04 Mar 2016

Over The Mtn's & Thru The Woods - NZL by valeriepeltier

19/34

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The morning we arrived in Wanaka, Lauren had gotten another message from Ollie saying that he would be getting in around the same time as us. Since the timing worked out so nicely, we met up just off the bus, dropped off our bags at our hostel in the storage locker, since they told us we had to wait till 3pm to check in, got our day bags and headed out on an adventure together.
We were all keen to check out the Rob Roy Glacier that was a fair distance from town, so We hopped in Ollie's car and drove there. The road on the way out turned from paved, to gravel with bridges and then to gravel where we crossed through steams. Eventually we reached the end of the road and turned into the parking lot where several hikes towards the glaciers began.
The trail that intrigued us was the Rob Roy Glacier trail, bringing you along the valley to where the glacier had receded to. The beginning of the trail followed the river the majority of the way in, winding through the open valley, across a suspension bridge and through a cool temperate forest. Just past the valley and into the trees, the trail began to gently slope upwards, increasing as we followed along. After an hour of walking the trail opened off to the side where a half way lookout allowed for a peak at the glacier, and a resting spot for those who needed a break.
We continued walking eventually arriving in the main valley below the cliff where the glacier threatened to spill off to the floor below. I chose a large rock in the middle of the valley so we could sit and relax for a little while we ate a snack, and examined the detail of the glacier carved valley.
During the time we sat there, Ollie was hoping that a chunk of ice would fall allowing him to experience the retreating of the ice and its devastating lengthy fall to the base of the cliff. Unfortunately, there was only a small little slide where a bit of ice broke off and slid down a few feet or so, still making for a cool experience, but not the type he was hoping for.
Between the rolling mist of the clouds over the glacier and the continuous flow of waterfalls I was amused and content with staying there for a while, but instead we sat there for a short time before returning back down the path in order to get back to town at a decent time.

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During our drive back into town, we passed some wildlife some on the side of the road and others in the middle of the road and of course along the way someone had mentioned the idea of gelato, therefore practically implanting the dangerous thought and forcing us to cave. We parked by the lake and walked to the edge of town where there was another Patagonia chocolate shop, with the same range of flavors we had in Queenstown. This time around, I tried the dark chocolate and Boisonberry flavours mixed together creating the ultimate combination of sweetness.
Once we had indulged, we figured maybe we should walk it off before heading back to make dinner. Ollie had suggested looking for the lonely tree, which we later found out was called the lone tree and was quite famous among tourists for its contrasting photo ops it offered of Lake Wanaka.
After dinner we reconvened, meeting at our hostel where we then wandered through the small town for something to do, since it was still quite early. In the end we ended up passing a small pub on the corner, where some live music was playing. The music was pleasant so we stopped to enjoy a cider and listen while chatting among ourselves. Since none of us really wanted to spend money of drinks we headed back to the hostel and sat in the courtyard on the comfy deck chairs where we hung out for the remainder of the evening.