Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter follies

Recently one of my good friends invited me to her birthday party, and she said it was to be at Easter time at Peak Valley. "Peak Valley" I thought... sounds like a soap! However a question or two revealed I'd been there nearly 25 years ago to climb Totara Peak. A solitary peak just north of Omarama and on the south east edge of the MacKenzie Basin. In short a magnificent viewpoint, and if I recall I've enjoyed the vista on two occasions from different approaches, so I was intrigued to see how I'd find things after so long - not only the landscape, but how I perceive it now v. my memories.

To get to the very remote Peak Valley, a high country run, the private road contours the western shores of Lake Benmore and you head in a southerly direction. It's amongst the distant trees up the valley on the right...

After I arrived the high tops beckoned as the day ended, and here we see a sight all too common around Lake Benmore, a hydro lake of considerable capacity - a power transmission pylon...

Peak Valley is under relatively new ownership, and although I could see the previous owners had tried hard dealing with a desert like landscape, it's run down in some regards. The central part of this cottage was probably originally a rabbiter's house - I've seen the "look" before: rough cast and steel window frames, and as no one ever lived in such places full-time any gardens planted simply didn't survive the harsh shady winters and the low low rainfall. Anyway this was the party venue, and it was great, and with an old fashioned coal range and modern log fire, we were cosy as we celebrated - especially around midnight when a wicked southerly front arrived...

There are surprises in these harsh landscapes though...

Kim the birthday girl 2nd from the right...

And the memories v. the present perception: this time around, although I'd not even got remotely near the 7000ft top of Totara Peak, I think I saw more! But this just engenders that old feeling that I seem to know very little about not very much, as I follow my journey in life.

Thanks for a great party Kim and Family - the food was amazing as was the setting inc. the candle light outdoors!

You can see Peak Valley on Google Maps - it's just north of where it says "Lake Benmore"

So... I've once again escaped the bi-annual Easter Wanaka Airshow madness and noise. Most like it, but I'm sort of "over it".

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Blogger Deirdre said...

Looks great - makes me feel homesick seeing the countryside!

April 8, 2010 at 10:52 AM  

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