Daybreak and brilliant sunshine – but yes, the night had been very cold. Somewhat startled to discover the showers were 50 cents in the slot, given fees paid last night, but at least they were long!
After a quick shop in town, headed south towards Timaru, a port city. Opted to park near the information centre and then look for a coffee fix. After passing on a few offerings, stepped into Sopheze, which was very busy, and a simple order of two coffees and a piece of walnut cake (buttered and wrapped in plastic) was stuffed up. Ah well.
The town centre maintains its Edwardian facades, newly painted. The sculpture garden at the Aigantighe Gallery was worth a detour.
The afternoon sky threatened and T wondered whether heading west to the Alps was wise but the vista was a delight as we passed through Pleasant Point, Fairlie and then to Lake Tekapo. Dairy farms gave way to deer and then the landscape became alpine, windswept and treeless. At the lake we paused to admire the range of blues and to visit the old stone church, but beat a hasty retreat in the face of the hordes of Japanese selfie-takers and chatterers in the ‘quiet’ worship space. The afternoon colours and snow-capped mountains kept enthusiasm high.
The narrow road west was buffeted by very strong winds, making the journey uncomfortable. Each time a large truck passed, it created a windbreak that threw forward direction askew – that can be somewhat disconcerting! Arrived at Lake Pukaki, and wended our way past many fellow campers to a quiet spot sheltered from the wind. Fellow freedom campers continued to come in over the next few hours, but all of them chose to pass our little sheltered nook to join the masses of others that were camped on the edge of the lake. Great views, but they’ll probably have an interesting night if the wind gets up. We are sharing the site with a couple of car loads of campers – when they arrived the boom-boom music started up (oh dear!) but that died down. They have ignored the No Fires signs and have enjoyed a little camp fire from the plentiful pine cones.