Somewhere around midnight I woke and unzipped my tent so I could look at the stars. There was a little cloud, but the stars shone out brightly, and seemed so much larger than 'usual'. But by the time I woke, the cloud was hanging down from each mountain and hilltop. Regardless, it was time for my Hooker Valley walk up to where you could see the glacier face, so I packed my raincoat, plenty of water, my 'lesser' camera, and started walking.
I retraced my steps from yesterday. I was excited to see the Mt Cook Lily flowering in places. (Or is it a giant buttercup? - must check.)
I loved seeing this little bridge and shelter ahead, and it stood out from the overcast grey.
You can see behind it how fragile the shattered rock sides of the mountains are.
Here is the mountain stream that passed below the little bridge.
Up past this you could catch glimpses of Mt Cook, and it looked like the cloud was lifting, and sunshine might break through. But such was not to be: the cloud soon lowered, so I was very glad I took some shots.
There was yet another exciting bridge to cross, the Upper Hooker.
After that there was a relatively short walk to the lake where you could see the terminal face of the glacier. Again I was shocked by how very far it had retreated.
If you ever find yourself in this area, a morning walk means you have the peaceful luxury of the path nearly to yourself. I met hardly anyone on the way up, as it seems like those walking in guided tour groups start the morning later. In this photo you might see a small Aaron, a fellow Kiwi. Yes Aaron, my camera was found!
After my walk it was 11.30 or so, and I headed up to the DOC office to see if my good camera had been turned in. Unfortunately the answer was no, so it seemed like I had truly lost it for good, but they assured me they had my details and would ring if it turned up. They were as good as their word. I drove off to Twizel, turned on my phone, and there was a message to say an Alpine Guide had found a camera and left it at the Hermitage reception. I could scarcely believe it could be mine, so decided to ring and check the description. It all tallied, so I turned around from Twizel and sure enough it was my camera at the desk back in Mt Cook...
So now I will just leave you with one last photo, not from my campsite this time. After the day's rain, the thought of a cabin was tempting. As it turned out, when I arrived in Omarama, they had no tent sites left at this place, but one last cabin room. The bed is so soft that after ten days on a mattress on a tent floor, I am not sure I will easily sleep in it!!! So here today, is the view from my cabin... Some exciting hills in this area, which is a famous area for gliding. So, some more exploration tomorrow...