Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Short holiday trip to Lake Tekapo and Mt Cook

Wednesday, January 18, 2012
oldbearnews editor
Yes well,  after a good nights sleep we decided to do the walk around part of the peninsula and see the lake Tekapo from another angle.  The 3 hour walk was well posted (even though we missed one on the return leg and had to climb uphill to re-join the track! So much for scouting skills!! At least we got back on track.)  So part of the track leads you over the top and you (yet again) get stunning view's of the lake - the blue water and of course the Tekapo township among others! As it happens we were the only people on the track! Very enjoyable, peaceful and quiet!  Further along the track got over grown with wild rosebushes - more like rose hip - and they started to flower. You probably cant see it - but on the left hand (beach) side is another campsite - which would be a great spot for camping - only 2 tents there at the time we walked round!!   In the afternoon we gave the local and very newly created hot pools a whirl!  They reminded us of what Hamner pools used to be like before they got developed and (dear one say it) overrun by locals and tourists alike! Very peaceful to sit in and soak and if you are on the right level and tall-ish you can see the lake as a back drop! There is also a hydro rubber-ring slide and other options include various spa / steam / beauty rooms - options! Sadly even though I tried to get into the shade - I got sun-burned rather badly, should have been less of a male and more of a 'normal' person and put on good sunscreen!!

As this was the last night of the holiday we decided (and seeing it was a nice enough and warm enough day) to sit on the beach (more or less in front of our cabin) and enjoy the last rays of the holiday.  The clouds rolling in over the hill top suggested that the next day will not be so sunny!

The sun drops quickly and everything became still - the lake itself calmed down just enough to give a hint of reflections and it was time to pack the stuff and head to the shore.

What many people do not know is that the average lake temperature is between 8-12 degrees and jolly cold!  Maybe that is why you do not see many swimming in it - but rather use it for other on water activities - mainly boating and water skiing!  Mamabear had to try out and - as usual- paddle in the water - priceless reaction!!  Oddly enough it did not worry the handful of kids dunking in a few meters down from us!  They had great fun walking in and snorkeling - well for 10 minutes - no longer then that. The rest of their time was taken up with trying to bounce/skip the stones across the water (mostly unsuccessful).  So I showed them how it was done among many uuuh's and ahhs'  (not bad for an old geezer.  After that it was time to sit down and crack open a bottle of local vino an enjoy the evening.  It was indeed enjoyable - until the breeze died away and the local swarm of mozzies decided that they could join in on the feast.  So after a while we packed up and headed back to the cabin where we continued to enjoy the rest of the evening, vino and cheese until it was time to go to bed.

Next day we had to make choices and so we travelled the long way home - stopping in Waimate for late lunch and a spot of shopping!  The local info center pointed out various places of interest to visit (incl a newly established winery). After a quick discussion we decided to give wine tasting a go and found the place ok - left with some purchases - nice place!!!  Waimate is also known for its berry growing so one of the roadside stalls had delicious punnets waiting for us.  From there it was a quick stop over at Caroline bay (and sand sample) before we finally got back home late in the evening. Another 1975km trip ends happily!  Now back to reality . . . . .    :( 

PS.  Mamabear now wants to re-visit this place in the depths of winter - I don't mind, as long as I can bring my thermals / new duckdown jacket and nipple warmers (hehehe)  Tekapo has a reputation for hoarfrost (eg temps below -15 degrees)

 bear print

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