Why is she telling us this, I hear you ask. Well, it's because we went through the Mackenzie Basin, which is an intermontane environment on this trip - and what David and I both realised was that we had not known much about the area beforehand. Certainly we had heard of it, and we had actually been there back in 2001. But we had no idea of how rare and special an environment it is. So driving through it this time we were much more observant and impressed. If you want to read about it and why you should come and visit it, then look at this website. Or this one.
We didn't stay and do many of the activities that are available, but driving through spectacular scenery was a pleasure. You will have to wait for David to do a photographic post to see the best ones. I will nag him ...
We stayed for the night in Alexandra having driven through Roxburgh where Jack and Sarah used to live - we couldn't see their old house on our way through, but we did see the main street, the dam and lake that we had been to with them on our visit.
The Alexandra Motorcamp was great - it is huge and has excellent facilities. It was a very hot day so I asked for a place in the shade, by the river. So down to the river-flat the woman sent us and we parked up under a huge willow tree with a view to the river - perfect! No need for the awning, a slight breeze and the sight of cool water! And until about 6pm, we were the only ones in that area, although several people came past on their way to and from a cooling dip in the river. There are photos but they are not on jy camera - I will ask David to include them in one of his photo posts.
|And it is DRY down here!|
So an about turn until the correct road was reached and away we went again. Doh!!
The only place available for motorhomes close to Aoraki Mt Cook was at Glentanner and we had pre-booked that while at Alex. Knowing how many tourists head to Aoraki Mt Cook we thought it was better to have a space available than to chance it.
On arrival they gave us a Reserved sign to hang on the tap, so our spot - with a view of the lake - would still be ours when we got back from our 20km drive to the village.
|This was our view from the motorhome - down to Lake Pukaki|
|And there is Aoraki Mt Cook - what a view while eating dinner!|
|This is my panorama shot taken up outside the i-site at Aoraki Mt Cook village. I was waiting for David to re-appear from somewhere inside or outside - I had to text him to find out where he had got to ...|
|I took this on our way back from Aoraki Mt Cook - David said it was a very creative shot. I say it was lazy because I couldn't be arsed getting out of the cab while David was forced out (by me) to go and take photos ...|
There are only about 500 photos of the surrounding scenery, but relax, only 450 are included. Nah, I'm joking ... As I noted above, I am going to get David to do a couple of posts of photos that he considers highlights of the trip though, because he took lots and I haven't used any of his unless he took them on my phone. I am too impatient to trawl through more than one photographic device, don't you know! And he is a much better photographer.
After dinner we walked down to the lake - it was a beautiful evening after a magnificent day.
|The sunlight fading away on the mountains to our west|
|and the sunset|
|The path was full of potholes - I didn't realise on the way down that this was also part of the riverbed ...|
|The braided riverbed - currently dry. I doubt there'd be much walking down here in the winter!|
|See what I mean? And that was less than half of the parking area. Ours is there, on the left - white with a black roof. Much the poshest in the carpark ...|
|A proper breakfast.|
|David had a very nice BLT and a berry smoothie. No banana in it as they had run out of them, dammit!|
We had been going to stop overnight in Fairlie, which is still in the Mackenzie Basin, but decided to do a big push and get to Rangiora for two nights - the thinking was it would mean I could have a full day without any driving. Phew!