March 29th 2017
Lake Hayes – Queenstown
Total distance: 1677.9 miles
The only problem with camping in someone’s garden is when you wake up and need to go to the toilet. It was cold and damp and misty as we were so close to the lake and I packed up as quick as I could so I could walk the few minutes down the road to a public toilet. It was a little bit off the trail but when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go.
As we started to walk around the lake we saw Mike, the owner of the house whose garden we camped in, after thanking him again for being so kind we walked along the wide gravel path that would take us all the way to Queenstown. It was a beautiful morning, the sun was hot but the air was crisp and cold and the clouds were hanging low in the valley over the lake.
We then started to enter the outskirts of Queenstown and had a few roads to cross, following the trail into some residential areas where the houses looked big and expensive. They all had the mandatory trampoline and boat outside. I think New Zealand is single handily keeping the trampoline business afloat, almost every house has one, and it’s a standard warning to secure your trampoline when there are bad weather predictions.
The trail is a nice cruise, until we pass the sewerage works and hit the industrial park, just like in the north island, and on every other trail, there are some undesirable parts! We carried on down the road and stopped when we got to a little business park just outside Frankton which looked very new, in fact it was still being built. We went to Countdown and bought some food to eat while Colin went into a shop to sort out his phone case. After 4 croissants and a chocolate milk I felt pretty sick.
We sat for a while and chatted to a few people until I decided I wanted to push on to Queenstown. Just down the road there was a McDonald’s, so I popped in to get a refillable soda and to use their wifi to download a bunch of stuff. The yha wifi is always a bit hit and miss so I just wanted to get that task out the way.
I had been in there a while and I get a text from Sandy to say they have stopped at the Devil restaurant. I googled it. Couldn’t see it anywhere. So I text back to tell them I was in McDonald’s. She appeared about 5 seconds later and scared me half to death. Devil restaurant = McDonald’s! Of course! We had been sat in the same place without realising it. After about an hour of using the wifi I set off again for Queenstown. It was a lovely walk along the Frankton Arm of Lake Wakatipu.
Once in the city I went straight to the post office to pick up a package sent from my friend Laura in England, found the YHA and checked in. It was so hot I had sweat popping out of my face, although it could have just been me feeling weird, I didn’t feel great after a poor nights sleep. I got myself organised, resisted eating all of the good stuff Laura sent me, and decided to go and have a little explore around town.
The famous Ferg burger had a large queue outside and I wasn’t hungry so I decided to save that one for tomorrow. I wondered around the 4 square, checking my resupply options, on my way out I heard someone yelling Puff Puff and it was Colin, Sandy, Markus and Kitt who were sitting on the ground next to the Spark wifi booth looking the most like homeless people they have looked so far. I sat with them for a while before continuing my wondering.
Queenstown is a nice place, but overrun with tourists. It is purely a tourist town, with hundreds of places trying to sell you experiences. Jet boat rides, bungee jumps, tours, flights etc. It’s everywhere you turn. I was hungry but couldn’t make a decision about what to have, plus there were too many people looking too normal everywhere for me to feel ok to go out and sit by myself, which normally wouldn’t bother me. I stumbled on a food court with reasonably priced food from different parts of the world. I settled on a mediocre Pad Thai which did the job of filling a hole.
Back at the hostel it was time to get the chores out the way. Shower, laundry, blog. I am in a 4 bed dorm with only one other girl so hopefully it won’t be too noisy. My eyes are so sore it’s a struggle to keep them open.
I’m walking thousands of miles for Just A Drop because everyone should have access to clean water. Please donate here, every little bit helps.