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Archive for February 7th, 2021

I can’t tell you how often we get weather reports that predict snow, and it all just fizzles out in a flurry.

So when I heard on Friday that we should expect the Beast from the East and 20 cms of snow, I was like “yeah, yeah…whatever “. They never get it right…

We hah! I got it wrong. When I woke up this morning it was raining, as it had been since the afternoon before. Have you ever heard of rain preceding snow? No. It always come afterwards. So I looked out the window at 7am, and instead of the predicted 2am sleet⁸⁸ and snow, I saw rain.

And hour later and it was a ‘whiteout’. Blimey, the snow arrived on the back of the beast and it hasn’t stopped since. Even as I write its blowing a bloody gale outside and the snow is piling up!!! And up!!

Now, I love snow, and I always get really excited when it snows, but this is just seriously bad timing. My booking ends tomorrow and by looks of things, I am not going to be able to get out….😱😱😱πŸ₯ΊπŸ₯Ί

The incoming Carer decided to come this afternoon coz there’s no trains tomorrow, so at least she’s here, but blimey…it looks like I may get stuck here for another day. Meanwhile….

….because I am slightly daft,Β and because I really wanted some photos of the snow before I (hopefully) leave this booking tomorrow, I decided at 3pm to go for a walk….I didn’t get very far, only 750 meters up the road before returning to the house blinded by freezing snow whipped up by the wind, covered from head to toe in snow, and frozen to the bone πŸ₯ΆπŸ₯ΆπŸ₯Ά – okay, not really frozen to the bone, but close enough πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ and I got my photos 😁😁😁

The wind has continued to blow for the rest of the day, the snow continues to pile up and the electricity keeps going off!!! It looks like I may well end up getting stuck here for another day…oh well. At least the incoming Carer is here, so I won’t have to work πŸ˜‰ so for your viewing pleasure, some snow pics

I put seeds out for the birds..the blackbird and robin found them despite the snow
The food is in the freezer in the garage – I have to go out in the pitch dark with a torch to get it…πŸ₯ΆπŸ₯Ά
Icicles above the back door πŸ₯΄πŸ₯΄πŸ₯΄

It’s so beautiful 😍😍😍

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This challenge is 289.7 kms, takes considerably longer to complete if you’re walking short distances each day weather depending, and can sometimes be a bit wearying as you plod along every day building up the miles/kms. But it’s all worthwhile when the next postcard pops up. How awesome it must have been to glide over the NZ landscape for 15 hours. The views must be stunning from that height.

The days have been mostly grey, overcast and lots of rain, but I managed to get out nearly every day between 10th and 17th, explored a few public footpaths (big mistake – they’re mud baths in the current weather), and created some interesting configurations πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

I try to vary my route each day and create more shapes

Meanwhile, on my virtual journey I covered 47kms, and am just on 18 kms over halfway through my challenge/virtual journey. I plan to finish by 3rd February. πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€žπŸ€žπŸ€ž

Here we go Stage 5, which I reached on 17th January, done and dusted…

Having left the alps and peaks behind, the town of Omarama marked the halfway point of my journey. Although a small rural town, mainly a service centre for locals and nearby residents, Omarama had a few surprises up its sleeve.

Disney’s 2020 movie release of Mulan was entirely shot in New Zealand with scenes filmed at the Clay Cliffs just outside of Omarama.

Stage 5

In 2009, NZ pilot Terry Delore set a new world record in his 87ft (26.5m) wingspan glider. Taking off from Omarama, Terry travelled 1,491mi (2,400km) up and down NZ for 15 hours reaching speeds of up to 93mph (160kph) before landing back in town. Omarama has strong gliding conditions making it a popular destination for gliding pilots. Omarama hosted the 1995 and 2007 World Gliding Championships of which Kiwis took first place in the 1995 open category and third place in 2007.

For the weary soul like myself a Hot Tub soak the night before to rejuvenate my muscles and unwind was just what I needed. The Hot Tub was located outside in a private setting within a tussock and rock landscape. The tub was filled with fresh mountain water without any chemicals added. The business reuses the water for irrigation. A submersible firebox allowed me to adjust the water’s temperature. As I settled in, I watched the Milky Way appear and spill across the night sky with its millions of stars.

Eastward bound, I left Omarama refreshed and ready to tackle the next half of the journey. The trip was relatively easy and short when compared to previous days. The first half of the trail was off-road running parallel to the State Highway on the right. Crossing at Chain Hills to the left of the highway I began my descent alongside Lake Benmore, the largest artificial lake in NZ.
Lake Benmore was created in the 1960s as part of the Benmore Dam construction. The lake is split into two arms. The largest is fed by three rivers, Tekapo, Pukaki and Twizel plus the Ohau canal with Waitaki River flowing right through the lake, whereas the smaller arm is fed by Ahuriri River.

It is this smaller arm that I travelled along to Pumpkin Point, a grassy beach area, for a break and a splash in the lake, then onto Sailors Cutting where the off-road trail terminates and I join the highway for the rest of today’s trip. Not the most relaxing part of the journey as I braved the high-speed highway with an upward climb to Otematata Saddle. The views of Lake Aviemore and the valley beyond was a lovely compensation until I continued on the busy highway downhill all the way into Otematata.

Not the most relaxing part of the journey.…reminds me of when I walked the Portuguese Camino…there were quite a few occasions I had to brave a high-speed highway πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ

I did a quick Google search tonight and discovered that the Alps to Ocean route is actually a dedicated cycling route πŸ€£πŸ€£πŸ€£πŸš΄β€β™€οΈπŸš΄β€β™€οΈπŸš΄β€β™€οΈπŸš΄β€β™€οΈ so no walking then 🀨🀨 damn. I’ll have to do more research. I’d really love to walk the route, it looks awesome

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