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And the rains came …

March 7, 2015

Mountain rainsAs predicted the rains came at 3a.m. today and poured until 12 noon. You can see the outcome of so much rain on this photo taken by the roadside when we stopped to change drivers.

The white lines are all water falls.

Thinking that the Glacial highway further on would be the trickier part of the day’s drive, I opted for the first stint. What a misconception!

We left Wanaka at 9.30a.m. The rain had been falling since the early hours and drumming so hard on the motorhome roof that we got up at 6a.m. and watched day break over the mountains. Not that we could see the mountains for the mist but we knew they were there as we had seen them the previous day.

As soon as we left the town and were out in the countryside I realised my mistake.Mountain view from Lake Mattheson                                        Tasman Sea from Knight's Point

There was water, water everywhere. Above me, below me, to either side and streaming across the road.

I ruched along the shore of Lake Hawea, cinched through a series of one lane bridges, ran the gauntlet of rock and waterfalls, steering clear of recent landslides and hugging the centre line where the road had been washed away while Ian exclaimed about the fantastic waterfalls and volumes of water gushing through steep gorges below.

Two and a half hours of hairpin bends later we pulled into the side of the road to take this photo to give you an idea of the conditions.

We changed drivers and took this photo on the  approach to the village of Haast.

Just before 12 noon the sun came out and the roads started to steam but the Glacial highway was a doddle by comparison.

We stopped at Knight’s Point to take a photo of the Tasman Sea crashing into the rocks and cliffs, and finally reached Fox Glacier at 4p.m.

Due to the weather the journey had taken us over 6 hours instead on the estimated 3 and a half.

Upon arrival at Fox Glacier we discovered that the walks to the foot of the glacier were closed due to the rains so we ended up completing a circular route of Lake Mattheson.

Ian had hoped to capture a reflection of Mount Tasman and Mount Cook in the mirror lake but the cloud had come down over the mountains again.

The photos above are a few of the many he took today.

The plan tomorrow is to head to Franz Josef Glacier and enjoy a dip in the heated glacial pools.




From → Travel Writing

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