Road Trip!

I arrived in Christchurch on Monday and had a quick walk around, a very typical English-style city with, you guessed it, a church in the center. Stopped in at the Dux-de-Lux for some home brewed pale ales and a pizza topped with barbeque sauce, mozzarella, king prawns, salmon, smoked trout and mussels. Phenomenal. Dropped by the Christchurch casino for a few hours and walked out with $450 from a generous black jack table. Feeling lucky, I scoured the agencies in town the next morning, finally finding a cancellation, and with that rented the last car available in Christchurch for a three week drive across New Zealand. After a few hours on the road, day one’s destination came into view


Mt. Cook, at 3,755 meters, is the highest peak in Australasia. Back in the day, Edmund Hillary cut his teeth on Mt. Cook before moving on to tackle Everest


This being the busiest month in New Zealand, I assumed the roads would be packed. I guess this is as crowded as it gets here


It’s Mt. Cook that I’ve come here to see, but I cannot stop looking off to my right at Lake Pukaki


The color is absolutely ridiculous


A later reading of Lonely Planet told me that the color comes from “rock-flour” sediment left behind when a stony-bottomed glacier moved across the land surface here. As the glacier melted to form the lake, the sediment ended up being suspended in the water, which gives it the milky appearance. On a sunny day, the sediment also refracts the sunlight to create the amazing turquoise color.

Further down the road, as one good thing comes to an end


Another looms large ahead


Mt. Cook Village is situated in a little valley with quite the panorama; mountains, glaciers, vegetation, barren terrain, and one well placed hotel






In the background sticking out is Mt. Cook


You can walk a few kilometers past here on designated paths, but beyond that, mountaineers only. One of those walks you can take is along here


I hear it’s popular with single guys.

Only one way in and out of Mt. Cook Village, and on the way out, the road is just as empty and the lake looks even bluer


Are you kidding me?


With the added bonus of my iPod and iTrip broadcasting music all day on 87.9 FM, it was hard not to smile a lot yesterday


On day one of the New Zealand road trip, 450 km flew by, and it’s not hard to see why


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