Well, despite the rustic nature of the hostel, the girls were torn to leave. We all started the day with breakfast and a shower – you can see the shower cubicle above, which isn’t exactly luxurious, but out of the window (well, hole in the wall the size of a window) you can see all the way down to the bay, and if you’re lucky you’ll see dolphins cruising the harbour. Then Charlotte had her last Japanese lesson. She’s really enjoyed talking to, and playing with, the Japanese in the hostel – learning their language and making Origami. She definitely enjoys it more than her daily Maths lesson! Then the morning dragged as the girls took their time packing, and then Emily got the chance to help Anna change the beds, and sort out the toilets in the campsite. By the time we eventually left it was 1 o’clock, and the girls cried, and begged not to leave. But we have to move on – we’ve got a month to see the sights, and for once, have deadlines to meet!
Our journey took us inland, south towards Mount Cook. It took us five and a half hours to reach Lake Tekapo, where we checked into the Tailormade hostel. On the way we’d stopped for ice-creams, email and tea at McDonalds (a great medicine for tearful children), so we arrived at sunset, and was it glorious. The lake was a cobalt blue colour, with the mountains rising in the background. The hostel is in an old wooden house, on the edge of the village). I’ve tried to capture it with the photograph, but I’m not sure if it does it justice – you don’t get the relaxed feel of an alpine town in a photo. The scenery is magnificent, and as we drove over the high meadows we passed through fields plastered with rainbow-coloured lupins.