The next day I cut south to Fairlie to meet up with Chris (a different one) All the rain in the hills had shut down most of the tracks in the area we were thinking of exploring so we headed for the Ahuriri valley access which is largely river crossing free. First up it was over MacKenzie Pass to the Haldon arm of lake Benmore.
From Haldon arm we followed the Tekapo river upstream. Much of the track would have been better navigated in a jetboat!
But it was a warm day so we had fun splashing up the track/river. Chris almost drowned the 690 in one section, somehow I managed to waddle through ok.
It's a neat trip up here & would be an easy ride with normal lower summer river levels.
We popped out in the back of Tekapo village & grabbed a late lunch before continuing south on the highway.
Just before Lindis Pass we turned off up the Ahuriri.
Most of the trip so far has been in the relatively arid eastern side of the South Island but here we are getting into the mountains of the Main Divide & closer to the west coast, where the prevailing westerlies dump all their rain on the way over. We reach our destination for the night, Ahuriri Base Hut.
We settle into a couple of beers & some dinner & watch the light fade from the hills.
It rains most of the night but is clearing up by morning.
Note white stuff on hills that wasn't there yesterday. Gotta love the scorching South Is summer
We head up the valley a few km to take in the view from the road end. The track gets a bit rougher up here.
We backtrack to Omarama & shoot into the clay cliffs for a look.
After a coffee at Twizel we take the scenic route up the side of Lake Pukaki.
Most of the lakes around here are glacier fed, hence the spooky blue glow. The gloom in the hills doesn't bode well for our afternoon plans for a ride up the Macaulay river, so after a pie in Tekapo (& a trip back to Twizel for me cos I left my backpack behind
) we continue to Fairlie. Chris's parents have a very nice place on the edge of town & I was lucky enough to stay there for the next few days, thanks guys! We review some footage, watch the rain fall in the hills & kick back on the couch.
Next up: Offroad in the Orari.