We finally have access to a computer albeit at $1 for 10 minutes so I'll have to type quickly - please forgive any typos. We are on the West Coast of South Island now, in Fox Glacier (the village, not the lump of ice although hopefully we'll be going there in the morning). It is absolutely pouring with rain although it's not chilly. We have a great room at the hostel here, it has a big picture window so it's like sleeping in the rainforest!
We've been up to all sorts of great things since I last wrote and I have quite a few pictures to add when that is a possibility - not today, sorry. We had a great time in Taranaki - it's the sticky out bit partway down the west coast of North Island. We met up with Brian and Jo which was great although Jo is fed up with the hassle of teaching - don't we know about that - and hoping for a different job. We also met up with some wonderful quilters that I got to know through my quilting blog. I'll write all about that over on Online Quilting but I just have to say here what a fantastic time we had with Debbie (and Ian) and with Michelle (and Stefan).
We headed southwards, stayed in a wonderful hostel overlooking the sea in Paekakariki and then got the Interislander ferry to Picton on Sunday. More quilting-related activities followed - a meeting with Yvonne (and Gary) and then a fantastic evening with Yvonne and the Picton Quilters who were hosting a group from Australia. More photos will appear on Online Quilting asap.
Yesterday we visited the Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki, a fantastic rock formation with which we were very impressed - even though the tide wasn't high enough for the blowholes to be doing their thing. We also had a walk through the wonderful rainforest to the beach near our hostel - quite mysterious and magical but a bit full of bitey things! I also managed to twist my back so now I know how Al feels all the time. Apart for the journey down State Highway 6 today we are taking it easy, just food stops (remember the Cafe de Paris in Hokitika Did & Saz? We had brunch there today, 10/10 French Toast-style crepes for me, full breakfast for Al) and sightseeing from the car. The rain has been very wet for the first time on our holiday, other times have been showery and then cleared. I suppose it is to be expected on the West Coast - it's a bit like Cornwall or West Scotland - and things don't get so green and lush without rain.
The plan for tomorrow, back permitting, is to walk to the terminal face of the Fox Glacier. We will be in Te Anau in the Fjords over Easter and I hope I will get more internet access then. In the meantime, lots of love and hugs and Happy Easter to you all in anticipation.