short but pleasant trip down Outlet Road to a fairly deserted stretch of riverbank connected to Lake Wanaka. Here we wandered around soaking in the sun and enjoying the beginning autumn colours that this region is known for.
The other suggested drive we had to abandon, because the road was just TOO gravely and we would have had to do the 30 kilometers (one way!) at 15-20 km/h or else the car might have fallen apart on us! There were some quite nice hillsides all around us, but not nice enough to press onwards on this venture..
Which leads us neatly onto our laundry experience :P
By now we had a fair bit of laundry to catch up on (3 bags worth in fact!) and we figured using the laundry facilities at our hostel was a good way to go. Little did we know that doing the laundry would be as predictable (and safe) as playing (russian) roulette.
We will take you through it step-by-step just so you can envision it properly :P (and share our misery ;))
1: There were 3 washing machines and 3 dryers. All of these locked the user out of any settings and only ran on 1 fixed program(me).
2: 1 washing machine was 'Hot wash only'... With NO indication HOW hot this would be. Just that it would be HOT. (The guy manning the reception also had no clue as to the temperature.)
3: The other 2 washing machines were 'Cold wash only'
4: One of the two cold wash machines would only drain the water afterwards if it felt like it (guess what we encountered when we went to move the washing to the dryers! ;)) That's right, a machine full of freezing cold water with our clothes floating in it.
5: All 3 dryers seemed to lack any moisture sensors as they would run for a fixed amount time and then stop regardless if the clothing was dry or not.
6: Loads of more than 2 items would always require at least 2 cycles to get anywhere NEAR dry.
7: We would have been easier and cheaper off handwashing everything in the shower with us and hanging it outside over the lawnchairs to dry! (The lawnchair method of drying we had to do anyway as the dryers only managed to make money evaporate and not moisture :P)
(As a side note: Washing machines that we have encountered elsewhere in New Zealand do not have any temperature indications on its settings. You only get to select whether it is 'Whites' or 'Colours' or 'Bright Colours' or 'Delicates' etc. However the washing instructions in clothing are the same as we are used to from back home (Europe) and state temperatures like 40 degrees.)
All in all our time in Wanaka was very pleasant and sandfly free. It truly is a gorgeous region and we would gladly have spent longer there if we had had the time. There are still many walks and sights around and near Wanaka that we haven't experienced but would have loved to.