|Foot Bridge at Rainbow Reach|
|View of Marian Lake (center) from Key Summit|
|Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu|
|Bungy Jumping from Bob's Peak|
We drove up through the Central Otago Valley, which is home to more than 75 wineries although we only stopped at one. Driving along side the Kawarau River, we couldn't help but stop when we saw a sign for 'Roaring Meg Lookout' (Ruthie has a sister that goes by 'Meg').
|Roaring Meg Lookout|
The next day the four of us hiked up to Hooper Lake which is at the foot of a glacier. There were literally hundreds of other hikers on the same trail but it was such a spectacular hike that we didn't mind. Each turn opened another jaw-dropping vista and we'd all get our cameras out and say, "I gotta get a picture of this!"
After our hike we drove to the village nearest the campground. In the beginning of the last century, a hotel was built to house the tourists who flocked there even though it took days of arduous travel to get there. It has been revamped many times and now is a luxurious 5-star hotel that has drop-dead-gorgeous views of the mountains. We had a couple of drinks in their elegant bar. Oddly, I bought a 2-liter container of ice cream from their gift store, which we decimated after our dinner that night. The only good thing about saying good-bye to Beth and Norm the next day was knowing that we would see them again soon on the North Island.
|Hanging Out in the Van at Cammeron Campground|
There had been fair warning. We had been told about the notorious sand flies in New Zealand but we hadn't yet encountered them - until now. Millions of them. Biting, blood-sucking evil little creatures. A little research told us that it's the female that bites as she needs the blood to be able to lay eggs; the male is able to survive off of sap from plants. Whereas a good, strong insect repellent did keep them from biting they were so thick that you could inhale a mouthful just by breathing normally. We spent the evening sitting in the van. Gradually, more campers arrived for the night and one young couple parked near us. Not that we had a problem with that but they kept opening and closing the sliding side door of their van. Now, Ruthie and I are patient people and we try to understand that other people may have issues of which we're not aware. However, when this side door opening and closing continued on frequently up to 3:00am, I got mad. Finally, I grabbed our very bright flashlight and shone it on their van, which suddenly gave them instant daylight. The side door opened once more, the young man climbed out and came over to us. In a heavy German accent, he said, "Our van has mice in it! They're climbing all over us! I don't know what to do!" Being both angry and sleep deprived, I wasn't very helpful or polite. The side door of their van open and closed once more. The engine started and they drove away.