I finally did get around to doing the Rob Roy Glacier day hike outside of Wanaka, billed by many as “spectacular” and “the best day hike on the South Island.”
The best part about the hike was spying Cascade Saddle from the Aspiring side and appreciating just how high I climbed when I went up it from the Dart Glacier side.
Rob Roy the Glacier, much like “Rob Roy” the movie, was way, way, way oversold as a blockbuster when the reality was something far more modest. It wasn’t awful, just not very appealing, kind of boring and certainly not “spectacular.” Most definitely not the best day hike in the Wanaka area, nevermind the entire South Island.
It’s all about marketing in the end, isn’t it?
In any case, the following day it was pouring rain so I had a flat white (a New Zealand thing… sort of like a latte) at a cafe and then checked out the famous Cinema Paradiso. No, not the movie “Cinema Paradiso,” but the Wanaka business inspired by it. They converted a room into a movie theater and filled it with old recliners and sofas from Goodwill sorts of places (called “op shops” here) as well as an old car (a Morris, if I recall). They sell pizzas and cookies and actual food, not just popcorn, and midway through the movie there’s an intermission when most everyone gets up for more wine and beer.
It sounds like a good ol’ laidback time and a great social activity (and it is), so of course I disliked it.
The concept was okay, but flawed by the horrific pizza I had… no salt anywhere in it… I’m not saying things have to be salty, but if you don’t salt the dough (which was cardboard-like, the way Kiwis apparently like their pizza dough, or so I was informed when I made proper pizza for staff lunch at my old job and people complained it was too doughy), don’t salt the sauce and don’t salt the toppings, you are left with a disc of something that hopes to come back in its next life as food.
Also, the movie they were showing was “Sherlock Holmes,” the recent version with Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law which I now pronounce a pile of monkey nuggets. Ugh. Hated it.
Anyway, here are some pictures of the underwhelming Rob Roy walk.