October 4, 2017
The wine for our steak dinner last night was a 2013 Schubert Con Brio from Wairarapa. Interesting wine as it was syrah, merlot and pinot. Aged for 48 months, 35% in new and 65% used French barrels.
Awoke to wind but fairly clear skies and low 60’s. Are staying another night. Drove into town to top up our phone and buy some savory pies (chicken and leek, mince and cheese)at Doughbin that has all sorts of awards for them. This is a ski town so there are all sorts of sales on clothing. LOL, I bought a Burton hooded shirt in NZ. (believe they are a snowboarding outfit out of Vermont!)
From there we went to Puzzle World and went through all of the brain-bending visual illusions. (we did not do the maze). The maze started in 1973, gradually expanding to become an award winning complex of optical illusions and puzzling rooms. It is best known for its Leaning Tower of Wanaka. This relatively tiny place receives over 250,000 people a year! Not overly crowded for us and parking possible in this area 2 km from town. We spoke with a local woman who said they all thought the idea was more than crazy! It was the brainchild of Stuart and Jan Landsborough and obviously quite the success. The tilted house had 15% grades and so much horizontal illusion that Bob and I holding on to each other could barely get through it in all of about 15 seconds. I who have horrible balance was still dizzy 5 minutes later!!
Drove back to the beach and parked for lunch. Still quite windy and we could see “weather” over the mountains. The Doughbin pies were not nearly as good as Jimmies from Roxbourg. We walked into town and out past the marina. Very pleasant. Sat on a bench in town and Bob had an ice cream cone. Fun to people watch in the various cafes. The Chinese roll their pizza slice to eat and take as many pictures of their food as I do!
Back to camp. This morning I learned that there will be one day of sun tomorrow on the entire west coast for the next week. The drive between here and Haast on the coast is supposed to be the most beautiful in all of NZ. Depending on how Bob feels, we will try to drive to Franz Joseph Glacier (265 km, 3 ½ hours) to be able to see it in the sun! The west coast drive is known mostly for the mountain coastal views with the cities not adding too much. We will be playing it by the weather! Thus, we may be going back to the North Island early and doing more touring there.
Relaxing day and quite pleasant. Going into town for dinner at Relish tonight. Purportedly it is a place that locals like to go. Will report tomorrow night. Trying to backload photos from a few days ago when we were in Mt. Cook.