Slight drizzle this morning. We wanted to head of to find some Keas. The guy next to us suggested the Treble Cone ski area. The Rob Roy Glacier trail was apparently devoid of Kea.
We set off in the direction of the Treble Cone ski area, also a Hobbit film location. The page 113 of Hobbit Film Locations shows an excellent shot of the crags which you can see from the campsite. The picture also shows the area where our campsite is located.
Driving towards the ski area is on sealed roads in what looks like Glenco valley. Spectacular scenery. At the point where the sealed road ends, there is the turn off to the ski area. But the actual road was unfortunately closed. So, no driving up to the cones or seeing Keas.
We drove on then along the unsealed road towards the Rob Roy Glacier trail. The road is in a huge valley which is flank by fields on each side. Sheep and deer are reared here. The bird life was phenomenal, flocks of hundreds of Yellow Heads were in the fields or sitting on the road. They have the alarming habit of flying in front of the car, darting from side to side.
Several birds of prey were spotted, as were spur winged plovers. The other siting were the pairs of Paradise Ducks which live in the Southern Alps.
We continued but as the road deteriorated we came to a sign which suggested if you went on, and it rained you might not get back to where the sign was, near a ford. We (ie Rosemary) hesitated, I walked the ford (well looked it), dithered, then two more campers came by and dithered. I decided to go for it, despite the protestations of R. Made it through with a breeze. And the next ford. On we went and then met a man who said the next ford over the river was too deep and had already caught one car. We hesitated again and were caught up by one of the vehicles we’d seen hesitate at the first ford. They said they’d gone on, when they saw we’d made it ok.
As the rain had started again (closer to the mountain) we (aka R) decided to beat a hasty retreat. Of course, as we drove nearer to Wanaka and away from the glacier, the weather improved. In Wanaka is was virtually cloudless. That’s mountain weather for you.
In Wanaka we parked for a latish lunch, Green lipped mussels and prawns in a coconut curry sauce. Yummy. Rosemary had a vegetable dish with pan-fried lamb slices. She thought they were a bit tough, which was good cos I got to clean up and I thought they were delicious.
Where we’d parked was a short distance away from the main parts of town. A path wound its way alongside the road. One side of the path was bordered with large square terracotta tiles. Very cleverly, seemingly as part of a Millennium project, the tiles recounted historic events. I think you could sponsor a tile. We ummed and ahhed over some of the content, but what a brilliant way to see history in a timeline.
A bit of a walk around the shops of Wanaka and then back to the campsite for wine and supper. Quite a pleasant evening, the wind dropped off.