Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Lake Tekapo

The Ring of Fire trip, September 2nd, 2013; Day Thirty of Thirty-Two.

In the morning I could not believe where I had parked. There were mountains to two sides of me, and a nice, pristine river below. It was quite the beautiful and peaceful place to wake up to; no wonder i slept great! I decided to head to town to get some gas and figure out my route. As I was leaving the gravel car park, I was having trouble going forward. So I got out and checked the tires, they were fine. I got back in, went into reverse to a less rocky area, and was about to drive off fine. There had been an exclamation light in parenthesis on the dash and I was low on gas so I figured it was telling me to get gas right away. I made it to the gas station, pumped some gas and again went to drive away. Then I remembered I had put the parking brake on the night before since I was on top of a hill. Good thing it’s only a rental. I guess I wasn't thinking too clearly this morning.

After getting gas, I decided to check out one last LOTR location and then to Lake Tekapo.The LOTR location was the mountains surrounding the city of Edoras, however, it was private property so I couldn't get as close as I wanted to unless I paid for a tour. The mountains provided the most amazing backdrop across the shrub covered fields and it felt like I was in the middle of middle earth, but more realistically nowhere. I decided not to venture too far as Myriam had educated me on the beauty of Lake Takepo in our brief encounter.

The lake was an astonishing blue color and it was another gorgeous day outside. No matter how much you see the blue waters, it never ceased to entrance me. The mountains with snow covered peaks only enhanced the blues of the lake and sky above. The Good Shepard Church was right off the water and is the foreground to many beautiful pictures of NZ. I did my best to capture the beauty but it just won't compare to being there.

After walking around and taking many pictures, I headed up to the astronomy observatory on the hill above the city. The views again were amazing but this time I was able to drive up. The observatory is one of the top five places in the world to star gaze as there are mountains all around and very little light from the city far below. I would love to be up there to get some pictures, but it’s later than I want to stay and $125. I also met a couple up there from Australia who did it and didn’t think much of it, but Myriam had great pictures. She also has a great camera and did a little photo editing, I believe.

Back down to the beach I decided to finally use the stove to cook sausages by the water on the stone covered beach. I was able to set up a little seat and level out the stove but would have preferred sand. The stove worked pretty well but I didn’t have anything to season the sausages with so they were kind of bland. As I was driving away, I gave a family the four remaining sausages as I had no time to eat them, nor did I want to and they gladly accepted. It is quite the amazing little town.

I found myself lying on another beach nearby to relax before I had to head for Christchurch. I wasn’t sure what my plan was but I had to return the car the next day so I wanted to get closer. On the way I stopped in a little town called Fairlie and got a triple chocolate ice cream. Then went next door to a restaurant, where the girl agreed to give me the password for the wifi.

After checking in for my flight and what not, I made my way to Christchurch and began to search for a place to park. They are somewhat strict on freedom camping, so I came up with a plan: camp right next to the car rental place. I will fit right in and no one can tell the difference between the two cars. So, here I am, and I fly back to Auckland tomorrow. No better time than to watch a little LOTR before I catch some sleep for my flight in the morning.

Read the full trip chronicles, here.


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