Saturday, September 23, 2006

Mount Cook

(Reference to my last sentence on my last post (Living the dream)) We certainly have been freezing! The last two nights have seen me wearing my coat and beanie to bed! However, these did little to keep out the cold. We tried to move around as little as possible so as not to let the cold air in and I attempted to keep my face warm by sticking it under the covers. Unfortunately, this presented the options of freeze or get gassed. I chose the former! Tim said he was just trying to keep us warm.

I had rung our rental place to tell them our heater doesn't work and they had told us to buy another and they'd refund us. Our first task today was to find that heater. I am now sitting in the van with our new purchase plugged in and it is heaven.

Despite the cold start I am loving it. I have got used to driving the van and also moving around it. Although we can stand up to full height in it, I have still managed to crack my head on the cupboard, but these bumps are getting less as I get used to living in a small space! It is great being able to cook for ourselves (Well Tim being able to cook for me...I do the driving and washing up after all) and make a drink when I want. I really missed these simple things whilst in SE Asia.

Yesterday seemed to go really fast and we didn't actually get that far. From Akaroa we drove to Timaru. We wanted to go there because they had a Supermarket! We needed some supplies and decided just to stay there. It was a bit of a grey day and Timuru didn't look over appealing, but we just spent the afternoon in our new toy (the van). The redeeming feature of the caravan park was that it had a “jumping pillow”, a big bouncy thing which we jumped around on before getting worn out (quite quickly; I need to get fit!) It was great. If anyone wants to get me a birthday present one of these would be great! I'm sure my mum and Dad wouldn't mind if you delivered it to their house! Only joking mum and Roger!

Today was a beautiful day with blue sky. We headed to Mount Cook which was only 200kms away, but somehow took 5 hours to get there! We kept getting distracted by beautiful scenery, mainly beautiful snow capped mountains with very blue lakes in front of them. We had our lunch admiring one of these views at Lake Tekapo. We eventually got to Mount Cook and it's neighbouring mountains, both of which we had been able to see for most of the day. Mount Cook is Australasia's highest peak and is surrounded by 22 other mountains that reach up to 3050m high (and more besides). They had been a spectacular sight all day, but suddenly they seemed to envelope us and we were almost surrounded by them; massive, imposing and daunting beasts. We drove further towards Mount Cook where we were intending to stay at a nearby cheap camper site (no facilities). However, as we climbed out of the van at the Visitor centre we quickly decided against that idea as it was absolutely freezing. I know we were at a mountain which was covered in snow, but as the snow was mainly at the top I hadn't thought it was going to be that cold! There was an icy wind whipping us and neither of us fancied freezing even more than we had been, especially when we had just bought a heater. (which we wouldn't have been able to use at the camp ground as there was no power). We decided to spend a bit more on a camp ground down the road with powered sites so we would be able to use our heater. Sitting in our camper van we can see Mount Cook, snow covered mountains and a lake so I don't regret that decision. We had planned to do some walking round here, but we may just wimp out of that tomorrow if it is still as cold as it was earlier. I don't fancy getting frost bite!

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