So we were going on a touristy car trip with friends. Here in NZ that takes about 5 hours. Not something one just does in our nick of the woods. So we left around 9.30. Through the Waimate gorge where we saw what damage a bush fire can do. Then the Waitaki hydrolakes This comprises of 4 or 5 lakes one after the other with hydro power generators. The lakes are magnificent. All kinds of clear blue and green show in the lakes. As the power and water was not consistent at every lake all of them looked very different. At Lake Aviemore water was released from the generator as the water level was too high. This looks powerful and wonderful. The water is showing what it can do and really looked as artificial Huka Falls.
As we headed inland the landscape became drier and weirder. This is the MacKenzie Country Highlands. Some parts were green, but that was a result if intense irrigation. They use irrigation arms that stretch over a kilometer. P mentioned that the longerst was about 1500m. We had a coffee at the Wriggly Rams somewhere there in the high country. The there we drove through Twizel. Twizel is a strange strange town. SO compared it to a Centre parks holiday park but with larger sections. I found it rather gloomy. but from there it is not far to the first vieweing of Mt Cook on the other side of one of the hydrolakes, but only on a clear day. And it was clearing.
When we left it as overcast, the low clouds increased the gloomy feelings I felt in Twizel. but as said at the lake weather started clearing. As R said. just wait, the mountain will appear. But the mountain did not show herself until we were back in the car. The she was there. Basking in the sun showing off her best side. How lucky can you get?
Next stop Lake Tekapo. In the middle of that barren highland there is a lake. To one side of that lake there is a hill, looking mostly as a cone. On the foot of the hill and on the lake is a village. From the village there is a road up that hill. The road leads to the Mt John Observatory and a little associated cafe. The views from that hill are breathtaking. It cannot be described. it is desolate and beautiful. It is ever changing, enchanting and mesmerizing. A greenis/brown barren area with two bright but slightly differently coloured blue lakes Mt Cook in the distance and beautiful clear blue skies.and the perfectly situated cafe. SO was going bonkers taking all kinds of pictures. We had to go on rescue missions a few times as we’d lost sight of him.
We did not have time to do the observatory tour. Besides that is best done in the evening/dark when the stars are actually visible. With the return trip we would not be able to make that. At the souvenir ship we also got to discuss the southern lights and all kinds of astronomy/space things. In the end I had to drag him out of there. In the village we then had to photograph the most photographed church in NZ (zee rppof at the top) and of course we took a picture of the little dog. So continued to play witht he camera, while R and I checked out the souvenir and fashion stores. From there we went back to Waimate.
That night we played Yathzee. SO was the lucky guy. He kept throwing yathzee, streets and winning. We had a great time and I am so glad that SO also had had a great time.