Day 97. In Search Of The Perfect Campsite. February 7, 2016.

Day 97. In Search Of The Perfect Campsite. February 7, 2016.

31 km
Lake Tekapo km 2385 to the side of Lake Pukaki km 2416.

Sleeping in my tent worked out great. I got condensation as I knew I would…. lawn, near a lake and no wind. But I had lots of time plus a clothesline to dry it out.

I spent the morning eating, updating this blog and buying 2 days of food in a tiny 4 Square. About 2pm I talked to Jared from South Africa. He is doing the TA nobo. He hired a bike from Twizel to Lake Tekapo because his foot hurts and it’s 70 km of road. The 3 other Californian women are also biking it. I called the company he used. They could get me a bike by 3:30. That should be plenty of time and a nice time of day to ride. I made sure I could get a bed in Twizel then called the bike company back. He took all my info and then figured out he couldn’t get the bike to me til 5:30. Grrrr. Too late. I called another company and it was also a no go for today. I didn’t want to wait til tomorrow and the hostel and probably every other place in town was fully booked. So I was back to my original plan. Walk.

I left Lake Tekapo at 3. The first 5 kilometers were on a busy road. Then it was gravel and 5 cars the rest of the way.

I had great views of the Southern Alps and wondered which one was Mt Cook. I keep meaning to look at a photo when I’m in town but I keep forgetting.


Beautiful road walk. Which one is Mt Cook?

Then I saw IT. No question about which one.


My original plan was to walk to the telephone hut, an old 2 person hut on the side of the road about 13 km from Lake Tekapo.  I got there at 5:30 just about when I saw the tip of Mt Cook. I wanted to see if I could get a better view of it today since there were no clouds around it. So I kept walking. And walking.

I took so many photos because I wasn’t sure if the road would turn in such a way that I couldn’t see it anymore. It kept getting better and better.


Once I got to Lake Pukaki I started to look for a place to camp and see the mountain. At first fences were on both sides of the road. That finally ended on the lake side. I walked over to the lake where there were some trees and a great view of the mountain. Then I heard voices and saw a tent. It was 2 Canadians (not Brett and Sean) who are nobo on the TA. I felt like an intruder so I kept looking.


Bummer. Spot is taken.

If I had a free standing tent I could have set up on the rocks.


My next perfect spot was close to the road. It had a van parked there for the night. The van would be between me and the mountain. I kept walking.


The great thing about walking further is that I saw the mountain with great lighting from so many spots.


Plus the sky over the lake was constantly changing.


The road started turning away from the mountain and lake so I backtracked a bit. I didn’t get the perfect campsite but I had fun looking for it.  There wasn’t much light left to enjoy it anyway. I finally stopped at 9:30. The light was gone from the mountain but still great over the lake. And now I have less to walk tomorrow. This is my view a few steps from my tent….



The stars are out. I hope I can wake up for sunrise.

1 thought on “Day 97. In Search Of The Perfect Campsite. February 7, 2016.

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