Wanaka and the Mt.Roy Climb!
Jan 9, 2006
|Driving on the Hasst pass gave us stunning views of the Southern Alps and picture perfect blue lakes.
Stopped at a one-horse town for a sarnie only to find a German complaining about finding glass in his soup!! We double-checked the sandwich before scoffing it down!!
Got to Wanaka around 2pm and it was roasting - too hot to put the tent up, too much like hard work!
Went for a stroll along the lake in the evening to a place called waterfall creek, walked back to the town and sat on the grass by the lake reading our books and watching the para-gliders until the sun started to go down.
Had roast chicken for tea and our first drink of the New Year - 9 days in!! Bottles of NZ beer - Tui.
Up at 8am next day for a big bowl of porridge and a walk - no - hike/climb up Mt.Roy. Which was 1586 metres high.
We set off at a ferocious pace and after 5 minutes had slowed to a snail's pace! It was very steep every step of the way. We thought the lonely planet estimate of 5-6 hours was a bit over the top and we would do it in about 3-4 hours easy - how wrong we were!!
Matters weren't helped when we started to follow sheep tracks instead of the correct track up the mountainside - we laughed at the time but as the climb progressed and muscles ached we cursed those extra 20 minutes of walking.
Saw one guy who had run up and was now running down, he had set off after we had. Bearing in mind that although it is 1.6 km high it is in fact a 8 km hike to the top.
We were about to turn back when we saw an old fella in his 70's who had been to the top and was walking back down - this strengthened our resolve to persevere and not be beaten by an old fogey!
We finally reached the top after 3.5 hours of climbing to be rewarded with spectacular views of Mt.Aspiring national park and snowy peaks. Helicopters were flying below us, which was a strange sensation of how high we were.
Had our ham sandwiches and chocolate bars for lunch at the top - flies were still present even at this height!
Although the walk down was easier than going up it was by no means a doddle as it took its toll on the knees and thigh muscles. The sheep were obviously discussing about how shattered and near death we both looked - we were both so knackered we even found novelty in taking pictures of sheep - a very rare animal indeed!
To top it all off we managed to get badly sunburnt where we hadn't painted ourselves blue with zinc stick.
A thoroughly enjoyable stroll in a national park!!