New Zealand: Days 8-9

Thursday, 14 Feb 2008

Day 9
In town of Fox Glacier. Campground –they’re called ‘Holiday Parks’ here- has a nice kitchen area and internet access, so I’m hunkering down for the evening to download photos and recharge the laptop.

Back to Day 8 (NZ Day 6)
Picked up a French backpacker right outside the café where I left off the previous post- Mr. L, a mechanical engineer. He was hard to understand , nice guy though. He had been in Australia for 10 months and was midway through 2 months in NZ. We took the scenic drive to the town of Greysmouth, on the west coast. Strangely enough, Greysmouth is at the mouth of the Grey River. He was headed north from there, I was headed south. I hit a local pub for a few beers and to figure out exactly where I was headed. Ended up chatting with a lady from Switzerland, she was on a 3 month sabbatical from her job as a social worker. She was well spoken in English. I headed south to the village of Hokitika for a Holiday Park. Checked the black sand beach for while and hit the sack early.

Day 9
Woke up to rain; hours and hours of rain. Eventually I made the dash to the shower house and back to the camper. Headed into town for some breakfast , check the map and guide book, and hit some email. About the time I finished my email, the restaurant flooded. Apparently it rained so much the sidewalk/gutter system overflowed and the water detoured through the restaurant. This was about noon thirty, so I had already managed to piss away half the day. Great thing about sabbatical- you have no schedule if you don’t want one. I can’t remember the last time I have gotten this much sleep in a weeks time. I’ve actually been pushing 8-10 hours per night instead of 5 or 6.

Picked up another hitchhiker, a backpacker from the Chzeck Republic. Another decent fellow, however he smelled worse than the French dude. Better English skills than the French dude. He said only half of the Chzeck people hate America… the rest are still grateful for us lowering the Iron Curtain. I did not inquire which half he was in. Interestingly enough, he was a zookeeper. I felt guilty since it was raining so much, and thought it would be cool to have some company. We headed south to Franz Josef Glacier. It rained more. I was not overly impressed by said glacier. I am hiking on Fox Glacier on Day 10, hopefully glaciers are more impressive as you hike on top of them. Good scenery from there to here. My camper van smells like wet, stinky European. From now on I think I will only pick up female hitchhikers……

Happy Valentines Day.
or not...


Blogger Patty said...

Happy Valentines Day Larry!!! Enjoy your travels, photos are looking amazing. If you have extra time google the burgess zz top wedding. Paul and I got married by Billy F Gibbons. It was great fun and a story for the story books. Off to buy our house tomorrow, thanks again for the supplies. Travel safe my friend!

February 18, 2008 8:14 PM  
Blogger Matt Clipper said...

Great stuff, Larry! Love the photos, and stories. You need more juicy bits in both the photos and stories though. (Come on, I know you've got'em.)

To Patty... I Googled your wedding video, and I must say it was interesting, but I was disappointed you didn't walk down the isle to "Sharp Dressed Man".

February 19, 2008 5:57 PM  

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