It has been 30 years since we met on a little boat crossing from England to Belgium. Who would have thought we would be on the other side on the world celebrating.
Saturday, May 22, 2021
Caroline was given a short packing list (*)and told to pack for an unknown destination. The list included gumboots for muddy conditions and warm layers for cold weather. Once Stephen’s work was over for the day, we jumped in the car, grabbed a coffee to go and headed South. The destination was still a surprise for Caroline, but it was not long before she decided we were heading to Wellington for the night.
(*) which included everything from hiking shoes over gumboots and warm layers to outfits for fine dining – so more shoes.
Sunday, May 23, 2021
We were up early to catch our flight to Queenstown. Caroline was starting to work out where we were going. Stopped in Wanaka for coffee and cakes, and of course to see the lake again. We continued North to Lindis Pass, separating the valleys of the Lindis and Ahuriri Rivers. It was almost certain now that Caroline knew that we were going to The Lindis, being a lodge located on the Ahuriri River in Ahuriri Valley.
Once we arrived we enjoyed the champagne left on ice for us in our room. And without wasting any time, took a lovely one hour walk around the grounds to enjoy the amazing scenery of the valley. The evening was spent relaxing, eating and drinking.
Monday, May 24, 2021
After breakfast, we went short 1-hour walk around the property. Then picked up our packed lunched and Andy took us to Ben Avon Station from where we walked up to Ben Avon Saddle. The walk was a little challenging, but we were rewarded with wonderful views from the ridge. Returned to the lodge to relax before another night of fine dining and paired wines.
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Woke up to a very frosty morning and mountain tops catching the morning sun.After breakfast we did another walk around the property. This time stephen continued to the Te Araroa trail and the backside of Ben Avon to circumnavigate the hill, returning via Ben Avon Saddle. The entire loop was 28 kms (17 miles) and four very cold boots-off river crossings.
This was our final night in the lodge, and like the other nights we were treated to more fine food and wine. We very much enjoyed our stay, and maybe one-day will return.
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
Time to move on,so we headed to Queenstown after a short ride to Birchwood down a rough 4wd track and then to Omarama, just to check it out (not much there). Queenstown was cold, but we ventured out and enjoyed the peace and quiet of missing tourists. Queenstown is not really our kind of town, but served as a good place to stop before heading back to Wellington.
Thursday, May 27, 2021
Breakfast in the hotel after which we packed up and headed to the airport. The trip is coming to an end, and what a lovely trip it was.