Kings of The Wild Frontier
Greg maintained his drinking spree throughout the evening and was last seen wandering around the bar bouncing off things that didn’t move out of the way fast enough. This morning, much to my surprise, he emerged from his tent in full Mick Dundee outfit ready for a day in the bush. I thought perhaps I had misjudged him but then saw him loading his rucksack with 6 packs.
Over dinner I enjoyed a quite couple of hours in the bar chatting with an ex commercial hot air balloon pilot from Suffolk. He was also playing bushman, using the camp as a base for 3 day wilderness walks. We were getting along fine until he pointed out that Bluff is not actually the most southerly point on mainland NZ. Bastard!
It seems it wasn’t Greg who demolished the power pole but a motorcyclist who either fell asleep or decided to commit suicide in a spectacular fashion. I rode past the shiny new pole this morning and gave him a moments silence.
I have been meaning to mention: when camping my nocturnal pee is an opportunity to marvel at the Southern night skies. With no air or light pollution I had expected to see many more stars than usual but what I was not prepared for was their size. I have no idea why but there are countless thousands of HUGE and intensely bright stars. This star gazing tends to result in wet feet 🙁
My first reaction on arriving in NZ was ‘jeez it’s expensive’ but this is somewhat misleading. Some things are very expensive while others are not. For example:
– petrol is about £1.20 per litre, quite a bit cheaper than the UK
– meals in pubs etc are good value given the size of the portions. Last night I had a huge gammon steak with eggs and chips for ten quid
– yet food in shops seems expensive, take my £4 tin of corned beef! To buy the ingredients to make a meal seems to cost about the same as buying a ready cooked meal in a pub….go figure!
– essentials (beer) is quite expensive. A ‘pint’ in a pub (about three quarters of a real pint) is about £4 but if you buy a jug this comes down hugely. In one bar a jug that contained about 2.5 ‘pints’ was £6 but a single pint was £4.
– Campsites and hostels are very inexpensive and even hotel rooms are good value, whereas motels seem to be regarded as the pinnacle of accommodation and are quite pricey.
During the night the wind picked up to the point where all I could think about was what direction was it blowing in. Bizarrely, the second I got up this morning the wind dropped. It was still blowing somewhat and it proved to be from a vaguely beneficial direction and today was very lovely. This valley must rank amongst the most beautiful on South Island and I cycled along singing to whatever tunes Shuffle served up. I got a few odd looks but only from sheep.
Top Of The World
I am in Wanaka, a busy tourist town. Tomorrow I must ride to Queenstown, either 110k along the main road or 65 over the Crown mountain range on the highest highway in NZ. I may live to regret it but I am going up.
Now That’s What I Call Music
Kings of The Wild Frontier