Gosh, it’s now over a month since we got back from our trip! No wonder I’m struggling a bit to remember what I need to write down. To be fair, there has been, and continues to be, quite a lot going on. The most important thing hanging over me at the moment is a job interview on Thursday afternoon, which will be Wednesday for a lot of you.
We left Hokitika (see South Island Trip (part one)) on Easter Sunday and headed south down the West Coast. We were fortunate that the bridge that had been washed out at Franz Joseph had been reopened the week before we got there. It was still waiting to be resealed, but it was perfectly functional.
We stopped for lunch at the South Westland Salmon Farm. After eating we wandered out onto the balcony which overlooks the fish ponds. This turned out to be very exciting as I got the opportunity to take photos of a kotuku, our native white heron, which seemed to be visiting from the nearby Okarito sanctuary. These birds are rare and not very often seen outside the sanctuary.
After getting back on the road a little later than intended, we negotiated the beautiful bush clad Haast Pass. This included a small section still under repair where one lane of the road had been washed out by the same flooding which took out the bridge at Franz Joseph. After a stop for afternoon tea with some friends in Wanaka, we set off on the final leg of the journey through to our daughter’s home in Waikoikoi, just north of Gore. We arrived about 8pm, having started out at 9am, so it was a long day.
We spent a lovely five days there, and especially enjoyed the time we got to share with our grandchildren. They actually live on a sheep farm and I was entertained on one particular day by the flock of sheep that spent a lot of that day in the immediate vicinity of the house. My daughter, in turn, was amused by me randomly taking photos of them from time to time as this is obviously not an unusual occurrence for them.