Section 9: Lake Tekapo to Twizel

Tekapo Village- Twizel
67km
3 days
Resupply in Twizel

Day 48: Tekapo Village to Campsite (17km/5, 5hours )
We camped the night in the forest near Lake Tekapo and went into the town the next morning to see if they have some accommodation for tonight, because we would really like to do laundry and have a shower. Unfortunately everything is full. Ok, do you have separate laundry and/or shower that we can pay for? Alas, these services are reserved for guest. So we head back to the lake for a shower and laundry. It’s very refreshing (read: freezing cold).

Doing some morning stretches the next day after a nice and cold bath in the lake.

Doing some morning stretches the next day after a nice and cold bath in the lake.

Feeling more confident that we won’t scare any customers away with our smelly clothes, we make our way to the coffee shop. We find a nice place called ‘Reflections’. Big cozy couches, lots of outlets and free wifi. All the things you’re craving when you’re fresh of the trail. The best of all, they have the Uncle Bob’s Special; unlimited filter coffee and a muffin or scone for a mere 6 dollars.
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With the caffeine pumping through our veins we hit the trail around 3:30pm. The first 5 kilometers we follow the highway and then we turn right into a dirt road. It’s a good walk with nice views of the mountains. We pass some Alpaca’s and they are quite curious. I don’t know if I want to come too close. Do they spit? Or is that just lama’s? I’m trying to recall what happened in Emperor Cuzko.

We pass some Alpaca farms on the way

We pass some Alpaca farms on the way

Around 6pm we reach the tiny Telephone Hut. It only fits two people and there is already one girl inside. It’s incredibly windy on the open planes and it wouldn’t be so nice to camp next to the hut. So we cook dinner inside and walk on. A few kilometers further we find a gravel quarry. It’s nice and sheltered and from the rim we have beautiful views of the sunset.
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Day 49: Campsite to Lake Pukaki (30km/8hours)

I wake up around dawn and when I poke my head out through the tent flap I get treated to an amazing view. There no low clouds and I can see all the surrounding peaks, including Mount Cook.

Good morning views

Good morning views

A fence is seperating us from the mountains. It’s a military training area. The sign says: “Danger: life firing and explosions.” Hmm, maybe we’ll just have breakfast on this side then.

The bullocks have nice views

The bullocks have nice views

We walk along a dirtroad that hugs the shores of Lake Pukaki.

Lake Pukaki. So blue!

Lake Pukaki. So blue!

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Weird cloud patterns, probably means rain.

Weird cloud patterns, probably means rrain

The bright blue color is caused by glacial flour, the extremely finely ground rock particles from the glacier. The road we are on is part of the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail which runs all the way from Mt. Cook over 300 km to the east coast.

We camp near  the lake head where there are a few freedom camping areas. We pitched just in time as the rain is moving in.

Day 50: Lake Pukaki to Twizel (20km/4, 5hours)

Dark clouds in the morning

Dark clouds in the morning

We walk the last bit along the lake and then cross the road to continue to Twizel and arrive around noon. Twizel is a small town, although probably not by New Zealand standards. It’s quite pleasant and not as crowded as for example Lake Tekapo (except at noon when the kiwexperience buss offloads all its 18 year old backpackers at 4square supermarket). Having a supermarket sort of puts a town on the map and Twizel even has two 4square supermarkets within spitting distance of eachother. But again, as in so many other towns, no accomodation. So off into the bushes again.

Day 51: Take a break

We spent the next day in Twizel. Just getting all the necessary stuff done: eating ice cream, drinking coffee, doing laundry and getting supplies for the next section.

 

 

 

 

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