After a succulent English breakfast with scrambled eggs, bacon and fantastic beef-tomatoes-something else sausages we started driving back to Queenstown and then to Te anau. I started the routine of phoning 2-3 guesthouses, BBH backpackers to find a place to sleep. Te Anau seemed to be fully booked, so I continued phoning from my list without reading too much the description of the place, just the ranking. The 5th one was available so I booked, and only when I fully read the paragraph did I realize that it was not actually in Te Anau, but 9 km away. Dani’s look could have converted me in stone… We continued the road to enter Fiordland, NZ’s rawest wilderness area. So 15 km before Te Anau I entered the name of the place in the GPS, Barnyard Lodge and the very intelligent machine took us around the quickest, yet again another unsealed road. Dani did not say anything but I bet you he was thinking where the hell I had booked us in, and I was starting to get worried. But then 10 meters before the place a proper road!! We were so excited that we missed the entrance!! And then what a fabulous view in front of us. This is our Saint Patrick’s day gift: a rustic charming spacious log cabin, sitting on a hillside just opposite the Kepler mountains. I could not stop saying how lovely the view was, and our bedroom was at least 30 square meters with a decent bathroom. I have gained another medal! It was only 1pm, so we left our things and went to town, this time by the road, not the gravel path that all GPSs apparently send their brainless owners.
Lakeside,peaceful Te Anau is a beautiful place just to sit around and do very little. We aimed to have lunch, so we walked up the main street looking for nice restaurants that were not Italian style, no mistakes, I love Italian, but I always insist to eat local. We got to the Fat Duck and as it was, against all predictions, an incredibly sunny day, we sat outside. We ordered the fish of the day with a mango salad and white wine, of course. The wine was delicious, and the food imaginative, tasty and big size. Great choice of the guide reader!
At this point we already knew, as we had enquired in Queenstown, that we could not do the Milford Track as it was fully booked until 27 April!! A shame, taking it from the pictures and the commentaries, but given that is fairly easy and the amount of tourist doing it, it must look like Hyde Park at the New York marathon. What else can one do in the place that defines the boundary of two very different countrysides: to the east the flat and pastoral central southland and to the west the rugged forested mountains of Fiordland. Well, the Glowworm caves came to the rescue, so we booked the boat at 20.15. The 200 m long system of caves is a magical place with sculpted rocks by the water and dioxide carbon with waterfalls, whirlpools and the glittering glowworms. Very nice until you get the explanation and the fast video with the worms in life, well bugs are not really something I like. We got back to our fantastic room at 11.00pm, straight to bed as Wednesday is Milford Sound, and the cruise in the fiord, already booked on Monday.
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