In the morning, the sandflies had taken possession of our beautiful little spot next to the lake, so we moved on after breakfast.
Glenorchy was just a few winding kilometres away, and we enjoyed every bit of them. Mads is going on and on about how fabulous this country would be on a motorcycle, and I tell him it’s pretty fabulous in Børge BumleBus as well. – Nahhh, he knows. 😉
We spent the first part of the day driving around in the area surrounding Glenorchy. Usually, we would stop and go for a walk, but today everyone felt a bit lazy, and seeing the rivers and landscapes from the car suited us just fine to begin with. Several key locations from the Lord of the Rings were found in this region, and it is easy to see why the filming crew found it appropriate – the scenery is quite stunning.
Also, later in the day we had an appointment at Dart Stables, which at least for me would be sufficient activity for that day. Actually, we were all looking very much forward to it. We had lunch from Mrs. Woolly’s General Store which is an amazing place. All kinds of special and high quality groceries as well as fresh sandwiches, salads, and different kinds of snacks. Definitely worth a visit – and they had free wi-fi. We hung out there for a while, before we headed over to Dart Stables.
Dart Stables run horse riding tours for all levels of experience – including mine (almost none/so long ago it doesn’t count). We all found helmets and boots that fit, and then we waited while other riders were matched with horses and sent off.
Frida got Ginger, Ronja got Baxter, Mads got Harry, and Eden was stuck with me. The horses were all wonderful and well groomed, and it was a pleasure to set out for our riding adventure.
We had to stay in line in the order we had been told, otherwise we could mess up things with the natural hierarchy the horses have among them. There were two guides with us, another family of 4, and a woman. We were at the end of the group, with Ronja in front, me behind her, then Mads, and Frida was at the end of the fellowship – so to speak.
The girls have both had riding lessons for quite a while, and Mads has too, though it goes back a few years, so they were all fine. I used to ride a bit with friends long ago, but not much, and I never took lessons, so trotting was a bit of a challenge to me, though I think I managed alright. Still I had the best time – the horses were great, and the landscape beautiful.
The girls faces were frozen in big smiles – especially Frida, she was happy as a clam. We got to cross a big river, which was sooo cool! Awesome way to spend an afternoon – though my legs were a bit sore for a day or two.
It was quite late in the afternoon when we left there, and we had to get all the way to Te Anau in order to keep our schedule – otherwise we would lose an already paid camp site. Noone minded though – gorgeous sunset drive along the Remarkables mountain range and the Kawarau River. We reached Te Anau, just after 9 p.m., looking forward to a good night’s sleep.