'Back to the family...'

Trip Start Jul 18, 2010
Trip End Mar 04, 2011

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Wednesday, August 25, 2010

We awoke in a frosty campervan, visible breath, straighteners going crazy due to condensation… but the scenery outside the campervan made it all worth the while.  A lovely sunrise against the god that is Mt.Cook. The weather is STILL with us, how is this possible?! Today we have blue skies with beautiful wispy clouds that give a real sharpness to the mountain peaks.  We set off in the usual convoy.  Jen and I predictably being left behind taking photos by the roadside, but wow.  It’s hard not to.  The drive up is gorgeous.  Past Lake Pukaki to the Hermitage centre that sits at the base of Mt.Cook.  There’s a real Arizona/ Nevada feel to the landscape of the basin.  Sandy colours with scattered bush,  Then offset by the deep bush at the base of the mountain range and snowy peaks.  Crazily stunning.  As we get up cloe to the Hermitage, we stop to gasp at the landscape.  Jen has a rule I love, if you actually express ‘Wow’ then you need to stop and take a photo… this is why our journeys take us twice as long!  The peaks are incredible, and one view looks as though there has been a huge avalanche recently that has left the snow in a very peculiar form.  Driving into it I feel like I’m in a mouthwash advert. It’s immense! We stop for a quick coffee at the café and set off again back along Lake Pukaki.  It’s so interesting, the lake from this perspective is so turquoise,  it looks like it’s been filled with thick paint the colour was so vibrant.  Back towards Mt.Cook, the sun is so bright that the waves are bright white.  The peninsula’s look gorgeous, so defined against the water.  We’d planned to stop at Twizel, just at the bottom of Lake Pukaki, but find the whole town shut down due to no power… what a weird thing to drive through.  As if all the population had been evacuated.  We reach Lake Tekapo after passing through a ‘flat-as’ basin surrounded by snowy mountains.  It’s pretty touristy here, but the lake is beautiful so we stop for lunch.  I get a few shots of the lake with amazingly silhouetted trees.  It’s so stunning with the wispy clouds around.  We stop for a couple of photos of the Church of the good Sheppard.  I’m too preoccupied by the exterior views.  There’s a story to this place, but Dewi isn’t here to tell me, so I’ll hassle him later.  We stop at the McKenzie dog statue, Dewi tells me later something about an infamous sheep rustler from Scotland called McKenzie who was the first to farm the McKenzie valley, hence named.  But with stolen sheep! He was so good at shepherding that he only got caught when he was outed by locals.   We decide on the way back that it’s getting a bit too late to call into our favourite café in Methven, so we plough on through to Rakaia. Whoa, how the landscape is differing from this morning.  Going from feeling like your surrounded by giants, to not being able to see anything for miles around is such a strange feeling.  But, back to the family, and a sparse fridge!  Ioan has invited me snow boarding with him and Kiri to Mt.Hutt, but time and money aren’t on my side.  I cook a nice potato bake for dinner to finish off the campervan supplies and we all get an early night.

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Christopher on

Snow boarding on Mt Peel, now that would be interesting indeed.

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