|Depart Hokitika: 2580 km (09.50)
It's 18.25 and we're in a pretty crummy motor park in Haast, which is basically a collection of dwellings, a fuel stop and an empty, tiny supermarket and nothing going on. We've already been here an hour and had a cup of tea. There's not much to see or do and the fact that we are surrounded, in very close proximately, by about 30 other campers is enough to keep us shut up inside! Not our idea of a good time sitting in a car park with other tourists.
Anyway, Nick will make us a nice dinner and we might even have to finish that bottle of Shiraz.
Today was actually a bit of a washout. The rain started in the night, and got worse the further we drove. We drove 148km to Franz Josef glacier, and you couldn't see above out 20m. We drove up to the glacier car park, but you couldn't see it and it was lashing down with rain. We decided to go on to Fox Glacier, which was only (ah, if only) 20km further on, on the basis we could always pop back again if the weather improved. Mind you, the forecast there for the next 5 days was rain.
The road to Fox Glacier was awful – tight, windy and narrow. 20km took about 40 minutes. We decided not to bother going back to FJ! We stopped for lunch in a little cafe, and had yummy fish (blue cod) and chips. Nick said it was the nicest batter he'd ever had. We also had a local brew (beer not tea) that was a bit winky.
As it was still lashing it down, we decided to carry on on the road. It was a shame not to see the glaciers, but at least we see them in Austria. We might take a scenic flight over them from Mount Cook if the weather is good there. There was a scenic flight you could take from Franz Josef which covered 200km for 280 dollars (about 100 pounds).
So here we are in rocking Haast. We were expecting more to be honest. Never mind. Tomorrow we'll be in Wanaka which is bigger. Hopefully we'll be able to get some insect bite potion there. Every shop sells about 50 types of insect repellent, but nothing for when you get bitten. I've got one bit on my ankle, and Nick's got about 3 (coz he insists on wearing shorts!) and they are sooooo itchy.