We flew home yesterday.
Andrew and Abbey are wonderful hosts, and I miss our grandchildren already, but after a while there is an insistent call summoning us home. Our flight was at 2 pm, so the morning was free. For the first time since we arrived, there was no wind at all. With the aid of Abbey’s little car, I went round to Lake Hayes, to see if my hopes were realised. Lake Hayes has been shot a million times, but when it sets up that mirror, I can’t resist it.
In due course, after an airport lunch, we were airborne, looking down the lake towards Queenstown.
We had a chatty cockpit crew and they warned us that there would be a lot of turbulence as we climbed to cruising altitude. I think the persistently winding road below runs from the Cardrona Valley to the Treble Cone skifield.
It’s fun picking out places you have been by road. The next image is “The Neck” where Lake Hawea is closest to Lake Wanaka. That road along the lakeshore in the foreground, passes over the neck and then clings to the Northern shore of Wanaka until it heads West over the wild road to Haast and the West Coast.
Before long, our loquacious first officer was back and being informative about the mountains to the left. Aoraki Mt Cook and Mt Tasman were pointed out, as was the amazing Hochstetter Ice Flow pouring down the mountain towards the Tasman Glacier at a rate of up to 10 metres a day.
Nearer to home, we crossed the coast just South of Lake Grassmere which is New Zealand’s principal source of table salt. I am fascinated by the pink hue of the evaporating pans.
And then, after crossing an obviously wild and windy Strait it was a bouncing and slightly uncomfortable descent into Wellington. Tapu Teranga Island sitting out there guarding Island bay was a welcome sight.
Normal service should resume tomorrow.
- a vague reference to the Wizard of Oz