Today is a perfect day for writing. I will set the scene. I am sat typing away at my dining table while the rain falls softly outside and I just know when I go to collect the post, outside it will smell that gorgeous newly-fallen rainy smell. I am getting toasty wearing my new/old polo jumper (see last week's thrifty post) and listening to a Sol Seppy album my brother gave me for Christmas (and thinking how much I miss those older brothers of mine). We have just come back from four days away over Easter, travelling around the Southern Lakes of the South Island and I am looking forward to starting my new job tomorrow. Mainly because I have never really looked forward to starting work anywhere before (except maybe my first day at the sweet shop back home) and it makes a nice change.
We spent our holiday relaxing and reflecting upon our first hectic months in a new country and all the changes we've been through lately. We were able to catch up on thoughts we hadn't had chance to think and look how far we've come already this year. I feel I am finally on a path that I can confidently walk down, feeling comfortable in my own skin.
So....here's a few posts with a low-down of our escape from the city.
|Martin at Lake Tekapo|
|The Tasman Glacier and Mount Cook in the distance|
|Enjoying the view of the glacier|
Thursday was spent furiously stitching polka dot ribbon to my thrifted car-curtains in attempt to make them look a bit prettier and then feverishly trying to attach them in some fuctional way to the car to give us a chance at catching some reasonable sleep while we were away. By the time Mr Bear came home from work, everything was all packed up and ready to go so, after a speedy dinner, we departed for the three hour drive to Lake Tekapo for our first night.
It felt a bit of a shame to be driving in the dark and we tried to picture the landscape based on the shadowy silhouettes of mountains and valleys we were passing through. Our first night in the make-shift car-bed was a bit of a restless one. It's a bit cosy in there!
After a speedy wash and pack-up in the morning, we drove into Tekapo and grabbed a coffee to enjoy by the Lake. What a view. Although Tekapo itself isn't much to write home about - it's largely based around the needs of the tourist, with cafes, toilets and gift shops ect - the lake and view of the mountains was stunning. Crystal clear water and reflected vistas: beautiful.
We didn't stay long as we wanted to get to our next campsite in Wanaka before dark and we still had to stop off at Mount Cook and the Tasman Glacier. It's about 120 min round trip off the main road to view Mount Cook and the glaciers, and we ventured off-road on a rough gravel track for 8km while I panicked and got all anxious about our lovely new car and how dusty it was getting! After a steep climb, the glacier viewing point was well worth it. The sight of huge pieces of ice sheared from the glacier floating on Lake Tasman took away the little breath I had left from scrambling up the rocky mountain-side. Staring out to Mount Cook in the distance and enjoying the precious quietness of the place, we realised how lucky we are.
From Mount Cook, I braved driving on Kiwi roads for the first time. It's an enjoyable experience when you're out in the country and not surrounded by too many crazy NZ drivers! I parked up 30 mins down the line at Twizel for lunch. We visited Twizel Bakery Cafe, which had been recommended on a website I'd used to plan the holiday, and enjoyed a nice chunky slice of quiche followed by half a peach and passionfruit crumble tart each.