Sunday, 3 September 2017

Snow Photos- Canterbury

Catch-up

You wouldn't believe I've just had four weeks to catch up on blogs and photos and yet I'm still posting about Canterbury and the snow! 

Mt Hutt
We've been having a few weeks R&R, parked up at the Kaiteriteri Holiday Park in Tasman at the top of the South Island (actually that should be just one R, there's been very little recreation). It's been great to just relax and see out the end of winter, although the weather could have been a little kinder. It has rained often. One day it's fine and sunny, the next it's cold and wet. Back and forth it's swung on a very regular basis, much like winter for many New Zealanders this year I hear. It's been a funny old season all round. 

Mt Hutt Panorama (click to enlarge)
I actually haven't minded the weather too much, I feel guilty if I'm not out there enjoying the sun and exploring if it's shining. So it's fine (no pun intended) if I'm stuck inside on a cold or wet day, I always have plenty to catch up on. It took a good two weeks before I actually felt settled here though, I always have 'itchy feet' to get moving again after a few days, but this time I had to give myself a stern talking to. 

Mt Hutt Station
We've had a lovely time relaxing, meeting new people and catching up with others we've met on the road previously. But now with two pairs of itchy feet, the time has come to pack up and pull out. When you're on the road full-timers, you know it's time to move on when your doormat needs a mow, the ants are taking over the kitchen and the birds line up outside waiting for their breakfast every morning! Where to next? You know the answer to that one. Ask me tomorrow.

Rakaia Gorge
And now after that quick catch-up, back to the photos. I'm going try and do the next few blogs a bit more quickly because I really want to get up-to-date before we start exploring again. I tell you, it's a never ending vicious circle (not that I'm complaining of course!). So I'm planning on less words, more photos....well that's the theory anyway. Lets see how that goes.

I  took myself on a tikitour two days after the snow fall and several downpours of rain...


Before (above) and after the snow- Mt Hutt from Windwhistle at the top of Rakaia Gorge.


From Windwhistle, a fogbow- like a rainbow but with no colour.


The rickety single lane Old Rakaia Gorge Bridge, built 1880-82, crosses one braid of the Rakaia River...


...and this slightly newer New Rakaia Gorge Bridge crosses the next braid, just a few metres further on. 


Then the ever curious me decided to return to Mt Somers and head down the Ashburton Lakes road to see what I could see. Well, surely they'd be a lot of snow down there, right? The roads had been graded, there was a lot of mud and slush (and stinky cow poop mixed in too), a vision of David having to clean the ute flashed past my eyes...just for a second though. I kept on driving.


You have to watch out for flocks of birds on the road when the snow covers their usual food source- finches, sparrows, magpies & blackbirds are looking for bugs and things on the only clear area which happens to be the road you're travelling on at 80-90kph. You can see some on the road above, they leave it until the last moment to lift off too. 


Mt Barrosa and an old farm house.


More farm stations up a side road.


No. 8 wire kiwi ingenuity at it's best. We so need this on the van for rain fade!


And look at the historic Hakatere Farm buildings, looking picture perfect covered in snow and looking very different to the other day.




Uh-oh! The road has only been graded to Hakatere, the gravel road to Lake Clearwater is covered in snow. Hey, but there are tyre tracks....


But I'm not too sure I should drive it. I'm in 4WD. I have Diff-lock. I should be ok. Yeah, I'm sure I'll be ok. Do I? Don't I? I am sooo tempted but it looks very slippery and there's no phone reception if I get stuck. And how's David going to get here to rescue me anyway? Darn! I turn around and head back down the road....I so wanted to go up there. 


As I head back to Methven I see a fogbow again...I wonder if it's the same one, I'm about 40kms down the road. This time I shoot it with my wide angle lens so I can get all of it in.


And one last photo before I get home; North Branch Ashburton River/Hakatere near Pudding Hill.



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