This is rather incomplete and out of date, but I thought I should publish it anyway.
Nicky & I are on holiday.
Nicky’s best friend from teenage years, Jude is in New Zealand - mainly because Alex, their son is working in Wellington.
As part of their trip they planned a week touring (some of) the South Island in a campervan including a couple of days in Te Anau with us, so we decided to borrow a campervan and gate-crash their trip.
As it turned out, the “borrow” part of that plan didn’t work out as the campervan in question had some sort of mechanical issue, so at the last minute we had to rent one, but managed to get one that needed relocation to Christchurch at a bargain daily rate.
Jude & Tim, and Alex & Amy (girl friend) arrived in Queenstown on Saturday. We met them at the airport, where they collected their budget campervan. I traveled with Tim & Alex & Amy in the van, whilst Jude & Nicky chatted in the car.
About 40km from Te Anau, Tim went to change gear, and was unable to select any gear - the clutch release mechanism had failed. Not an hydraulic clutch, so nothing I could do. We were quite remote, so I took the drivers seat & drove the rest of the way to Te Anau without the clutch, where Tim then contacted the rental company.
A replacement van was promised for Monday, and worked out ok as they were booked on a Doubtful Sound trip on Monday, and planned to leave Tuesday.
We left Te Anau on Wednesday & headed for Queenstown, all in the replacement van. Nicky & Roo we’re picking their van up early Wednesday morning, so after a pleasant afternoon in Arrowtown, Jude et al set off for Haast, whilst Nicky & Roo stayed with another midwife in Arrowtown.
The next day, the weather turned winter again. Jude’s party had planned a longish walk at Franz Josef Glacier, but the weather wasn’t conducive, so they got soaking wet on a short walk, whilst Nicky & Roo drove to catch them at Franz.
Next day was less torrential, so after visiting the Kiwi recovery house and seeing Rowi, we went for a walk as far as you are allowed to up the glacier valley to get a view of the toe of the glacier. It seems to me to be receding very quickly (from my memory of it a few years ago).