Paradise City

Trip Start Oct 30, 2012
Trip End May 30, 2013

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Where I stayed
DOC campground

Flag of New Zealand  , Otago,
Thursday, March 21, 2013

Everything was soaking wet with dew or frost in the morning. Being in the high mountains, it takes a lot longer for the rising sun to actually touch the ground around and be visible over the peaks. But suddenly, we were bathed in bright light and everything changed. The cold stream was now a laughing brook. The sinister forest was now an enchanted wood. So we packed everything up and headed in!

Using a top-map, we could see that there was an old tramway to follow that would lead to a disused mine. Brian was set upon his path!

A beautiful walk through a mossy wood. Brian imagined that it was Fangorn's Forest and I worked on photographing the mossy loveliness.

We ventured off the trail in the direction of the mine feeling like true explorers searching for lost treasure. But all evidence of the mine is long gone by now, so our adventure seeking was cut short.  Instead, we continued on the trail to Sylvan Lake and were rewarded with mirror-like reflections of the scenery around.

Then we set off to one of the 'great walks' of New Zealand. I really love how all the 'tourist attractions' have to do with the natural landscape. We went to walk the first bit of the Routeburn track. 2 parking lots FULL of cars and even a bus parking lot (busses?). In our one hour walk, we must have passed 6 different groups doing the hike. But the track was beautiful. It was interesting seeing a rain forest in a different climate. All moss and ferns, but still dripping wet even though it's been dry. Instantly, the temperature dropped several degrees and I found myself marching quickly to stay warm.

Went only a short distance down the road to another camp ground (too pretty here to move on yet). Kinloch is a tiny little place that consists of a campground (grass and outhouse) and a lodge/restaurant, a few houses down the road and a beautiful shoreline surrounding the blue waters of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by...mountains! Quiet, solitude, bliss.

Brian busied himself with skipping stones and I wandered off along the river beds with my camera, squishing my toes in soft clay, cleansing them in clear glacier run off, watching the birds, and finding hidden waterfalls.

That evening, as shadows slowly started their climb up the sides of the mountain on the eastern shore, the daylight started to fade and I watched the clouds that had formed on the mountain tops like little halos, turn soft and pink in the setting sun...

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