Off to Aoraki Mt Cook today. Try a last ditch effort to get Susan to bungee, but the concerted cry from all in the van is " no way...." As you would expect, the scenery heading south is spectacular. NZ has such a variety of landscapes so close together, even I am impressed and I drive through here often. I pass by my normal climb to the summit of Lindus Pass as it is covered in cloud. Unfortunately everything North of the is cloudy..... What are we going to find at Mt Cook?
For once the view point above Pukaki is empty. We stop for an early lunch. The view towards Mt Cook is wet, but the lake is like a mirror. Before we have even set up, several vehicles arrive and we have several gorkers, watching us prepare lunch. I reckon they're after my cake. One Aussie guy is very reluctant to leave, until his missus drags him away. Lunch and cake are fantastic, which matches the view.
As we drive towards White Horse car park, it looks as if the cloud cover reaches up to the Sealy Tarns then clears. I decide we need to go for a climb. We will be passing through the cloud, but if we are lucky, we might get a good view above the lower cloud level. A couple of the group find the climb a bit tough. We arrive at the Sealy Tarns picnic table in dense cloud...except Chris is not there...... Yep, a couple saw a guy fitting his description about 15 mins above the turnoff. Oh well. I was going to suggest we climb a little higher anyway. I yell for Chris. Annette gives a fantastic "get in behind" whistle, and we continue climbing. 5 mins later we find Chris. He heard the whistle and was "getting away back". We climb up to him and the cloud parts....... Amazing scene. I'm a bit slow to get my camera out, and it disappears, so we wait. After about 10 mins, the same clearing happens. Like magic, there are mountains in front of us. Totally worth the climb is everyone's verdict.
We make slow progress down to the Tarns as a couple are not too comfortable on the steep terrain. I chat to a guy from Warkworth, a retired teacher. Seems he and his wife are joining me for my Vietnam ride in December. Great. Who else is Coming?
The evening meal is as delicious as expected. The kitchen is busy, including a family from Melbourne who have just walked the Routebourne. Another great day, doing a job I love.
Thanks to all those that have sent me birthday Greetings. I haven't been able to see them all as I've run out of data time on my phone. Tomorrow.
One more day of paid employment...... then it's fulltime adventuring.....