Nov. 7, 2012 We arrived in Wanaka (pronounced “wanna ka”) yesterday with the intent of taking the bus to Te Anau today. This is really the first time we have had difficulties in scheduling our trips. Try as we might we could not get our bus schedule to work. We successfully booked to Queenstown but the trip on the Te Anau showed closed. After trying to figure it out on the internet and with the hostel owner helping, we contacted Intercity. It seems that the list of passengers from Queenstown to Te Anau had already been picked up by the bus driver (at 2pm in the afternoon) and it was impossible to book seats even though only two people were scheduled to take that bus. We could not cancel our Wanaka to Queenstown tickets because their office was closed so I sent an email canceling it.
Nov. 8, 2012 G and I arose knowing we had to take care of this scheduling mess. First, he called Intercity and canceled our existing reservations. Next we scheduled both legs of our bus trip for the 9th. Finally, we called to make reservations at the YHA for our lodging. Ahh, the best laid plans…! No rooms were available for that day, so we booked in for the following 4 days and then had to discuss what to do. We decided it would be simplest to spend the night at another hostel in Te Anau and then move to the YHA. We were lucky we found another space available.
I really think God wanted us to spend 2 days in Wanaka. It is the most beautiful small town we have been in. The downtown faces a blue lake that extends for miles and miles. Framing the lake are snowcapped mountains.
You can walk by the lake, sit on its beach or relax on a bench. Each evening, G and I with our blue plastic glasses would head down to the lake. We would toast each other with a small amount of wine and watch the sun disappear behind the mountains. Then we would walk up hill to our hostel. All these hostels differ. This one is a large room which is partially underground. It has windows which look at the green grass of the back yard. It also has hooks and towel bars plus bed side tables with lamps! We are in 7th heaven. Unfortunately, the door screeched terribly when it was opened. Super G to the rescue! He sprayed the hinges with our tropical strength DEET and magically the noise disappeared!
Besides spooning by the lake, our favorite activity was Puzzle World. Oh, what fun! They had a maze made out of picket fences with towers on all 4 corners. It was a large rectangle with two sets of bridges perpendicular to each other. You could walk in either direction on the bridge except this was complicated by the fact that there was not immediate access between the sides. You had to find the right staircase going in the right direction to get anywhere. There were at least 10 different stair cases which added to the difficulty of the maze. Anyway, the object was to reach each corner and climb the stairs to their respective tops. It should take between 30 minutes and an hour. It took us one hour and 15 minutes. We did not realize that it was not cheating to stand on the bridges and assess the situation. You could not come close to figuring out the pattern but it did give one a sense of direction. Once that was accomplished, we went inside and had coffee and tried to solve the puzzles on the tables. We succeeded at the tangrams but could not solve the mystery of the ring on the pole. That one was supposed to take 15 minutes.
I drew a copy of it and will mull it over. G wants to look up the answer on the computer. Shame, shame on him!
Oh, I forgot to tell you we had to hike 45 minutes to Puzzle World. 40 minutes into it we discovered we had taken the wrong road. You could look over a large pasture and see it located on the road way over there. Unfortunately, there were no cross roads to take and G adamantly refused to crawl over the fence because it was labeled “Dangerous, no trespassing”. One would think it was an old arsenal. So we got a lot of exercise today in the hot sun and neither of us could keep our eyes open past 9pm. Such sweet sleep!