The boys ran and biked from here to the sixteen-mile hut, while Squirt drove us in the 4WD. As the day wore on, the weather cleared, the clouds drifted away and the sun shone down on us.
This shaky bridge that the boys negotiated was interesting...
CJD waded across the river, Squirt drove, and the rest of us took the bridge.
This is not the hut we stayed in. We walked in from here though.
Even though the rivers were safely navigable, the flying fox was too much fun to resist.
Lake Lochnagar was stunning and well-worth the five-hour (with a sore knee) hike up to it through some of the most vicious vegetation in the country. My legs were ripped to shreds but I bathed them in the clear cold water and iced the knee.
The boys took a (very) wee dip in the lake, while we sat around the edge for a refreshing rest before setting off again.
The mountain on the left is Lochnagar itself...
...and this lake is Little Lake Lochnagar.
That sheer face is created by a rock slide - we all agreed that it would have been impressive to see, from a safe distance.
Didn't quite manage to get the self-timer right!
It's just easier to get other people to take the photos.
Not a bad view from the hut window (they use this hut in the BNZ advert)
This may well be on the extreme end of the nature trail scale; still, it's nice to know what's been lacerating our legs.
This is our 'hut' - luxurious isn't it? We were the first to use the newly-installed flushing toilets and hot showers, and after a full day's 'tramp' they were very welcome. We were with farming-types so there was no roughing it. They brought the pork bones and veal patties (from their own stock) and the lemon loaf (home-baked); we brought the salad, and we all brought plenty of wine (and Pimms - for drinking on the verandah, dahling).
After a hearty meal and a few tipples we fell into our beds and slept until Him Outdoors woke us all up to look at the stars ('look how they shine for you') - he'd never seen so many, 'and that's just one galaxy...' (yes, he'd had more than a few). I have to admit that even to a very sleepy and bed-loving person such as me, they were pretty amazing.
The next morning the weather wasn't quite as flash, but we didn't care. We had bacon and eggs for breakfast, then drove back out of the valley (Him Outdoors and CJD ran, being nutters and gluttons for punishment) to explore Skippers Canyon.
This view shows both the school and the old bridge at Skippers.
This statue along Skippers Road is quite gorgeous. The stone shepherdess gazes petrified out across the canyon to the school - I imagine she is late for class and wondering how the hell she can get there on time. I'm probably completely wrong, but I haven't got any details so have just made up my own story. Anyone care to enlighten me? Dairy Queen, do you know?
CJD points out the way - yup, that's him in disguise. The cone head may conceal his identity, but those legs are more than revealing!
The old bungy bridge 71 steep-sided metres above the Shotover River is not for the faint-hearted. As you can see, Spick has the heart of an ox.
Thanks to all the crew for a great weekend!