seeing beautiful places lately…

Hello! Things have gotten a little busier in the last few weeks, with Mark starting his program (!!!), weekend trips, Whole30, and me getting a temp job! I’ll start with the less exciting stuff first: We’re currently on day 20 of Whole30, and it’s fine but we’re just sick of the prep work. Also I am temping for just under 3 weeks at the office I worked at when I was here last, which actually rocks because I needed: a) something to do b) money & c) am enjoying catching up with old coworkers! Also this week was both Mark and I’s bdays (he’s the 7th, and I’m the 9th), but celebrating was at an all time boring with our inability to consume anything remotely fun (jk, that’s very un-Whole30 of me to say). On Mark’s birthday we had some gluten free, sugar free, whole30 compliant sausages which were so good, and on mine we made a cottage pie with sweet potato on top and that was actually delicious.

While the weather here is starting to get colder as we move into Autumn, last weekend Mark and I took advantage of some absolutely gorgeous weather while we were in Twizel, staying with Mark’s dad at his holiday home. During the ~3.5 hour drive down, we stopped and did a short little hike on the Kakahu Track, just outside of the town of Fairlie. We have a book of Canterbury (the region we are in) and Christchurch area walks and hikes that we’ve been referencing and trying out. This Kakahu Track was in that book, and it said that there was a lime kiln there, and we’ve like “what the hell is that?” Turns out, there’s no way we could have missed it! Check it out:

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THIS is a lime kiln!
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THIS is what it was for

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Kakahu Track

We also found a geocache box here randomly. We then did about an hour of this track, where we walked along a river and heard loads of Bellbirds and saw lots of fantails. We would like to do the whole track someday, but since we wanted to get down to Twizel at a decent time, we didn’t do the whole thing. IMG_1238

On the way, we passed Lake Tekapo, which is pretty stunning:

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Lake Tekapo
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Here’s us!

FYI, I’m not editing these photos- those really are the colors! 
We’d been here before several times, but in late 2015, this footbridge was built and it was new to us!

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New footbridge
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View from said footbridge

Here’s the church in the above photo:
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After basking in the beauty of Lake Tekapo, we continued on. PS It’s SOOOO windy at Tekapo like almost always, and it’s kind of annoying.

We continued on to Twizel, and passed by ANOTHER GORGEOUS LAKE: Lake Pukaki.
Here:
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USUALLY you can see Mount Cook at the end of this lake, but the clouds were sort of heavy on this Friday evening, but it’s still stunning.

The next day, we headed to Mt Cook/ Aoraki National Park. Before we even got up to the national park, we had to stop about 3 times because the road takes you along Lake Pukaki and you get amazing views of Mount Cook et. al.

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Spotted: a kiwi in the wild!
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one of my favorite places in NZ
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Thanks to the Canadian woman who took our picture!
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sigh.

We hiked the Hooker Valley Track, which is easily the most popular track at Mt Cook/Aoraki National Park. It’s about 5 km and it’s BEAUTIFUL AND PERFECT. There are 3 swing bridges that you cross over glacial rivers and you end at a glacial lake where there were floating ice berg things. The trail was pretty busy walking out, but walking back it was less busy. Thanks to Mark for taking pictures of me whenever I asked 🙂 Click photos to see them larger.


We finished up there, and drove back to Twizel (about 50 min) and had some amazing fresh salmon for dinner.

On our way back home to Christchurch, of course we had to stop and take pics of Lake Pukaki again:
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We also decided to stop and drive up Mount John, which is where the University of Canterbury has its observatories. It was $8 to drive up but it was totally worth it for the views of the Mackenzie Basin and Lake Tekapo:

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my favorite Kiwi x
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Lake Alexandrine

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Finally we made it back home and we were shattered after all our walking and driving and touring! That was last weekend, so I’m sorry there’s a bit of a lag on posting!

Hope you enjoyed the photos, etc. Bye!

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