Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Our New Zealand Vacation: Day Seven

Day Seven:  27 December 2013

So we've made it to Friday morning.  Another long day of driving ahead.  For some reason, I've booked us all the way to Greymouth for tonight.  All of the books say that this is an 11 hour drive.  I remember checking all this before I moved us from place to place.  I would have never booked all the way in Greymouth if I'd realised this.  So Mr. Smith went online and found that it was only, like, 6.5 hours drive.  OMG - still!  That's a crazy amount of driving.

So we went down for breakfast.  Maureen had out-done herself.  The YOGURT!  She made strawberry yogurt from SCRATCH!  It was to die for.  I really enjoyed that.  So there was yogurt, cereal, muesli, toast, butter, jam, fresh squeezed juice and coffee or tea.  She also prepared poached eggs and bacon on toast.  I was stuffed by the time we left.  Awesome!

They also gave us a Christmas gift of chocolates.

Rudy holding our gift - thanks Maureen and Brian!

We decided to travel through Wanaka instead of circling back to Cromwell before turning northwest.  It was shorter and more scenic.  At least it was a scene that we hadn't seen yet.

Then we drove and drove and drove and drove.  Finally, we arrived at Fox Glacier.  It was 13:15 and we needed something to eat.  We stopped at the Cook Saddle Cafe & Saloon.  I ordered fish and chips and Mr. Smith ordered the fish sandwich with fries.  We literally had to wait OVER 45 minutes to get our food.  The food was good, but really.  I wouldn't go back.  A lot of people just left and ate elsewhere.

We drove back to the Fox Glacier parking lot.  We had both ordered cider at lunch, so of course I needed to use the restroom.  Mr. Smith said that I should wait until we got up to the parking lot.  He was sure there would be a restroom.  Great.  Well, there WAS a restroom.  It was unisex with 4 stalls. The toilet I got was full of pee and pubic hair.  Not to mention that a man went before me and left the seat up.  Felt like I needed a tetanus shot upon exiting the restroom, but there was no soap provided.  Only water and no napkins or anything.  I mean, it IS just a parking lot.

So we hiked up a very steep mountain and could see the glacier at a very far distance.  You couldn't get any closer without a guide.

Sign on trail up to Fox Glacier

Apparently all the parts that are whitish are the glacier.

Looking back at the trail.

Yep, that's me in front of the glacier.

So then we got back in the car and continued on our way to Greymouth.  We crossed more one-way bridges.  But then we encountered something very interesting... there was a one-way bridge that cars had to share with TRAINS.  Holy crap!  Are you kidding me?  We were terrified.  LOL

We finally got to Gables Motor Lodge.  It was very nice.  The gentleman at the desk was extremely helpful.  He recommended either the restaurant 50 meters walk away or another in town.  We walked down to the first place, but nothing "jumped out" at Mr. Smith.  So we walked back to the get the car and drove to Speight's Ale House.

The food was good.  Mr. Smith ordered seafood chowder and whitebait fish.  I ordered the bangers and mash.  I asked for no veggies and extra gravy.  They gave me the dish they way they thought I should eat it.  Then Mr. Smith had a kid's banana split and I had the worst coffee ever.

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