Today was spent again in the rainforest of New Zealand. We hiked up to a viewpoint of Franz Josef Glacier and saw some amazing views of the glacier, many waterfalls, and the glacial valley area. Kathy sat on her laurels while Dave hiked a bit farther in order to get some closer pictures of the glacier and a beautiful ribbon-like waterfall from the side. A quick lunch, and we were off again. We took a side road to Okarito and trudged straight up a hill to get to some panoramic views of the area. Kathy, who hadn’t slept well the night before, complained about the steep grade on the trail. Finally at the top, it was well worth it!! Beautiful views of the ocean, braided shoreline, and even of Franz Josef Glacier from afar when the clouds parted just enough. During a conversation with some young tourists from England, we discovered that they had started a hike earlier in the week (the Tongariro Alpine Crossing) and quit before finishing the hike. Kathy and Dave had finished that hike and managed to not gloat about their accomplishment. It was hard, though, as they were ~~ 30 years our junior!! (Okay so we are gloating a bit now!!!) We rewarded ourselves after the long hike with “ice cream” from a local street cart (who has the best and most strategic spot I have ever seen, literally a corner on the market—in the parking lot of a trailhead! We have often wondered why more people don’t do this!) While good, in no way does it compare to Donnelly’s or even McDonald’s ice cream. Still good after hiking all day!!
A nice relaxing drive down the road and we stopped at a holiday park. Two more nights, and then back to staying in AirBnB’s. Ahhh, the luxuries of home. Well almost. Looking at the place in Sydney, the shower is totally glassed in and is in the kitchen????? Really? who does that? Should be interesting! Tonight, though, is being spent again in a very basic holiday park that costs the same as a DOC site. At this place, though, we get shore power and a nice, long, hot shower. Kathy is craving some McDonald’s coffee and Dave will be excited to be able to turn over in the bed without worrying if he will fall through to the floor. The almost two weeks in the Toyota campervan (have we mentioned it is small…..very small?) have been interesting, AND yet, we are still happily married! We may be just a bit wiser about each other and some of our “quirks” — something about space that allows a certain amount of mystique!!