Monday, January 16, 2012

Short holiday trip to Lake Tekapo and Mt Cook

Monday, January 16, 2012
oldbearnews editor
We were in some need s some good r+r so decided to take the opportunity to head down south into the  Mckenzie country and spend some nights at Lake Tekapo.
We were lucky that we got some reasonable priced units at the Tekapo campsite ( a en-suite cabin - no kitchen though) which meant mamabear didnt have to face going for miles to the common toilet block in the midle of the night.  We had booked in the Mt John Observatory the very day we arrived and looking out over the lake we wondered if the viewing would be great.  Indeed that very day, further south they had snow to lake level - so it was cloudy and very cold.  We checked in at night and the word was it is extreme cold on the mountain (it was deemed a 2 jacket trip) and everyone got issued with additional goose-down jackets.  The view up there at night is stunning and no wonder they are trying to make it a world heritage site and protect it from further light pollution.  In between freezing your nuts of we had stunning views through the telescope and saw various constelations (tarantula nebula and a dead star and the 7 sisters [or was that seven diamonds?]) and various other heavenly bodies.
The very day we arrived - a favourite picnic stop and scene of our last stopover here (enroute to Te Anau) where Mamabear stood in a rabbit hole and severly twisted her ankle.  Suffice to say this episode featured many a times during our walks here.

The multidenominational church of the Good Shepherd (Ang / Meth / Presb/ Cath)  managing to have regular sunday night services.  Not surprisingly many a visiting preacher has been heard saying/complaining that during the sermon time many folks sitting in the pews have "vacant" or "dreamy" expressions on their face - and who can blame them with a altar view like this???

I shot this picture during our meal time - we sat in the restaurant and had a grand window seat - took my 300mm zoom lens and focused through the window on to the scenery - I had to be very patient as there where always people in the frame. but eventually managed to get this shot!

Evening mood on the first day - before we got kitted out to go up to the Observatory.   
The next day dawned! Bright and cheerful.  We got back from our trip on Mt John just after midnight - with Ice-blocks as feet.  These managed to thaw out during the night and again Mamabear was grateful for a solid roof over the head.  The  view in the morning was good compensation and despite the cool air we manage to have breakfast on the deck abd see the campers below waking up.
After a quick stop at the church again we decided on advice of the local's to head up to the Observatory and check it out during daytime.  Suffice to say the view is just stunning!! It was still very cold!
Looking back out over the lake towards the snow topped mountain ranges! The blue-ish tint of the lake is due to the glaciers in the mountains grinding the local rocks to dust and this gets washed eventually into the lake, giving it the distinctive milky colour! 

 bear print

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