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Wanaka, New Zealand, New Zealand

Amdittedly it was already dark when we set off, but it wasn't particularly late, and we were driving down the main north-south highway on the south island, so it was with increasing disbelief that we eventually counted a total of 9 cars going in the opposite direction ... in over FOUR HOURS of driving!! That's New Zealand for you. To my continuing regret (it always makes me shudder) I managed to kill a possum out for an evening stroll, but luckily was able to safely avoid another and so, dazed and exhausted after a huge day of driving, trekking and more driving, we reached the Lakeside town of Wanaka at about midnight. Having been out of Mobile range for nigh on two days, we hadn't got around to pre-booking any accommodation which rapidly changed from an "Oh never mind" situation to an "Oh shit" one as we ricocheted from one "No vacancy" to another, via a couple of "F*** off it's midnights"s along the way. Eventually the boys found a hotel foyer with comfortable sofas and resolved to sleep there while I took the passenger seat of the car, but a short while after I had got comfortable they re-appeared having located the night manager and negotiated a triple room.

Wanaka had a lot of autumnal potential - a pretty tree-ringed lake backing on to more mountains, but the following morning dawned grey and drizzly so we pressed on to Stuart Landsborough's Puzzling World, where we spent a fun few hours negotiating mazes; marvelling at all sorts of brilliant optical illusions; and giving ourselves brain ache trying to solve myriad puzzles and games. It was all too much for Alan, who fell asleep in the cafe and started snoring. Comedy.

permalink written by  Alex Kent on December 12, 2007 from Wanaka, New Zealand, New Zealand
from the travel blog: On the Varieties of Nature
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