I was pleased to wake to a calm that we didn't have yesterday. The winds had died down completely, the rain had stopped and whilst the clouds still hung low around us, there was a glimpse of blue doing its best to push through the grey. I was keen to get out and do some walking - the 10km/3 hour walk along the Hooker Valley was the goal - but something was holding me back. This is a mountainous region and with that comes changeability. I was getting increasingly concerned about the absence of appropriate gear for the walk - I'd be fine as long as the weather continued to fine up, but if it changed.........my footwear was light with minimal grip, my raincoat was not wind or waterproof and I had no warm merino tops with me. As I said a day or two ago, it simply never crossed my mind when I was packing the van in 28 degrees of February heat that I might need more winter-like attire. Still, a plan has formed that quite excites me. It'll take some time to prepare for but it does give me a clear focus and plenty of time. I know this flies in the face of my 'Just do it' trip mantra but on this occasion I feel justified in not just doing it as safety was potentially at stake.
Excuses made, I did a much smaller walk (twice actually as my camera battery ran out and I had to return to get another!) which helped to solidify my new plan in my mind. I'll be back. Enough said.
Today's pic is of the start of the Hooker Valley walk.....nothing like a good swing-bridge over racing glacial outflow to prepare walkers for the journey ahead! In extras is another shot from a location just to the left, and one of the road leaving the Mt Cook area. If you look very closely just to the left of the front car's windscreen, you may just be able to make out the campground in the background which helps to give some small sense of scale to the image.
Tonight's stopping point is at the campground in Tekapo where I thoroughly enjoyed plenty of power, a long, warm shower, doing my laundry and cleaning out and topping up the van amenities. Such simple pleasures!