I was originally thinking I would go down the coast first, but forecast for Wednesday was for showers, so I decided it would be better if I drove to Mt Cook so I could catch it in sunshine. And I did indeed- it was a superb day! And I took some wonderful photos, especially on the Hooker Valley walk. But sad news is... I have lost my good camera! I think I put it down when I did my camp registration, but I haven't found it. Am hoping someone honest hands it into the DOC office or Twizel Police, but I'll check those out tomorrow.
Meanwhile, I just have a couple of campground photos from here at Mt Cook. This is my tent view today! (Taken with my #2 camera.)
This is one of those days when it seems like Mt Cook is a "friendly" place, but I have been here once before when the wind was so fierce I couldn't put my tent up, and retreated 20km down the valley to a backpacker bed. It'll be interesting to see what the morning brings.
I walked quite a bit of the Hooker Valley walk this arvo, but not the lot, as it was quite hot, and I wasn't carrying enough water. So, weather permitting, I will 'repeat' my effort in the cooler morning.
I have a poster on my bedroom wall that must be about 25 years old, of the Hooker Valley. And it is so different now. The first time I came here the camping ground was much further down the valley, and you walked from there to the smallish lake in front of the terminal face of the glacier. You could see chunks of ice floating in the lake. Now the track has been rerouted, and you end up with a viewpoint over the lake. But the glacier has retreated so much- it now ends up on the mountain face. And as you walk the path, to your left you see piles of moraine that were where the valley sides were back then. Anyhow, if my camera turns up, you will get to see the photos I took that makes this all obvious!
I really hit the crowds today at Geraldine, and was very surprised by the amount of traffic on the road from there to Fairlie. But as a local told me, it's all the people heading to Queenstown etc for New Year. There are heaps of people in this DOC camp ground. You had to self-register, and my little tag is by my tent. If it wasn't there, apparently I would be getting a rude awakening in the morning!
Goodnight! People seem to be turning into their tents much earlier here in the mountains.
FOOTNOTE of the happy kind. An alpine guide found my camera and handed it into reception at the Hermitage. More sunny day Mt Cook photos coming in the morning!