The Alps/Arthur's Pass
(back to Mount Cook)
Thursday, March 23, 2006 (continued)
After I left Mount Cook, I continued north towards Christchurch, but never really went got into Christchurch. Just before, I turned to the west and back into the mountains for some more car sightseeing. In the end, I crossed the alps twice - first heading west and then back again heading east. The only stop I made was at Lake Tekapo for lunch and there was Internet at a cafe next to the restaurant where I ate. A bit expensive, but I needed a break from driving and I hadn't checked for quite a few days.
I felt a little bad about all the gas I used to do the alps crossings... but the country isn't that wide east to west so it was only an extra tank. And the views were spectacular - and I enjoyed a wonderful sense of freedom. This photo on the left is a particular favorite because you can see the misty clouds lingering in that valley. And the color of the rocks from the sun was very pretty. Below are a few more photos of the scenery...
I stopped for the night in Arthur's Pass at the most expensive accommodations of my entire trip - $25 US for a 3-bed bunk room (see photo to the right). But I was the only one in the room, just like in Te Anau, so it was a good deal. A private room for the price of a shared. Another benefit to traveling in New Zealand in March... :-)
As much as I enjoy sleeping in a tent, I must admit that a hot bath, a comfy bed and four solid walls felt really good up in those cold mountains. I also treated myself to a very nice dinner that night in the restaurant.
Friday, March 24, 2006
From Arthur's Pass I continued west until I got to the west coast and then turned right around to take a different highway back to the east coast. I didn't take as many photos on this day because it was cloudier - which was also beautiful, but the photos didn't turn out as nice.
I got all the way to Kaikoura before dark.
(on to Kaikoura)