Comfortable night, and awoke to blue sky and sunshine, but chilly. Nice breakfast, then embarked on the Rainbow Valley Nature walk. This was supposed to take around an hour and a quarter and was assisted by a very comprehensive set of laminated notes. Impressive. In fact, this whole place is dedicated to nature, conservation and the environment in general, but they don’t ram it down your throat. Lots of information, all very well presented in a quiet, relaxed atmosphere.
Beautiful walk in very nice weather, blessedly.
Jean went out for a visit to the farm associated with this lodge, where they manage about 3,000 head of sheep in a controlled way. Most of these sheep are Merinos, so produce this very high-quality wool. Lots of stats and opinionated comment from the farmer, apparently. Me, I stayed in, had a glass of wine, viewed the scenery from the lounge and updated the blog. Much more important, of course…
Slightly disappointed in the evening meal. One only has a choice of two starters, two mains, and two desserts. We both went for the mushroom soup to start, which was fine. Turbot was the next choice for us both – one of my favourite fish – but it was a tiny portion, surrounded by LOADS of veg. Would have preferred a larger portion of the fish, to be honest….. Let’s face it, life is hell. However, the dessert was fine and the Taylors Vintage Port better!
As it takes a while for the night sky to get really dark at these latitudes, we waited until 10.15 p.m. for Michael, who appears to run the show at this place, to take us out in a van for a short trip to view the southern hemisphere night sky. Very interesting to see the likes of Orion turned upside down! Unfortunately, it was bloody freezing and a bit cloudy, so initial enthusiasm was quelled pretty quickly. Back on the van and back to the hotel.
A short trip to Hokitika tomorrow – a bit of a rest stop before a major excursion onto the Franz Josef Glacier on Sunday.