Wanaka: By the lake
We had just about missed the ski season in Wanaka. With things winding down before the summer months the town was relatively quiet. In an effort to expend some calories instead of sitting on buses all day, we went for a stroll along the lake where, for a change, the pace wouldn’t be dictated by any deadlines. We headed along the track to Waterfall Creek where you can look back on the town, then decided to go all out and continue on to do the Millenium Walkway aswell.
This walk takes you a good distance along the lake with benches placed at intervals along the way to stop for a rest and take in the scenery. It’s a very peaceful place. As you sit there, the slight breeze carries no sound at all apart from the distant lapping of waves on one of the miniature beaches along the shore. The lake water is a bright deep blue, with sparkles of sunlight on the crests of the tiny waves rippling along the surface. Up close the bright green grass around the track contrasts with the water and in the background the mountains reach up into icy peaks that dazzle you with reflected light. It’s hard to imagine growing tired of this view which endlessly changes with the seasons.
After covering about 12 kilometres along the tracks and back to town, we busied ourselves booking accommodation and transport for our last few days in New Zealand. Time slipped by until it was almost 10pm and we were only heading out for some dinner, having bypassed lunch. We had been lulled into a false sense of security on seeing the pubs and restaurants still going strong at 11pm on Sunday night. However by 10pm on a Monday night, the streets are empty and the only restaurants with lights still on are the ones where the staff are sweeping floors and stacking furniture. Brodie’s sense of righteous indignation was growing as we wandered around in search of whatever was the best option left. Midway through a grandiose rant about the stupidity of the closing hours of the entire country of New Zealand, he was rendered speechless on seeing that the Indian restaurant he for some reason thought would be his saviour, was most definitely shut. It was time to give up and return to the hostel.
In what was definitely our last chance to find food that night, Brodie enquired at the hostel bar if, by any chance, they might be serving any food at all. Chips or wedges? Sold! With a strong sense that the barman was merely taking pity on us fools, we parted with $12 and sat back to listen to some good music while we waited. The barman eventually returned with a massive bowl of chips. This was looking good. He deposited them in front of Brodie and announced he would return with serviettes and the second bowl. At this point Brodie’s eyes were as big as saucers as he prepared to launch an all-out attack on the mound of food in front of him. “Hard to get food at this time of night around here, isn’t it?”, the barman commented with a smile on seeing how fast we demolished the food in front of us. We were too busy eating to reply.