In Anthony's last blog entry, he mentioned that he felt his left knee twinge unhappily at the end of our walk from Bluff to Invercargill. It seemed ok the next day so we set off. After 5km, the knee was was not good and as the pain was very similar to the problem he previously had with his right knee we stopped walking and looked at our options.
We decided to hire a car for a bit, tour around parts of the South Island and visit some of our friends. If the knee was ok, we would continue walking.
Since then we have become 'real tourists' and joined the many thousands of overseas tourists visiting this part of the country. With a 'c’est la vie' outlook, we have cruised around staying in Colac Bay, Manapouri, Te Anau and then three nights with friends in Gibbston (just out of Queenstown).
The road trip from Colac Bay to Manapouri was interesting with an opportunity to learn about the Waiau River - it has an impressive history and is now controlled by the hydro scheme. Not only could we study the old suspension bridge but there was a coffee cart ready and waiting for travellers.
Our travel to Milford Sound from Manapouri was quite the eye opener - huge numbers of tourists! The whole Milford Sound 'machine' was pretty impressive really and we thought it was very well done.
Te Anau gloworm caves were good as was the movie at the little Te Anau theatre, Ata Whenua - this movie takes you on a 30 minute aerial journey over Fiordland. It was stunning and a must see. Apparently the theatre was built for the purpose of showing this movie. We also had a sensational meal at the Black Dog bar/cafe attached to the theatre - highly recommended.
Queenstown was crazy so we escaped quickly and went to Jane and Chris' property in Gibbston. We had great views of the valley and the Crown Range road was in the distance. A beautiful home and surrounds and we were pleased to be of use for a day and help Chris top and prune a hedge which helped keep the Nevis Bluff in sight.
Anthony's knee had been pretty good and with some thoughts and advice from Jane, things were looking up. We felt it would need to be tested and Chris suggested a hike up the Rob Roy glacier track. From Wanaka we drove up towards Mt Aspiring, through the valley of huge stations with vast numbers of cattle as well as some sheep and deer. The walk was a three hour return for us to the look out and it was superb in so many ways. Best of all the knee was good!!
Stunning scenery, photo opportunities around every corner
Belinda and Anthony (aka Tony) Hadfield made a decision, in their late 50's, to do something a "bit different" and walk New Zealand's 3000km Te Araroa Trail over summer 2015/16 - although updates will now tell you that this plan will take longer now!!. As the old saying goes - "don't leave home 'til you've seen the country"!!