Sunday, January 8, 2017

New Zealand: Hooker Valley and Lake Pukaki

Although we have a modest walk tomorrow I am all but certain the walk today will live in our minds as the final real walk in New Zealand. It was in the distant shadow of Mount Cook, aka Aoraki in Maori, in the Hooker Valley. While overcast, cool and at times a bit windy this turned out to be a lovely 8.5-mile round trip hike on a very easy trail. The views were expansive and interesting. Notice the icebergs drifting in Hooker Lake (photos 3 and 4). If we have a gripe it would be that this trail was crowded. I'm glad people from very young children to seniors are enjoying the hike but I could wish for fewer of them or that some rest their vocal chords from time to time. 

By the way the wonderfully colorful lake you see way off in the background in photo 5 and close by in photo 6 is the same Lake. Lake Pukaki changes color depending on the light. Around 09:45 it was far more muted and grayer.

 
Purple lupine and Mom in a prairie-like area not far from the start of the gentle trail into Hooker Valley. 

 
Mom and me with Meuller Lake behind us and the snow clad mountains beyond. Those mountains are as devoid of green as you think they are. 




   
Hooker Lake with icebergs and icy rocks. 

 
 
 
Two views of Pukaki Lake. The lake in the distance, about 45 minutes walk to the Hermitsge shoreline (just visible) is one shade of blueish gray. About 3 hours later we drove right on by and the lake was this color (different from the morning view). 



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