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This is a story about a day out I had yesterday with 3 good friends, 2 planes and the West Coast at our front door.
We had been planning this scenic flight for 2 years, waiting for the perfect day. We all live in the stunning location of Lake Wanaka, all of us having lived here our whole lives. I was to fly with my friend Dick. He is in his early 80's and knows only too well what a wonderful gateway of adventure and fun Wanaka really is.
The day arrived and It was a absolute stunner. We met up at a leisurely 9.30 at the U-FLY office where we had the planes readied. We were off to visit Dick's friend at Gorge River and we also wanted to buy his latest book. Flying into his remote West Coast home meant he could sign the book for us and that we could enjoy a seaside picnic while we were there.
We took off, with 2 people in each plane and a full picnic and goodies in each plane for our friends over the coast - including a bunch of red roses for the lady of the house. We flew past Mount Aspiring and then over the Rob Roy Glacier which was glittering in the still crisp bright morning light.
Dick told me how he had walked the track many years ago and said the Rob Roy track is one of the best walks around Wanaka. I mentally took note to add that to my list of must-dos in my own home town. In only a few minutes and we could see the sea and we dropped over the stunning Southern Alps and down onto the West Coast.
The sea was emerald and sparkling and winking up at us, just inviting the fish rods we had in the boot. We arrived at Gorge River and there was the supply plane already on the airstrip. We landed and walked up to the house and had a great catch up over hot tea, home made muffins and cake. We went to the river and fished, the sea was rolling in and I marvelled at the thought that we had come from Wanaka in just over an hour to this remote and beautifully rugged coast.
I could see why Robert Long had chosen to live here... Click here to read Part 2.