Where two next?

Antipodean travelogue through the eyes of two - one textile and one building lover. It'll be hard to differentiate the two!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Southern Scenic Route (15) Invercargill to Te Anua Day 7

We left Papatowai and headed onto Invercargill via McLean falls braving the weather in the process. The trip itself was not particularly long, around 120 kms, but it felt a lot longer.

By the time we got to the Cabbage Tree restaurant just outside Invercargill I was finding it hard to walk without having my arms outstretched and my fists clinched as I had spent the majority of the trip fighting the camper van. Or, put another way, I had acted as an intermediary between the gale force winds and our not so aerodynamic camper van. Pushing a rigid sail perpendicularly through a mild hurricane would have been easier in my opinion! I was constantly correcting the position of the van on the road and bracing myself every time we came to a narrow bridge especially if there was on coming traffic.

We arrived in Invercargill safe and sound and a little relieved to still be in one piece. It was only the following day that we caught the headlines of the local papers and the descriptions of how the gale force winds had literally blown roofs of houses! With hindsight we might have been better off staying another night in the Catlins.

By the time we sat down for our lunch in the Cabbage Tree the torrential rains, driven by the high winds, had put a stop to any notion of exploring the area. The girls settled down into cafes and Internet bars for the afternoon and I went to bed to rest my weary arms! I met up with the girls that night in Thai Dee where we had a nice Thai meal after which we got a taxi back to the holiday park and tried to make the most of the TV Room.

It was a difficult few days in the camper van and the mood wasn't great. To make matters worse we faced another long 180km journey to Te Anau the following morning. We were hoping the storm would have past by then.

We had been couped up in the van for almost three consecutive days and what little appeal it had was quickly disappearing. We decided, for the sake of our sanity, to get out of the camper van for a few hours the next day on the way to Te Anua.

We booked ourselves in for some well earned pampering at a Day Spa in a lovely town called Winton, approx. 30km north of Invergargill. The town had a lovely scale to it and some nice restaurants too. The Day Spa did us all some good and helped break up our journey. The detour took us off the Southern Scenic Route but it was either that or a severe bout of group depression!

The weather had also picked up by the time we left Winton and we were getting that bit closer to the most anticipated part of our trip, the west part of the Southland region. It being the main part of the World Heritage Site mentioned in a previous post.

We arrived into Te Anau, gateway to Doubtful (2) and Milford Sounds (1) late in the afternoon. We settled into a Top 10 holiday park for the next three nights. We ate that night in a nice, cheap and cheerful, Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria called Toscana's.

We had an early enough start the next day as we were heading to Doubtful Sound.

What follows in the next few posts is the top two places to go and visit in New Zealand and although the weather was typical of the sub tropical rain forest we had entered, it didn't dampen the spirits!


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