Sorry it's been a few days but NZ wifi is dodgy. It says it got a very good signal at 54mbps. The truth is its a s*** signal and it uploading at about 125kbs. So needless to say with big file pics it doesn't like it.
Anyway where was I up to?
Oh yes, we left Franz Josef on a lovely bright day. The drive was through the Haast pass (that bloke again). It was exquisite scenery. Mountains, rivers, lakes just beautiful.
After much zig sagging we met the shore of lake Wanaka.....(no WANAKA!)
Another huge lake. Nearly as big as lake Taupo. The road followed the shore line. We had stopped for lunch in a lovely setting but now fancied afternoon tea. As I was driving this leg I had eyes peeled for a stop off point. It was pure luck that I stopped in a lay by then saw a trail leading from it. We took the camper down a slope and there we were alone in a small clearing right on the lake side. A cuppa never tasted so good.
After tea and tiffin we motored on. Our plan was to stay at Wanaka (stop laughing).We went to the camp site which was good but a bit out of town. After a short chat we decided to push on to Queenstown. It was about another 100kms but it was only 2pm so what the hell.
At Queenstown we found a site.....busy for a change. Hooked up and all the water tanks topped and emptied we headed out. Queenstown is meant to be a kicking joint.We had a nice potter then had a stunning Thai meal. By 9pm we were heading back and leaving Queenstown to the backpacker army.
Sleep was not easy. A year ago I had seen MichaelPalin go Jet boating in Shotover gorge. I had said to Jillwhen we go to NZ we are doing that. We had both agreed the whale watching and glacier walk. Jill had insited on the black water rafting but this was my call.
As I said earlier we had not been able to go on a previous trip due to numbers. Im glad we didn't. 'Lonely Planet' says this is the place to do it.
We arrived early and went on an earlier trip. The boat holds about a dozen or so. There was me and Jill and a party of 10 Aussie pensioners. The eldest must have been 70.
What a laugh. They were as game as could be.
We got on board. Front seats next to the driver/pilot, Mike. Crank it up Mikey shouted one old biddy and off we went. Now Im notfan of roller coasters but I do love speed. This was a thrill ride and a half.
These boats are jet boats. Two 400bhp V8 Buick engines power them through a jet intake. They will do 80kms per hour and can stop and turn on a sixpence. They only need 4" of water....thank F***
Try to imagine hurtling through a gorge with high rock walls. Driving straight at the rock face then at the very last second swerving. Oh and I do mean the very last second.
Frightening, exhilarating, all in one go. Mike had been doing this for 5 years. Good, because the day before one had crashed injuring 5 people. This was TPAC times 10. I didn't know whether to laugh or scream. A mega thrill.
After a half hour of white knuckle thrill we were back on dry land.
Visit www.shotoverjet.com choose daily photos and enter SNJT011231012398 and you can see the pics.
We spent the rest of the day mooching round Queenstown. Tonight we went to Winnies Pizza place. Fab pizza. Now back in the camper. You guessed it, a glass of red before bed.