The New Zealand Diaries: of lakes, churches and encounters (21/01/16)

It is 8 30am and the air here at my little (free!) campsite in Rakaia near the Rakaia  River close to Christchurch is filled with birdsong. I think I am also getting a taste of what a New Zealand summer can be like….temperatures are already well in the 20s and will probably exceed 30 today.


My sun hat and cream finally came back into use yesterday during my 3.5 hour walk round Lake Tekapo….up through a pine forest, where I was able to admire beautiful small budding pine cones,  the path eventually led me round the top of mount St John,round the observatory, through open fields to some mind-blowingly beautiful views of the bluey-turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo. At every angle, the water looked different….sometimes a rich blue,sometimes lime green, sometimes all of those colours in one place  with the wind rippling the water sending patches of dark blue that looked like rafts of penguins across the otherwise still, clear waters. Bees were buzzing in bushes decorated with beautiful pink roses, and occasionally I would see a pretty bird.My eyes soaked with blue colour, I also spent some time praying in the very special old Church of the Good Shepherd on the lakeshore where a lovely lady called Anna gave me a card with a Bible verse on, and of course I also had a quick swim in the icey cold lake.


The journey from Oamaru to Lake Tekapo was beautiful, too.  Wonderful landscapes, the spectacular views of Lake Pukaki with Mount Cook towering majestically in the background as well as the Maori rock carvings of Maerewhenua and Takiroa were also particulat highlights. At Takiroa , I saw lots of birds feeding their young with fledglings peeping out of their nests-it was glorious.


Today I am planning to head to Akaroa on the Christchurch peninsula after a morning coffee with Helen whom I met last night in search of the house of a lady called Alison whom I had encountered by the recycle bins earlier when I could not find the campsite. Alison not only gave me directions but also invited me for tea and the three of us had a lovely time. I have to say my impression that kiwis are lovely people, formed through hear-say but also, of course, through my time with the guys in Afghanistan, has more than been confirmed out here.


On that note I shall end and get the camper ready to move as Helen will be back soon from her morning jog and then I will make a move. Delights and surprises all around-so wonderful.