Day 14: Glaciers and sandfly attack

We started the following day with a 3 hour walk around Okarito Lagoon. We were already close to the glaciers and could afford to spend the morning wandering around the only untouched by humans lagoon on the West Coast. It was a relaxing walk in the forest, yet this time we didn’t get a reward. When we arrived to the end of the track, which was supposed to expose fantastic views of the lagoon with reflection of Southern Alps, we found that the path was closed! What a disappointment. This was a lesson that it’s always best to enquire at an information centre before setting off.

Our next stop for the day were the Glaciers – Franz Joseph and Fox. Initially we wanted to sign up for a guided tour on a glacier, but it was not cheap and we went to see both glaciers from closeby to check if it’s something worth spending $350 for. After visiting both, we figured it was not. Walking tracks for both glaciers ended right where the ice was starting and so we could get a better understanding of what the trip would involve. It might have been a great adventure, but we were sure we could better invest our money. New Zealand is far from being a cheap country and we had to distribute our funds well. The glaciers didn’t make a big impression on us. Maybe it was partly because it was such a hugely touristic place. Until now we didn’t come across such a big number of tourists anywhere in NZ, but the glaciers are a major tourist draw in here so I guess being one on one with nature was impossible within 30km of the glaciers.

We headed to Wanaka – a little town on the southern shore of Wanaka Lake. We didn’t stop for the night in the town itself because we knew from experience that the best and cheapest campsites were in the middle of nowhere. In this case it was a cute little campsite right on the shore of lake Wanaka. When we went to the beach we could not believe the views. We had mountains at 360 degrees and lake right in front of us. We had a real photographic feast at dusk and dawn.

The only down side to that location were sandflies. That night my immunity to insects went to history. It was normal that they attacked Ale, after all any buzzing fella is after him, but they never paid much attention to me. It turned out that sandflies are not fussy, they feed on any flesh. They were so bad we had to have dinner in the van.









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