Glow worm cottages for Christmas.Did you know that the bit that shines out in the dark is glow worm poo exposed to oxygen! We didn't actually have glow worms in our cottage- thankfully- only nearby in some caves.The backpackers was a series of individual sheds- oops- units- joined to one another- each with its own tiny bathroom and a couple of shelves, a sink, a kettle and a two ringed burner optimistically known as 'a kitchen'.Not much floor space for all our junk but fine all the same. It did have a TV with a Sky movie channel and a video player- what did we rent? Lord of the Rings of course- Lawrence would have enjoyed this trip.On Christmas Eve we set off to walk to the face of the glacier, decided to go the long way round, a path through the 'bush', misread the instructions and gave ourselves a challenge. It took almost 4 hours of fairly tough walking sometimes with no visible path to get to the glacier- it would have taken 45 minutes had we walked along the road- but it wouldn't have been such a 'learning experience'. In fact the first couple of hours were quite wonderful- oohing and aahing at the exotic rainforest- lots of photos taken- but the batteries ran low- ours and the cameras.We crossed several gorges- some by wading through the creek and some by braving some very shaky rope bridges. We were all walking in sports sandals- wading through silt and mud-my intensely itchy sand fly bites were being added to by the minute. Morag declared them worse than mosquitoes- and she should know!By the next day- Christmas day- my feet were swollen and red streaks were heading for my toes. I couldn't bear any of my shoes or sandals- they rubbed too much- so I spent Christmas day mostly lying in bed watching movies or sleeping. We even saw the Queens speech long before you guys did!! I didn't feel unwell- just knackered!! All the backpackers got together and ran a big BBQ on Christmas afternoon for the travellers. I managed to hobble along in a pair of Morag's sandals. They simply closed off one of the streets by parking a bus across it and set up trestle tables and benches up the middle- there must have been three or four hundred folk there and most ended up sitting on the pavement. Loads of food and about six BBQs all going full pelt- all for free. I enjoyed it but was aware that I would have loved being one of the workers organising it for everyone else.Next day my feet were worse and the first port of call when we arrived in Westport was the Buller Medical centre. We arrived at 5.30pm on Boxing Day and I was seen by 5.45- we could do with taking some lessons from them!! I was seen by a charming Indian woman GP locum from the North Island- given a row for getting sunburn on my neck (20 minutes out of the car in the early afternoon to see the pancake rocks), but my consultation and my antibiotics cost me not a dime because I was a fellow GP locum. After two doses the swelling began to go down and I could walk again. Thank God.