Friday, 8 February 2013

Glamping - what happened to back country food?

Happy New Year from our heart's home - Wanaka. We come every year, for at least a month, not least because I have so many cousins around the area; so many of our friends have turned up here over the years, either to holiday or to live. This gorgeous place attracts skiers in winter, swimmers, fisherpeople, sun seekers in the summer, trampers and outdoor sports buffs all year round. We couriered our bikes down as usual, and bought Eve ( fox terrier) with us as accompanied baggage on the plane - easy!
I used to live in the stables in the Uni holidays and took tourists up Mt Iron on horseback, but the stables are long gone and the flanks of Mt Iron are covered in houses. Streams of tourists walk or run! up every day in the summer for exercise and the view, and suburbs swarm where we once gathered mushrooms. There are, however, still vestiges of the old days. . .

Penrith as it used to be, and still is!
We've walked most of the 'Great Walks' but it's always nice to reconnect - this year we decided to walk the Milford track again after 14 years but do it 'guided' this time(a polite term for glamping; glamour tramping). Not, I hasten to add, because we're old and infirm, only cautious. I was sceptical, and I did miss some things, such as macaroni cheese and a slug of scotch in my cocoa, but who could complain about 5 course meals (if you include nibbles and a salad), wine, comfortable beds and duvets, greeted at the door  - in short, treated like royalty in the most stunning environment - honestly,it's picture postcard stuff, there's always something stunning to see.

Every time you look at the Clinton river you'll see trout

The water's so clear you can see every stone

My favourite hut was Pompolona -  luxury in the middle of nowhere, and to top it all - one of the best creme brulees I've had.  Given where we were, who would believe it?

Nearly at the top of the McKinnon Pass - hot cocoa waiting. . 

Just a few clouds to add to the drama at the top - dragon's breath?
Contemplating how far you've walked

 Swimming after lunch

Our friend Sylvia walked those 55 kilometres on reconstructed feet, and we reckon she should be the pin-up girl for the big walks - if she can do it, almost anyone can. . .
We'd recommend it to anyone - the guides are great, everything is provided - packs, pack inners, raincoats, poles, even insect repellent.
As for the food, forget cabin bread, peanut butter and jam

Lava cakes - molten chocolate inside!

or, to put it more delicately, none of us lost any weight. . .


Norma said...

Oh my goodness Rowan, these pics are stunning!! As you say, the Lava cakes are certainly not what one expects on a tramp - heck even I could be (almost!) tempted to don a pair of boots so long as there was a promise of molten chocolate at the end of the day!

(Arrived back in Sydney today, feeling the humidity!!)

Rowan said...

You should get those boots out! WE think the Milford is arguably the most beautiful of the Great Walks, and the easiest (we have walked most of them). There were a couple of over 70's on our walk this time, including one Japanese lady who had been wanting to walk the Milford for 10 years. Finally her daughter agreed to walk with it with her, and she loved it - I would recommend it to anybody.