December 16th, 2013
A big drive today. With a small person aboard.
But first we woke in Wanaka to glorious sunshine and mountain views. Breakfast just had to be barbecued. The smoky smell of bacon and sausage on the grill is hard to beat at anytime but paired with dew-soaked grass, fresh mountain air and warm sunshine, the combination was bliss.
Tiny romped on the grass while we supped tea, savoured breakfast, drank in the views of snow-capped Mt Aspiring National Park and valiantly overlooked the slightly medium-rare sausages, which were delicious despite the potential health risks.
Wanaka was actually called Pembroke until 1940…a fact which appeals to those of us with Welsh connections. But a rose by any other name….etc. This town has won a special place in my heart as of this trip. I could happily spend a week here – walking, drinking in the mountain views and enjoying the lively township. It is like an understated Queenstown – with all the mountains, lake and skiing, but further from the beaten track (although its growing population is testament to the fact that its joys have been well and truly ‘discovered’).
A coffee, a walk around the lake and a brief swing in the playground (for Tiny) were all we had time for, but time seems to stretch in wonderful Wanaka. We left with supplies for a picnic lunch – and headed for the mountains.
Weather gods, our sacrifice pleased ye. The drive past Mount Cook and the lakes was anointed with glorious sunshine and neither the mountain views nor the glacial blue of Lakes Pukaki and Tekapo disappointed. A blissful picnic spot by a river lured us in and at every turn of the drive, the lupins in full flower enticed the budding photographers in us.
The lupins were, in fact, to blame for the only catastrophe of the day: a photo session mid-nap, upon which Tiny awoke and discovered that a) his chariot was no longer in motion and b) that his mother had scarpered to photograph lupins. Neither of the above did much to make him happy.
We drove on through screams and tears, but only a coffee break and cuddle would tame the tantrum…during which break Tiny crawled all over a lovely wooden deck and filled his bare legs and feet with splinters. At this point I was close to self-nominating for Bad Mother of The Year.
We arrived in Geraldine just as the rain started. Tiny and I wrestled the splinters for a while. He shouted at me a fair deal, finally went to sleep and I opened the wine. Like I said: Bad Mother of the Year.