On our way up from Nelson we stopped at lake Roturiti and it was a very worthwhile stop indeed. We found a place of stunning beauty and a colony of ducks that best can be described as serious posers. Especially the mandarin duck put on a show to impress us with its beauty and its attitude made it clear who ruled the place. We loved this bird and despite it was a male even I was intrigued by its beauty affectionately.
Hammer Springs is a lovely mountain destination, with a lovely lovely spa (a magic word that turns the glimmer in Spatzl´s eyes always a bit brighter!). It is really autumn now, but on a glorious sunny day still it is a pleasure to be out and about. As it had rained over the last days the smell in the woods was very special and fresh. I love it and while it is similar to home here, you will meet hardly anyone on your run with the wildlife being the only spectator. While you take your rounds along the little dog river and through the woods the mind has time to wander and almost as relaxed as after a SPA treatment you return home. As for the culinary pleasures indulge yourself with French Kiwi cross over cuisine at Number 31. Unfortunately the famed Eden was not living up to expectations. Allegedly the chef there has already cooked for William and Kate while they were staying in Blenheim. Obviously having peaked there the chef needed a new challenged and has moved here just 7 months ago, but has left a bit of his inspiration behind. Sad but true – but let’s hope Eden will be a brighter place on earth in future.
After Hanmer Springs we took advantage of the shelter of our car, while driving down in heavy rain to Lake Tekapo. It was time well used as we arrived in beautiful but windy conditions there. Tekapo is a reserve for the star gazers and lovers of untouched nature. We spent a night below this great sky with a group of astronomy geeks, checking out on neighbouring planets. Looking through a telescope you can clearly see the surface of the moon, you still get a good impression of Mars and might identify where ice can be found there. You see the rings around Saturn, however, if you go as far as the closest star (not planet) alpha centaury it is becoming already quite blurred what you see. Excuse my ignorance and for not being more elaborate on light year distances, the forming of galaxies and the reality of extinct stars shining today. The latter ones will cause a hyper nova in our sky tomorrow or in 7.000 years, that is for sure I understood. For me certainty very much ends here and the rest becomes philosophy. I am still amazed that I found the woman of my life in Milan. Distance in astronomy terms very short, but still would you have thought that -quite a distance to make it happen? Great feeling – being small under a big sky – time to shine yourself!
On the next day we climbed Mount John and it was simply a pleasure to enjoy the views from up there. The wind was remarkable and we got a good blow from the side while we were sweating and puffing on our way up. As we arrived up there we felt that we should take a more direct route downhill. It appeared there should be a diretissima on the other side of the mountain which seemed like an official path down. Unfortunately we never found it really and ended up on our own in the middle of nothing with a very steep slope down. Sheep shit showed us that someone has been there before us and if they managed we should be able. We kept calm and kept on walking till we made it. I am proud of my Spatzl who did not show signs of panic, but the legs were trembling with exhaustion when we returned to the parking lot.
We stayed at Pepper’s Bluewater Resort (best option in Tekapo in our view when you go for an apartment – do not book double rooms as they are way too small) , where we got to know Josi and Rico. Fellow travellers from Germany with even a longer time span than us ahead of them here in New Zealand. We had a delightful time and hope their Tekapo stars will shine on them and their journey in life.