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Wanaka Fox Glacier

24th January 2012

An Embarrassing Time on the Beach and an Evening with The Iron Lady

Mount Aspiring National Park from Eely Point
    It was a slow start to today. The trio next door were off canyoning. My morning and early afternoon was spent catching up on chores: blog catch up, backups of my files, burning photos onto CDs and posting them back home, laundry, changing my bedding, buying food. Oh what fun!
    When completed I had breakfast at 2:30pm, what decadence. Today was not a day for strenuous activity. Despite the early morning 4�C, the temperature was now 24�C, a real scorcher.
Wanaka from Eely Point
    I decided to just hover around the local area, starting with Beacon Point Recreational Reserve on the lake. It was a fairly short drive, and seeing a few vehicles on the beach when I got there, I decided to do likewise. Bad move, very bad move. What had appeared to be compact gravel was actually loose shingle and I soon found myself stranded like a beached whale, with my wheels just digging deeper ruts for themselves. I cursed fluently at my stupidity. I soon gathered a small crowd of onlookers who soon offered to push, but I was still sinking down vertically rather than moving horizontally.
Mount Aspiring Far Beyond Glendhu Bay
    A kiwi woman shouted across, "Why don't we do this the easy way?" and she tossed a tow-rope across as she climbed into her large 4WD wagon. Even then it was a long-winded process with the 4WD losing traction on the shingle itself. With the wagon and five hefty guys pushing, I eventually reached safe ground.
    I thanked the rescue team profusely, and once I was safely parked on terra firma, I gathered all the beers I had in the car and set about distributing them amongst the team. The guy who first came to my aid was a pomme, who moved to Australia 41 years ago when he was 19. He later moved to New Zealand for the better quality of life, and was now a content man.
    The lady who had towed me was an ever so friendly person, and upon asking me about my travels, she listened attentively to my tale. "You have obviously done your research," she said. "Yes, but I didn't research this beach well," I replied, and we both laughed.
    To minimise my embarrassment I decided to exit the area and moved on to Eely Point where I wouldn't be recognised as that stupid Englishman. Here, I strolled along the beach, and just sat on a rock and admired the scenery. The only disturbance to the idyllic surroundings were the dozens of boats buzzing around pulling water skiers or rubber inflatables.
    Once I was bored to tears with that exertion, I drove around to the Mount Aspiring Viewpoint on the Glendhu Bay and admired the mount.
    It is hard work doing nothing, and still not knowing what to do with myself, I returned to town, checked out what was on at the two cinemas. One used couches instead of seats, a morris minor for those wanting a bit of privacy, and served up cookies. There was nothing on there that I wanted to see. Thus I drove up to the Ruby's cinema just outside of town to see if there were any seats left for this evening's performance of The Iron Lady. There was only one seat left, so I took it. Just at that point an elderly Scottish couple walked in. The film they wanted to see started 15 minutes ago. "It's alright," said Geordie, the woman who seemed to be running the cinema, "I'll start it again." It transpired that they would be the only two people watching the film.
Ruby's Cinema
    To kill time until the film was due to start, I replenished my beer stocks, and then casually strolled in the heavy, stifling heat. I arrived back at Ruby's with a little time to spare. It was based on the outskirts of town in building that was half modern and half rock face. Tables were sprinkled inside and outside for wining and dining, and the interior of the rock face was actually an artificial climbing wall. The cinema was in the basement. The design of the complex was quite clever.
    The duly appointed hour arrived and our assembled small crowd guided ourselves in. There were probably only 40 seats in the theatre; nice and cosy.
    I had not come across any reviews of the film, so I went into it cold. I won't go into my deepest feelings about her leadership style, her principles and how she had tainted future generations - the "Thatcher children". The trade unions did need to be curbed, but to be almost dismantled was appalling, and the resulting rifts created in communities was unforgivable. Her legacy will be around for generations.
    However, I came out of the film unsettled. The juxtaposition of her political life, with her life as a wife and mother as seen through the eyes of an old woman grieving for her lost husband created a precarious imbalance for me. Images of her alone grieving dredged up emotions that I thought I'd managed to suppress. That aspect of the film took a strong hold of me, and as I said, for me it was unsettling. Perhaps I'm becoming an old fool.
    I didn't linger after the film, but returned promptly back to camp, where I found my neighbours had thoroughly enjoyed their canyoning experience. They had told me earlier about a bar that served Brewskis, output from a local microbrewery, so I wandered off there to sample the ale on my last night in Wanaka. I spent a long while in silence, sipping a solitary beer and reflecting on the film.

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Wanaka Fox Glacier

Uploaded from Holiday Park, Fox Glacier on 25th January at 22:00

Last updated 30.1.2012