Sunday, August 11, 2013

Austrian Bed and Breakfast owner take time out to sniff the roses at Lake Tekapo and celebrate a 50th birthday

Sunday, August 11, 2013
oldbearnews editor
We were very lucky yesterday -Had really good weather.
Decided to make the most of the sunshine and went back to the church. They would have had a sunday service from 11.30 am - but still the tourists came early for a looksee and the obligatory photos. Ended up having a friendly chat with the Lady-in-waiting who did say we should be able to see Mount Cook.  I tried some indoor pictures of the church - but is a challenging environment as it is like shooting into the light from a  dark cave with no extra lighting being available.  Anyhow - it was time to move on and we headed westwards to see Lake Ohau - never been there and we have friends who rave about the lake and it's Lodge!  Some 30km westwards later - we struck thick fog!! - and with that we lost any sight of Lake Pukaki or Mount Cook. Continued to drive towards Lake Ohau hoping it would clear - but it never did - so saw about 3 meters of the lake then the rest blended into a white something.  Sigh - it just means we have to come back another day/time.
With there nothing to see or do - we headed back into foggy Twizel - still foggy there as well - so sat in the car and had a home made sandwich along with tomatoes and Camembert and some slices of meat.  yummy
Back towards Tekapo where we knew we had sunshine (at least when we left) when we spotted a new Salmon hatchery on the side of the road - they had to move their business as the canal they were operating from needed fixing - and with no water - no salmon. Great cheap prizes and lots of fresh fish - so in a moment of weakness we bought a whole side and got it packed up for the home trip - this should (and did) make a great meal once home!!
Just before Lake Pukaki the sun got strong enough and burned off some of the fog - it cleared and we had brilliant sunshine! You even could see Mount Cook - just. Stopped in the new Info shop centre and bought a locally made ice-cream - then got the bubbly out and sat on the shore and celebrated the 50th B-day of a certain Female bear!!

Congratulations mamabear!! She did say that ever since she came with me to Pukaki she could see Mount Cook - which - you have to under stand is indeed a rare occurrence.  It is called Aorangi by the local natives and translates into "cloud-piercer", an aptly description and usually the top of the mountain is shrouded in clouds - which just means yet another weather-front is moving in from the Tasman Sea. You certainly could see the coming front rolling in over the top of the mountains - meaning it will rain soon.   Actually we were quite pleased -  There used to be a I-site at the lake shore, and it is in the middle of no-where - just a good spot to stop and admire the views - assuming you got good weather.  Then the I-site got shut down last year - citing cost's, much to the dismay of some locals who saw this as a good place to make money from tourists. In the end the Salmon hatchery just down the road opened a shop / stand where you can buy the fish and ice cream and other locally made products - along with postcards and souvenirs.   Business must have improved judging by the busloads we saw in the space of half an hour!!  Too soon we emptied our bottle of bubbly and reluctantly headed back to base at Tekapo. Back yet again to the Church were we saw the same lady-in-waiting from this morning, who was very surprised by the amount of fog we struck - but pleased for us that we could see Mount Cook after all. More inside pictures (still learning the new camera) and a stroll around the lake front to stretch the legs! Dumped the gear in the hotel room and sorted out the Wifi - had to ask the Hotel front desk to re-set their wireless modem (it had crashed)! The fish went in the tiny fridge in the room and we washed up and went out for dinner - nice! By the time we got home after a scrumptious dinner, you just about could smell the rain coming and sure enough by the time we hit the sack you could hear it hit the roof.  Have been very lucky with the weather we got so far!
Home tomorrow- back to reality :(

 bear print

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