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Aoraki/Mount Cook (Part 2)

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Aoraki/Mount Cook (Part 2)

A Golden Sunrise

The following day, I awoke to find Dany peering out the campervan window, at around 5 in the morning. Not usually an early riser, this struck me as out of the ordinary. He whispered, "Come here. I think I was awoken for a reason..."

The gleaming peak that greeted us that morning.

The view that greeted me was marvelous. The early morning sun was hitting the top of the looming mountain peaks, turning it golden. It was utterly surreal. I got my pullover on and nipped out into the nippy morning air, probably around 2-3 degrees Celsius at that time of the day, to get a better look and to snap a few choice photos.

Did I mention that the campsite we were at is called White Horse Hill? Such a romantic sounding name... The area is named after a nearby hill, and is situated on a valley floor amidst massive mountain ridges. The peak we were looking at was probably Mount Sefton, brimming with glaciers, even though it was early summer.

Tasman Lake

After a slow start, with the kids rolling out of bed for a simple breakfast of English muffins (gluten free diets went out the door on many days that trip), butter and Marmite (yum), we headed over to the Tasman lake hiking point about 5 minutes drive away from White Horse Hill. 


That day was HOT...dressed for the cooler weather we'd experienced in the previous few days, we were perspiring and ready to rip off our Uniqlo HeatTech tops by the time we were half way through this trek. Little Naked Bear, however, was thoroughly enjoying the sunshine, as he stayed behind sunbathing in Swiftly as we were hiking.

The hike to the Tasman Glacier View was not as beautiful as Hooker Valley...or maybe it was just the heat getting to me. It took us past the Blue Lakes (which are no longer blue) and after an arduous 45 minute walk, we reached the Tasman Glacier, where, once again, you are greeted by a sign that tells you how everywhere you looked at then and there once used to be covered in ice. Now, after our various walks, lasting 4 to 9 hours, you'd think a 45 minute walk would be easy-peasy, but for some reason it really wasn't. It was the heat - the heat was NOT my friend. Even the kids found it challenging...

It was also sad that the Blue Lakes are now Murky Green Lakes, because since the lakes were cut off from the melting glacier, it is now filled with rain water, and therefore, "stagnant" pondlife (read: algae).

Nevertheless, the Tasman lake itself was pretty stunning, and well worth the huffing and puffing in the heat (mind you, it was probably around 20 degrees Celsius, which is cool by home standards, but ...long sleeved HeatTechs...)

As if it heard my silent complaints, the skies opened up with rain just as we reached the carpark where we'd left Swiftly at the start of the hiking path. And so, we drove off, tired but relieved, toward our next stop, Lake Wanaka.

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