Lauren and David in New Zealand and Fiji 2007-2008 travel blog







We woke up on Christmas morning and had a delicious breakfast at our hotel. We only had to drive an hour to our next destination so we decided to take a side trip to Lake Matheson, home to a supposedly famous view of "reflection mirror" lake. It was only about a 10 minute drive...when we got there we started the walk which we thought to be short. Wrong. Turns out it's about 50 minutes (each way!) to the view, and I had only worn my flip-flops...bad idea. To make matters worse, the view was a big nothing, as clouds had rolled in en route. Oh well, at least we had hiked off our breakfast. One thing is for sure...we are certainly getting in shape on this trip!!!

After our walk we headed in the car to our current destination, Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge. If I said we were in the middle of nowhere before, I was lying...we are now officially there!! The lodge has 20 rooms, motel style, and is situated between a rainforest and a lake that was formed originally by a glacier. It was mostly nice outside when we arrived, so we signed up for a guided walk/kayak trip, one of two trips they offer here on a daily basis. We ended up going with a family from Yorkshire, a Mom/Dad, 11 year old Jack and 13 year old Molly. Our guides name was Corey, and he wins the award for not only being the most bizarre guide on our trip thus far, but also for having the longest nose hair of any man in New Zealand. To make our trip even more "special" it began to torrentially downpour about 20 minutes into our 4 hour trip. Corey seemed too busy making strange bird calls and pointing out different types of leaves on the 4 million different rainforest trees than noticing that we were soaked...and freezing cold.

The only thing that allowed us to survive the trip was the non-stop giggling and laughter of Molly and her Mom. We still haven't quite figured out what they were laughing at, but somehow they succeeded in making the horrifically wet, miserable, and difficult upstream kayak trip enjoyable. Afterwards we wring out our clothes and headed back to our room, where it proceeded to rain as hard as I have ever seen rain for the next 3 ½ hours.

This place is so remote that there is no other option to eat than at the lodge. They do a three course meal in their dining room and you sit with other guests. We were seated at dinner with an adorably cute older couple from Amsterdam who didn't speak a word of English, and a father and son duo from rural Virginia. The boy Jackson sure was cute, but both David and I were a little frightened by the father. Dinner was surprisingly good, and afterwards we sat with the family we had kayaked with for a few drinks. The laughter continued as we made fun of each others accents...they got a real kick out of David's inability to pronounce his "er"'s...and we both agreed it was one of the more fun evenings we have had yet here.

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