Current Location:Franz Joseph, Aotearoa
One note on Wanaka, if anyone goes there you absolutely much check out the Cinema Paradisio it’s a charming little theater that I think has one screen. It doesn’t have normal theater seating but couches instead and a car so you can pretend to be in a drive in movie theater. They also have an intermission in each movie where you can go and grab another beer or fresh baked cookies! This was absolutely brilliant.
I tried to wait out the weather in Wanaka since the forecast for the day I planned to leave was rain in the morning then clearing up in the afternoon. I waited until about 9 to leave (I typically leave at with the sky looking just as grey as it had been all morning but I was anxious to get a move on. It turned out to be a somewhat poor decision as the thunder and lightning kept me on my peddles figuring if I put my feet down the cleats at the bottom of my shoes would make a perfect conductor. The wind and the rain was something fierce as well, the wind got so bad I actually had to dismount the bike and crouch against the wind otherwise I’d be blown over and the rain fell down like little shards of glass. The only upside to it all was the sign that said the road to Haast was still open (as I left Wanaka) so I figured I’d give it a go anyway. I made it as far as Makaroa where there is another sign that says if the road is open or close, this time the sign had changed to closed. I didn’t quite believe it and kept on going anyway as if I was going to make it to Haast there was no time to dawdle. I made it about another 3k before I ran into some workers who weren’t too keen on me disregarding the signs in the middle of the road that said the road was closed and they told me to go back to Makaroa, which I did. Found a backpackers place there where a few other people joined me who were in the same boat (the road ended up being closed for the whole night.)
The only good thing about stopping was I got to dry out my shoes, protip – stuff your soggy shoes with balled up newspapers and by morning they will be dry as can be (change newspapers before going to sleep for even dryer shoes.) And the people that were stuck with me were awesome. Met a couple of aussies and a dutch girl and we all ended up playing cards so it ceartainly wasn’t a bad night.
The next day was better in the sense that the road was at least open but I ended up getting just as wet that day as I did the day before. But on the upside it was forward progress which I’ll take at any time. Not much to say about Haast as I was indoors hiding from the rain and there isn’t much to the place that I could see.
I’d let you guess what the weather was today for the ride to the glaciers but there wouldn’t be much guessing. It was another soggy day in the saddle and I’m kinda worried my saddle is unhappy with all this rain but I’m not sure there’s much I can do about it. The ride was supposed to be amazing with the views of the glaciers in the distance but all I really got was glimpses of them as I was going along due to them being covered in clouds, hopefully it clears up tomorrow but I’ll not hold my breath. I talked to another guy the other day and he mentioned it had been raining at the glaciers for the last 7 days, I would hope that it would have to end sometime.
On a seperate note I got sent this link by a few of the trampers I did the Milford Track with. This happened only 1 week after I was on the track so I’ll consider it lucky I got to finish it when I did.