Saturday, September 18, 2010
Lake Tekapo at last
Our late Saturday starts are getting earlier as the days lengthen...by 7 am I was all done with sleeping in. We took the boys to Caroline Bay park where they had a jolly time going as fast as they could on the roundabouts and other equipment. Blech...We were heading home around 10 but didn't want the day to waft - we had no other plans and so decided rather spontaneously to visit Lake Tekapo. We had never been and were starting to feel embarrassed at people's reactions to our 'no' answer of whether we had been there. Turns out it's not that far away at all - for Joburgers, it's just a little more than a trip to Pretoria but through way prettier landscape! The lake itself is beautiful - an unbelievably turquoise colour with a rocky bed and very clear, clean water, surrounded by the Southern Alps which are still partially snow-covered. The mountains seemed to want to shout about God's majesty and grandeur! The little historical church below is apparently one of the most photographed churches in the world.We took a picnic lunch which we shared with ducks and seagulls who are obviously very used to food-bearing tourists; Nick and the boys played a bit of football. After lunch we drove the 4 ks to Mount John Observatory which is way high and has a 360 degree view of the lake and surrounding mountains. It was cold and windy enough to knock the snot right out of me (I confess that this is a literal statement...I just couldn't sniff fast enough). The boys got out the car just long enough to feel the left-over snow which was icy and ... wait for it ... cold. But mostly it was windy. The car was rocking and I was nervous, but enough St Helena driving had Nick well prepared for the descent. After the observatory we stopped in at the hotpools and ice arena. At $11 each we decided not to let the boys have a go! First time we'd seen an outdoor arena though. It runs from mid-April to mid-September so I guess it should have closed for the summer already, but perhaps it's been cold enough to prolong the fun. Looks like it's nearing the end though as parts of the arena were very sludgy; a fall meant completely soaked jeans for one unfortunate lady!