Pukaki and tragedyJuly 3, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C
After a relaxing morning having well crafted pancakes from chef James we headed towards Tekapo. In no hurry we stopped for photos at the end of lake Pukakai which has Mt Cook visible at the other end.
Arriving in Tekapo we dumped our bags in our room and said hello to the hostels gorgeous giant bunnies. They all slept on a wheelbarrow snuggling each other to keep warm!
A drive down to the lake shore and we came upon the famous chapel. Very picturesque but very hard to get a shot without a tourist in it! We decided to go back to Lake Pukaki to try and get nice sunset photos of Mt Cook. It was a bit far away and mist rolled in but the colours behind the other mountains was fiery orange!
Feeling the cold I'd run back to the car and knew there had been an accident when I saw an ambulance followed by a police car whizzing by. As we drove towards it a full blown emergency response was ongoing. Walking to the front to see if help was needed it was obvious they had it all under control as the firecrew broke the roof off one of the cars. A civilian walked towards me, a nurse she was one of the first cars on the scene and sadly confirmed that two had died.
Walking back to the car with the somber news, the fire coordinator followed and explained that the road would be closed for at least 6 hours. No diversions were possible for us without 4WD and snow chains so we turned back round and headed for Twizel. We found the local sportsbar which made a good roast dinner and wittled the hours away playing pool against anither stranded couple Emma and Fergus. The owner was very kind and kept the bar open and gave us the money to play pool.
At 23:30 we headed back to a still closed road, pulling in to the layby at the head of Lake Pukaki I pulled the sleeping bag out and snuggled in for a few hours wait. At 2 the road cleared and we were back in our beds and very thankful to be thereRead more