Today was a big day. In one of those…unbounded pouring in of personal epic moments that you keep filing away in your internal forever album until it overloads and you are utterly emotionally maxed-out and physically shagged-out to the core…kind of ways.
After nearly postponing the trip due to inclement weather reports we decided to ‘stuff-it lets go anyway’ and drove up to the Aoraki / Mt Cook national park. Here we hiked the Hooker valley, came back to Newt, had a coffee, hiked out to the Tasman glacier, came back, had a coffee, wandered around the information centre, got lost, got found, and then (it was by now late afternoon) drove back to score a superb free camping spot with a spectacular view out across the lazuli blue of Lake Pukaki.
The weather was a perfect wild admixture of sun, snow, rain, gale and cloud to complement the spread of 140 (two thousand metre plus) mountains that have been pushed up in tectonic collateral as the Hooker valley and the Tasmin valley collide.
The tallest of these is Aoraki herself. A 3,724 metre anvil who’s summit was veiled in a blow of cloud and spindrift the whole time we were there. But we saw she was moody and we watched her shake huge boulders and long snow-fall avalanches from her steep slopes as if they were crumbs being flicked off a lace dress.
Kelly and I both sustained significant doses of wind burn, sun burn and quads burn that I am pretty sure will al be wanting due payment (in spades) by tomorrow afternoon. It was worth it.
One we settled into our campsite for the evening, we were both too tired to cook anything complicated for dinner. So we heated some vegetable soup and contented ourselves to lay in bed and simmer with the perfect view to cap the day.
The dishes can wait until tomorrow.