Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Monday to Wednesday 28-30 January 2008 - Mount Cook Lifts its Veil

Monday morning - woke to clear skies and fine views of the Southern Alps. Paid our farewells to Pam and Rob, and whilst they set off to work we spent all day over 330km in search of new horizons. Rewarded by fine views en route and a nice camping spot near Mt Cook Village. Short walks and a camp meal were followed by a lovely sunset. Mt C had just about poked its snout out of the clouds.

Tuesday - woke to the competing sounds of a flock of Kea birds and an insomniac JCB. The JCB won. So it wasn't long before we were up at the Tasman Glacier, the longest in NZ, from where Mt Cook's snowy summit towered above its sharp final ridge, radiant below a vermilion sky, over 3000 metres above us. Icebergs disintegrated noisily on the lake below us. Then it was back to camp and up a 500 metre Alpine Thrutch to Sealy Lake, with more fine views to Mt Cook and several stupendous hanging glaciers. Sue swam vigorously before a late lunch. It was about 30C up here, a hot day. Then down via Kea Point (no Keas) then along the Hooker Valley to beyond the second suspension bridge from where we got yet more (and our closest) views of the highest point in NZ - 3754 metre Mt Cook. We blame the Heat; we felt a bit tired, so it was a welcome early night after a fine home cooked salad and local wine. The day had been hot and cloudless.
Wednesday - Milky Way views overnight made way for a cloudy but bright morning for our leisurely drive to Bowness on Windermere, sorry, Queenstown. En route I was not tempted by the low flying attractions of the old Kawarau Bridge's bungy industry. Sue was attracted, but will save her aerial adrenaline for later in the trip. Deco Backpackers here in Queenstown has a fine view and good facilities to set us up for the next phase.

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