Two visits to Lake Tekapo, Lake Pukaki. 2 days. 87 kilometers. Side trip.Mount Cook National Park
I have two posts in one here. My second visit to Lake Pukaki and Lake Tekapo were when I walked it, while the first was when I was injured taking a couple rest days. After seeing the beauty of these two lakes the first time around I knew I wanted to end my adventure in this area and see the lakes one more time.
The lakes are dyed powder and electric blue from the glacier flour runoff of Mt. Cook, the highest mountain in New Zealand. Lake Tekapo is also considered a special ‘dark sky reserve’, with an observatory and some of the best skies in the world for star gazing. I would attest to this. The milky way was a brilliant sight here!
The walk here was long, arduous and painful though. Almost all of it on highway and gravel roads. For some reason my feet just could not adjust to any road walking throughout this whole journey and after long 20-30 kilometer stretches of road I would be limping in pain. The views were worth it and there was a nice free campsite at lake Pukaki where you can camp and see Mt. Cook at sunset over the lake. Mesmerizing!!
First Trip to Lake Pukaki and Lake Tekapo. Rest Days.
Waiting out bad weather after completing the Richmond Range turned into a short break in Nelson. After a few days of limping on one foot, I had it checked out and it turns out I had a strained muscle near my ankle that swelled up. Unfortunately no hiking now this week and hopefully I will be healed and ready for the mountaineering camp week in Mount Aspiring National Park February 4th-11th. The mountaineering week will be a side excursion off of the Te Araroa trail. It will be a series of class 1 mountaineering climbs throughout the national park for 7 days and will be more demanding and technically challenging than a lot of the TA sections so it's really important that I am healed by then as it could be a highlight of my trip! After the camp I'll be back to hitting the trails and hopefully, weather in both February and March will be more settled. Currently a few TA sections that I want to complete are washed out from storms from the last two weeks so when the time comes I may have to save those sections for the end of my hike.
Luckily, I have to start two remote work contracts this week so my foot injury isn't terrible timing. My contracts are with an Australian and US development agency and will hopefully be flexible enough over the next few months to allow to me to still complete all of the hike while only jumping off the trail for a few days at a time when necessary. I'd like to time my work days on rest days!
The last two days I've been at Lake Tekap and Mt Cook National Park. I'm currently in Lake Pukaki, which is one of the most beautiful lakes I have ever seen. The water color is unreal!
I'm headed to Oamaru and Dunedin today for the remainder of the week, then heading to Queenstown to pick up gear before departing for the mountains again. I'll update more once I'm back on the trails so stay tuned. Here are some pictures from the last two days.