Mount Cook National Park to Lake Takepo, New Zealand

Distance: 81 miles
Time on bike: 2 hours

It was a windy night last night in the tent and Carl has to get up to put up all the guy ropes to keep the dome tent in some sort of dome shape. There is some light rain, but with the lack of humidity around here the tent manages to dry very quickly.

We again need to be up and away quite early as we have one last screening to see in the planetarium, the most southern in the World. This film is about black holes and the science behind them. Seeing these films about the Universe make our existence on Earth seem a little bit insignificant and especially considering the forces involved to create something like a black hole.

Having seen the thirty minute film we then get on our way and retrace our steps down the main highway away from the Mount Cook Village.

Although it’s still quite windy, for the first hour we’re heading in the same direction as the gusts. This is actually quite pleasant on a motorbike as there is no wind noise in the helmet and we can cruise at 50 mph with almost no throttle. Very handy in a place with not many petrol stations.

Back at the junction with the main highway we turn left towards Timaru and take a scenic route which then takes us past the World’s highest salmon farm. We stop off and buy a nice fresh smoked salmon for dinner before getting on our way.

It’s not long before we arrive at Lake Tekapo, known for its vibrant blue colour, which is as a result of the suspended rock particles held in the water from the glacial run off.

The lake looks nice, but the air is cold and it’s quite windy so there’s not much appeal to do anything on the water. Instead we make our way straight to some nearby spa pools as our legs are really aching from the walking over the last couple of days. It costs us £9 for entry and they have three large pools ranging from 36 to 40 degrees. Although the water is from a natural spring, the water is artificially heated by the refrigeration plant used on the nearby ice skating rink.

We spend nearly three hours in the pools and both of us actually fall asleep while lying in the water with our heads propped on the side. By the end we’re well soaked and manage to drag ourselves out to get dressed and back on the bikes.

We take a ride up to the nearby observatory for some great views of the lake, but it’s incredibly windy, so head back into town to grab some shopping and check into a cabin for the night.

Jour 401 – Mardi 24 Mai 2011. Du Parc National de Mont Cook au Lac Tekapo, Nouvelle-Zélande.

Distance: 130 km– Temps à moto: 2 heures

Il y a eu pas mal de vent cette nuit et Carl s’est levé pour planter les piquets des cordes de la tente qu’on n’avait pas mis en place. Il a aussi un peu plut, mais avec le vent la tente est sèche ce matin. On range nos affaires, en réussissant a empêcher le vent de nous arracher la tente des mains, puis on va déjeuner avant d’aller voir le dernier film inclus dans notre ticket au planétarium du musée. Le film ne dure que une demi-heure et on prend la route vers 10 heures, on pensait peut être faire une autre petite marche dans le coin avant de partir, mais comme le temps semble se gâter assez rapidement, on décide de nous éloigner des montagnes.

Il y a toujours pas mal de vent, mais heureusement ça ne nous cause pas de problème sur la route. La vue du bord du lac est superbe avec les montagnes  au loin. On s’arrête acheter de quoi manger ce soir dans une ferme a saumons. On suit le canal jusqu’au lac Tekapo qui est connu pour sa superbe couleur bleue turquoise. Le lac est beau et il y a de grands panneaux publicitaires pour des bains de source chauds, comme il ne fait pas très beau et qu’on est tous les deux courbaturés de la marche on décide d’aller nous y tremper et on y passe presque 3 heures avant d’arriver a en sortir.

On va ensuite voir les télescopes de l’Université qui sont au somme d’une colline au bord du lac, mais nous avons raté la dernière visite, la visite ne semble ne montrer qu’une vidéo, on décide donc de ne pas revenir demain matin. On va faire des courses au supermarché du coin avant d’aller nous installer dans une cabine dans le camping le plus proche et de déguster notre belle portion de saumon fumé.