It's been awhile since I chimed in with a blog, but the weather is keeping Red out of reach for longer than we expected. Currently (14 April) she is sitting at the northern end of Barn Bay, about 32km from Jackson Bay where Cuzzie and I will see her for the first time in over a month. Tomorrow or Saturday are looking promising for her to make the last push to meet us.
The past month has been quite different for me, I have had no caged tiger to take out for walks so I have had to fill my days elsewise. After spending some time in Queenstown I popped out to Wanaka where I bumped into Mike and Jan Scanlan. Their friend Ruth kindly made room at the dinner table for me and an enjoyable evening was had sipping wine and playing Backgammon. Thanks for the chance to catch up and all the lovely fresh produce from the garden.
It was then back to Queenstown to organise a food parcel to be taken out to Red. I then flew back to Auckland for work and a chance to visit friends and relatives. I also went down to Napier to attend a fundraiser put on by the Hawke's Bay French Association. They raised $1140 for the Mental Health Foundation in our name. Huge thanks to Franki and the rest of the community. On the fifth I flew back to Queenstown to be reunited with Cuzzie and hopefully soon Red. The weather has not been on our side so I have ended up with ten days to wind around the lower South Island and take in her sights.
I spent a few nights camping at Lake Hayes, it was a great base for Queenstown when I was expecting any day to head out to the West Coast to meet Red. There is a beautiful walking/cycle track around the lake that I would recommend if you are in the area. Not too strenuous and lots of picture opportunities. A stopover near Cromwell produced this shot...
And filled the larder for a few days. Then on to Twizel for a coffee and a sit on the red tractor, before continuing to Lake Tekapo for a look around.
Then for a night in the foothills of Mt Cook. A good spot to curl up in my sleeping bag and finish my book, The Chimes, by kiwi author Anna Smaill. I cannot stop raving about this book! Loved it. Cuzzie didn't like the negative temperatures and was slower than me to get going in the cold morning. When we did it was worth it, picked an absolutly stunning day to climb the track to Muller Hut.
I am now back in Wanaka, the fridge is stocked with lots of yummy fresh food, and tomorrow I will head for Haast and hopefully on to Jackson Bay to meed Red. We are in contact every day and I try to pass on as many of your messages as I can. She has her good days and her bad days, and as always is making friends with the locals as she goes along. Let's all hope the wind is calm tomorrow, or I will have to find more stories for you.