It was a very mixed-weather kind of a day. Last night was such wild winds I had thought the van may blow over........then I awoke to see snow on the peaks. It rained on and off, the 'off' periods being variably grey and overcast or blue sky and sunshine.
I left the campground in two minds about whether to continue round to Kinloch. In the end, my holiday mantra - just do it! - won through so it was an easy decision. Arrived in Kinloch (population: tiny. I wouldn't be surprised to find it was single figures) with the sunshine teasing us through the clouds and rain. Had a coffee at 'The Lodge' and settled in to simply enjoying the environment. Turns out 'The Lodge' is the house where J's dad was born and raised (his great-grandfather having built it) and J spent her childhood living in the house that was subsequently built behind what is now The Lodge.
Picked up a hitch-hiker just out of Kinloch on the way back an hour or two later - an young man who is 12 days into a 6 week walk following the Te Araroa trail from Bluff to as far north as he can make it......probably Boyle River south of Nelson. What an epic adventure he'll have! Dropped him off in Glenorchy as I wanted to have a look around and by the time I left, he was nowhere to be seen so had obviously been picked up and taken to Queenstown.
My journey back along the lakeside was dotted with many stops as I watched the weather on the lake constantly change. What a stunningly spectacular place..........kind of like the Lake District on steroids.........but without the thousands of people!
Back to J & M's tonight via Fergburger which I gave up on after 15 minutes of trying to get through to place a phone order. As there was no way was I going to queue for an hour just to get a burger, (even if they are world famous) I have resigned myself to not experiencing that particular Queenstown delight. I'm so not heartbroken!
Thanks heaps for the hospitality J & M - lovely to see you all.....I'll be back!