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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

The turquoise lakes

Well, it wasn't exactly our intention to drive 350km today, in fact, this is the longest Ian has driven in one day since we arrived on the islands. Our plan was to drive to Lake Tekapo, drive up Mount John and book Earth and Sky twilight tour at the University of Canterbury Observatory. We did take a slight detour to see the Maori Rock drawings in the Waitaki District. Thank goodness for the brown road signs as this wasn't in any of the brochures we had looked in. In fact, we drove past and then did a U turn to go see.

Fossils of sea creatures have been found in these rocks

Object bottom right looked like a shell

Some of the views along the highway.
 From where we stayed last night at Duntroon to Tekapo was about 160km and with clear blue skies, and excellent air quality, we had high hopes of seeing the turquoise blue of Tepako Lake. Sure enough, the lake was blue, a rich deep turquoise blue that is hard to show in the photos. My polarised sunglasses showed it off beautifully but my polarised lens for my canon is, typically, still in a drawer at my brother's.

Mount Cook perhaps?

Views from Mount John

Anyway, the Earth and Sky booking office were situated on the main road in Tekapo itself but here we were disappointed. The weather forecast for this evening showed cloud coverage so the chance of seeing stars was almost zilch. We could still pay our money and hope for a break in the clouds if we so wished but if the stars were obscured then we would be shown photos of the night sky rather than seeing them first hand. We decided against. So decision time.... what to do now.

One of our biggest disappointments was not being able to drive down from Picton to Kaikoura. That devastating earthquake last year put paid to that. But we could travel to Kaikoura going North. So that was our decision. Ian drove the 230km to get to where we are now at Rakaia Gore near Mount Hutt. Roughly another 250km to do tomorrow and we should reach Kaikoura. Time is going by too quick now. We have only 6 more days left before we fly from Christchurch back to Sydney, and we had hoped to see something of Christchurch. So now it's all rush, rush, rush. So wish we had another couple of weeks. Nothing for it then but to do a return visit.

Some more of the views along our route.

Waitaki Dam and reservoir

They do appreciate their collies here.

Lake Pukaki

The Alps to the Sea cycle race was taking place at Tekapo. We were held up for a good 10 minutes while the cyclist crossed the road.

1 comment:

Marilyn McDonald said...

I am very glad you are planning a comeback tour! Next time, make sure you have three months in NZ at least! If you want to spend time with your twin, make him come over here too!
Aren't those lakes a stunning colour - like Hokitika Gorge. This morning some fellow motel guests (Americans) travelling on hired Harleys took our recommendation and went there. I am sure they wouldn't have been disappointed. We also suggested they spend time in Wanaka.


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