Saturday, August 16, 2014

Lake Tekapo and Pukaki trip

Saturday, August 16, 2014
oldbearnews editorAhhhh  the next morning dawned like it finished with a clear night. On the way to breakfast we noticed that the pond area had partially frozen over,  just enough to be ice there - but not strong enough in place to carry the ducks full weight - so they half walked half swam.  A funny sight to see and provided some amusement for a while. 
Breakfast was a savoury affair - scrambled eggs / sautéed mushrooms / minted lamb sausages / crisp bacon / hash-browns / baked bean’s and and and.  Of course there was a selection of cereal and toast and spreads as well, but today (for a change) was a savoury plate for me. Who could say no to Mushrooms?
As I dug into the mushrooms I thought of a certain Brush and briefly considered snapping a image and sending via sms - but you know = posh place we *cough* do not do that sort of thing here.
The day was ours and Mamabear requested that we should go and see Mt Cook (fingers crossed) and maybe aim for a light lunch at the Mt John Observatory later.  So we  packed what we needed and headed of into the Sunshine.  Yes we saw Mt Cook and did the usual and now traditional half glass salut!! Also took some videos and more pictures (some to be posted on FB or emailed to various Austrian Connections).  From there it is just another 5 min.  drive past Twizel to the Salmon Farm and Mamabear knowing how I like to eat said fish offered to buy a half decent fillet AS LONG as it came vacuum packed.  They did and we did - yummm!!

On the return trip we saw lake Ruataniwha (hmm that's now how you spell it) and it had virtually no disruption so had nice reflections - so Mamabear just does her female speak and says -= that looks nice - = translates into "we should stop and take pictures" - so a 5 point handbrake turn later . . . . . . .

More stops on the way back past Mt Cook and Pukaki and eventually we got to the top of Mt. John. Fabulous views - not a cloud in the sky and in serious danger of getting sunburn!!  Oddly enough - there was a young girl there along with her - hmmm family - that had been with us on the same Boat cruise at the Akaroa Dolphin watching trip in late January.  I remembered her 'cause she wore a Canadian Olympic team jacket so would have been into some sort of winter sport.  The sandwich was more then a simple sandwich- it was almost a meal in itself! Turns out that we were a Kiwi minority - the lady at the till reckoned we were the first Kiwis for the day up there!!
Anyhow - by now mamabear was feeling a bit under the weather - so to speak - so we decided to head back to Tekapo and take the afternoon easy - quick stroll down to the church and a good conversation with the Lady in waiting there. She pointed out a few things and especially the way the Milky way lies over the Church and when best to take a picture and - yeah a whole lot of other stuff!!
I parked mamabear back in the Hotel and then late afternoon headed - yep yet again back to the canal - this time from the other side - as I wanted to re-shoot the same image that was so nicely hung in the reception area of the Hotel - it was a landscape canvas print - taken a late afternoon and about 3 meters long and about half meter high and was ueber-nice!! The receptionist chap kinda knew the exact location from where the image was taken so I grabbed my gear and headed of to find that spot and see if I could be just as creative.  Some patient waiting and fixing and image taking later and I had a few passable images.
Turns out - as the lady in the church was saying - from time to time people pay cash and block access to the church  - thus you do not see the tour buses / caravans parked in front of the church.   No such luck for me!! I stood there for about 2 hours and taking the various shots - so we have a semi evening mood and a post sunset mood and almost darkness mood and  - ah you get the picture but all of them having a car or caravan or bus in them!!  It was also getting fresh - almost cold and getting hungry - yeah how could you get hungry after today’s breakfast and lunch - but hungry I was - so BACK to the hotel to dump the gear and getting out to dinner - this time to the "Tim-Place" a revamped place we had been to previously.  Nice and simple and good food.  The four waitress staff were from four different nationalities - that included one Kiwi!!

So here I am more then 200 meters away from the building and if you stand just in a certain spot you can shoot through the door and see the Cross, which rests in the middle of the altar, and see it against the blue snow mountains - ASSUMING you have the patience to wait for the pesky tourists to leave a clear passage! Patience son, patience!!

 Having thought about what went wrong yesterday at night - I was determined to get another shot tonight - so walked the birthday girl home after dinner and grabbed the gear and - yes walked back to the church (hey I am working on my fitness here - it takes about 20 minutes there - and 20 back ^^ )  and urm were was I - oh yeah - so walked there and set up and made sure I had everything just so and then snapped away - first image confirmed what I thought - just needed to find urm - the church - no easy feat in total - and again I mean -  total darkness!! In-between I  (thank god for my tripod) pointed the camera straight up and released shutter for 40 seconds!! yess  Pity that the cold got into the camera and batteries later on, it had trouble with focus and then with image recording - so it was time to pack up and yup - you guessed it - walk back to the Hotel!!  One last night shot of the hotel entrance and I fell into the bed - cold and frozen - but reasonably happy that I think I had taken some nice night shots!! Below the night images - un-processed except for one! Not half bad eh??

When I look at Your heavens, 
the work of Your fingers, 
the moon and the stars, 
that You have established; 
what are human beings 
that You are mindful of them, 
mortals that You care for them?? 

 Psalm 8: 3-4

 bear print

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