Monday, August 18, 2014

Lake Tekapo and Mt Cook Trip

Monday, August 18, 2014

oldbearnews editor



It dawned - again - very frosty.  It is always tempting to 'draw' on the glass canvas and this day was no different!  In any case  we strolled across to the Hotel restaurant (which compared to outside and with sitting next to the big windows with the sun streaming in was over-hot!!) - Today’s breakfast - 4 pancakes (which looked oddly like the McDonald’s Pancakes) along with some fresh berry fruit / whipped cream and real fresh from the Beehive "alpine" honey (as in they have the bee-plate suspended in a glass contraption and the honey drips from the timber slats . . . .   Burb's.   Hmmm the coffee probably didn't help.  The no nutella diet starts tomorrow.  In any case - 10 o'clock is check out time so no point in lingering - time to pack up and defrost the car and ohhh yes - pay our bill. On the way took the opportunity again to flash away at this bird - urm - duck and yeah - pleased with the final result.  I am wondering how they regulate their bodies - they seem to have no issues in the cold water. 

Given that we have all day to get back to Christchurch which essentially takes only about 2 hours drive - we did what everyone seems to be doing - going to church.  Well we tried - the service in winter time is only every second week - or was that every second and fourth Sunday in a month??  Bummer we missed out there. Anyhow the lady in waiting was very nice and knowledgeable.  She gave us hints and bookmarks and so forth.  While Mamabear chatted I took the Opportunity and tried to focus on 'other' areas of the usual picture taking things.
For example the roof - 100 % New Zealand Rimu (from the days you could still mill the rimu trees) and made and cut to xtra large dimensions so as to be able to hold the large amounts of snow they can get on the roof.

I got also real close to one of the bolts
that is holding up the structural trusses / contraptions.



It doesn't give you a good example but the square nut would be a good two inches wide . . . .







In any case - soon gave up - other people wanted to follow my example - so did what most do - focused on the window! I have a picture just like that from a previous visit. Amazing what a half pace forward or backward - or even up can do for the angle here.  It is a real pity that the plant outside the window is a New Zealand native - it tends to grow to fast to much, and seeing it is native - it is also urm - protected I think -  THUS not lightly cut back. That just means that - compared from many many earlier years - the cross is almost always in the shadow of the plant.  It would be fantastic if there is more lake and less sky in the image.  Hmm wonder if I can "stitch" the two of them together ? ?  

Not far away - men's best friend - the sheep dog.  The McKenzie country is named after - well Mr McKenzie - who was a bit of a unusual character and of very dubious quality. Actually he was a sheep rustler nicking the young lambs from the farmers and then feeding them at his hide out 'till they were nice and big  and then flogging them of at the market as his own. He made a tidy sum. Local farmers could never work out whereto he rustled his stolen goods - until one day someone managed to follow the trail and eventually "discovered' the McKenzie Basin.   So on the way (remember earlier) you drive past this sign called 'dog's corner' just before you come round and see the Alps - well - turns out the rustlers would tie up the dogs there as a kind of early warning system. There is a sign saying "historic place" but  there is literally NOTHING to see. Not a post not a plaque etc.  hmmmm   I am sure we could do better there. 
From there it was down Burke's Pass (Mr Burke - another early local character for all the wrong reasons) which does have a nice looking pub - hmmm maybe one day we stop there instead of Geraldine.  maybe one of the reason we do NOT stop there is that they sell out-door garden furniture made out of macrocarpa - LOVELY stuff.  I am sure mamabear always breathes a sigh of relief as we zip past it . . . . .    Maybe next year ^^ 


Lunch at Geraldine - urm - well - we had more then that - but the slice was nice, as was sitting in the sunshine and enjoy the warmth of the mid winter sun!
Meant to say - I did not know that before my cousin came to NZ for a visit, one of her "relations" was already here.  Found his Bio at the Mt John Observatory.  Must go and chat with him - he is into serious night photography and living local - he has way more opportunities then this humble wanabe snapper.












To soon we were home - Son numero uno cooked dinner and then it was this time honourd tradition - of bringing Mamabear her presents. She does protest every year she ain't want/need anything - but  anyone who does not bring gifts is in grave danger. Though me thinks though protest to much - urm - ok - moving along -  *cough*
This year I did good.  Seeing she always said how she used to and has abilities and I have never ever seen her putting lip to stick - I organised her a little something.  It went down like a treat - and already have heard a few  notes coming out of the instrument.
Won't be long before she joins the Christchurch symphony orchestra!!  :) 

There goes another successful trip to Tekapo.  Understanding type Mamabear is, she suggested that we would aim for June next year - as this would fall close to my Birthday - and we have been there now at least twice for hers.  June would still be winter - but closer to Matariki - the Maori New Year Celebrations.
Once a year, twinkling in the winter sky just before dawn, Matariki (the Pleiades) signals the Māori New Year. Traditionally, it was a time for remembering the dead, and celebrating new life. In the 21st century, observing Matariki has become popular again. Heaven-bound kites, hot-air balloons and fireworks help mark the occasion.

http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/matariki-maori-new-year

Anyhow the reason why this is significant is that the earth - you know - does move (shock horror) around the sun and with that celestial movment comes a movement of stars / milky way etc and during Matariki the Milkyway does line up with the Church of the Good Shepherd - so ideal for taking night time images.  Yess
So it makes all sense to try and arrange a visit there in June - just need to avoid QEii weekend - which is the weekend I take a group of scouts on their annual westcoast trip!! And if we can work out which day they service is we can even partake in that! Last thing is we need favourable weather gods - but I am working on that!! 

 Have fun


  bear print

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unus ursus said...

Some updates - meant to say - there are plans to build another 300 room hotel in Tekapo - as well as a 300 room complex along with a night stargazing venture at Lake Pukaki. The nice pizza place - Pepe's Pizza is no longer - a victim no doubt of far to many eating places in such a small town. Instead there is a larger place (combining with the place next door) called The tin-plate! The décor is the same - had a paint job - but yeah. The other major news is that since we were there last in Feb - the Petrol station outside the 4 square is NO longer. Too many tourists (some smoking) just ambling across the forecourt and I would imagine that the good folk of Tekapo said that’s a health hazard and accident waiting to happen (of which my cousins hubby was one) -- so they shifted the petrol station in April. That makes the area outside the shop much safer and I am just waiting for some European café and outdoor seating!! Things never stay still in Tekapo. :) have fun

 
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