|We hike a short .8 miles from the jetty to Glade House. There we are greeted with afternoon tea and check into our rooms.
We are not disappointed in our rooms. They are beautiful and clean, with a queen sized bed and private bathroom. After tea, our guides take us on a guided nature walk for about an hour. We get back in time for an hour or two of socializing and meeting our fellow hikers. They sell local New Zealand wines and beers at the lodges. After a wonderful dinner, we have the silliest orientation meeting we have ever been to in our lives. It was so stupid it was hysterical! We were all laughing so hard. Other hikers are from New Zealand, Australia, and Great Britain. There is one German couple, one Canadian, and one Japanese. Each group went up as a country, and among other things, had to pick a song and sing it. So that Yumi from Japan did not have to sing alone, Hisa, one of our guides, who is originally from Japan, helped her out. I can the only Canadian, and so that I would not have to sing alone, Deborah, with triple citizenship in USA, Canada, and Great Britain, came back up front with me. So its the end of day one and we are already making good friends with our guides and our 50 fellow hikers.