Twizel + Mount Cook
Monday 17th February
There isn't much to see in Twizel - we only stayed there because we
couldn't find accomodation in Mount Cook. Our motel had been converted
from accomodation for workers building the nearby hydroelectric systems.
We had cornflakes, coffee, and tinned fruit for breakfast, then threw
out a lot of left-over food. Setting off around 7.50, we had the streets
to ourselves, but we got a bit confused trying to get out of town.
There were some really amazing clouds, so we stopped to take photos -
I took one standing right in the middle of the highway.
And there were more attractive clouds, and other scenery, as we drove out
alongside Lake Pukaki.
early morning clouds at Twizel
Twizel clouds from the middle of the highway
When we got to Mount Cook Village we drove around the village, then
headed out to the camp ground and did the short walk out to Kea Point.
Mount Sefton and the Footstool had their tops in cloud, but Mount Cook/Aoraki
was clear. It was very windy, with sand and dirt spraying
off the moraine walls, and I almost lost my hat a few times.
Mount Cook (Aoraki)
We then drove out to the next valley along, and walked out to the viewpoint
over the Tasman Glacier - though that is covered in gravel and not
that appealing. We could also see Mount
Cook peeking above the intervening mountains. It was still too windy to
be comfortable, taking photos or even just sitting looking out. So we
retreated to a shelter near the car park, where we boiled up packet
soup (it was almost too windy for the stove even in the shelter) and then coffee.
We tried to burn off the remaining
fuel (since we couldn't take it on the plane), but at 12.30 the stove
was still going, so we abandoned that and headed off on the long drive
the Tasman Glacier
"blue pool" (green pond)
the Church of the Good Shepherd
It was glary so we took turns driving. We stopped briefly at the Lake
Pukaki visitors' centre, but they had no books on the power system -
the best they could manage was a boring corporate brochure.
We had lunch at Lake Tekapo, where it was still too windy for more than a
short stroll - even the sparrows were huddled down on the grass! Then it
was on to Geraldine, where we had some ice cream. And we stopped a few
times after that to take more photos of clouds, haystacks, and giant watering machines.
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