Tuesday, 27 September 2011

NZ travelogue: Lake Tekapo

We could have easily missed Lake Tekapo as my GPS destination was set straight to Twizel. Although there were signs along the highway from Geraldine to Twizel that the junction to Lake Tekapo was coming up next, it's quite easy to be distracted by the sights and you forget to take the turning. It was only after I had passed by the junction that I had to turn the car around.

Eventually, we arrived at the landmark Church Of The Good Shepherd which sat at the edge of the lake. It was just past four o'clock in the afternoon, New Zealand time. Just our luck, we could see the custodian of the church locking the door and walk away. Therefore, no chance of going inside the small church. What else was there to do but to loiter around outside the building?

Seemed that a million other people had the same idea. Although the church was closed by the day, there were still lots of people walking around, taking snapshots of the building. The surrounds were not as empty and desolate as the tourist brochures would have us believe. If I had thought that the quaint building would be a good place for a photo opportunity, it was not to be. Too many people wandering around gave us no hope of privacy.

But at least, everybody was helpful enough to take pictures for other strangers. I took their photos (with their cameras, of course) and in turn, they took our photos (with our cameras, of course, too).

And as we were standing around the church, a tourist bus soon arrived to spill out another large group of tourists. Either Japanese or Koreans. I couldn't be sure, but within minutes they were swarming about us. Many wandered off to have their pictures taken at the alternative tourist spot, the statue of the shepherd dog, which was about 50 metres away. Thank goodness for that. I would have felt positively stifled with so many people around me!

So I told my wife, why not let's wander a bit closer to the lake. From afar, we could already see its magnificence. Snow-capped mountains in the distance. Surely, my wife would be thrilled to see real snow-capped mountains for the very first time, which she was.

We were glad to have seen the lake. Wow, what a vast expanse of beauty. Quiet, natural beauty. At least, with very few people having the same idea as us, there were less human traffic around. Here's my last impression of the Church Of The Good Shepherd and the Lake Tekapo. Hope you have enjoyed the panoramic views of the last few pictures.

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