Monday, 31 March 2014

NZ Photo Tour : Day 02 - Twizel To Mount Cook : There And Back Again Part 1

Assalamualaikum wbt.

Sept 2nd, 2013

Our very first night in night New Zealand was spent on the road. We drove well into the night, finally stopping at roadside somewhere between at Tekapo-Twizel Rd. Our campervan's gas heater didn't function, and without external power source, the electric heater was useless too. At first we thought of letting the engine run so we can have some heat from the front heater. However, seeing that we were already low in fuel, we quickly banished the thought.

We woke up cold and shivering. The first touch of my stockinged feet to the icy-cold floor brought out a quick yelp. Everything was covered in thin frost. Heavy layer of warm clothing (plus thick blanket) helped a bit, but trust me, it's no joke sleeping in the campervan without heater! If you are going to NZ in winter (or early spring, like we did), make sure the heater's works!

NB : I reviewed the behind-the-scene videos by Fakrul. There is one clip that shows Rosie telling us NOT to twist the heater dial all the way to the left. Perhaps somebody did, and that may explain why the heater worked at the depot but not after. Perhaps. I don't know. Anyway, that's in the past. Long gone and dusted :D

But that did not dampen our adventurous spirit, apparently. And the engine started at the first twist of the key. After the morning rituals and breakfast, we were ready to go.

Next destination : Mount Cook Village, approximately 60km away.

After about 10 minutes, we came across an intersection. Turn right to Mount Cook, or continue straight to go to Twizel.

when we forgot to take pictures, Google Street View comes to the rescue! LoL

We decided to make a right turn to press ahead to Mount Cook, and fill up the diesel tank at Mount Cook Village. Surely there's a station there, right? Only later, we learned that this was a mistake. One that would costs us valuable time (and diesel too).

Anyway, we drove ahead and the view was magnificent! With the Lake Pukaki on the right, slowly the majestic Aoraki started to reveal itself. Well, I'll just let the picture do the talking. I was lucky it was not my turn driving :)

Of course, an unscheduled road-stop was mandatory! Here's some images shot during the stop :)

cool Born Amin with Aoraki
fancy a walk, Danial?

perfecting my levitating skill.. :D

Mindful of the time, we did not tarry long. Few quick snaps and we drove again until we reached Glentanner Holiday Park, our campsite for tonight. For NZD20 per person, this place offered a powered campsite, complete with kitchen, rest area, bath, laundromat (self-service, of course) and also wi-fi (NZD5 per day). The reception was very friendly, too. From them we learned that it was cheaper to fuel at Twizel, plus the station at Mount Cook was not attended (i.e. no cash transaction) and only take NZ-issued credit card.

By then we were very anxious about our fuel level so after registering at Glentanner (we were the only campervan there), we hastened back to Twizel to refuel. Unfortunately that's an approximately 100++km return journey, from Glentanner to Twizel to Mount Cook Village.

Looking back at this route, I certainly would do it differently next time (November 2014, anyone?). I would go to Twizel first for refueling before doubling back to Mount Cook. Or maybe we would refuel at Tekapo before going up to Mount Cook. That way we'll save a lot of time and kilometers. But heck, everybody is wiser in hindsight!

Anyway, back to the story. We may lost some time and kilometers, but we certainly gained more pictures! On the way to Twizel, the light started to take a golden hues. It was only 2pm but it was already golden hour! Again we were  presented with lovely views of the lakeside and finally after hearing a lot of "ooh-ing" and "aargh-ing" from the back of the campervan, I could no longer resist..had to find a place to stop for a quick snap!

Lake Pukaki Panorama. I can't recall the exact location, but I'm glad that we did stop here

would love to shoot from down the cliff, someday

Another Panorama of Lake Pukaki. This is one big whopper in original resolution!

After we passed the Tekapo-Twizel junction, the view started to change. Trees lining up the road replaced the lakeview.

We reached Twizel Town at around 3.30pm. Filled up the diesel tank and then visit the dumping station to discharge both grey and black water, and to top-up our fresh water. Previous night one of us had a bit of diarrhea, necessitating a frequent visit to the campervan's toilet. He practically filled up the tank with his *ahem*. Needless to say, the task of dumping and cleaning the tank fell on him! :D

Fuel station at Twizel. Friendly service throughout ...

... and a dump station right next to it. How convenient!

... topping up the water tank ...

...a few quick snaps around...

Inside the campervan after day 2. How would it be after day 8??

All set! Let's get going!

Finally, all grey and black waters were discharged. Fuel and fresh waters were topped-up. And we were raring to go. It's 4pm, and the plan was for sunset shots at Mount Cook Village, about 60km away. Would we reached there in time?

Until my next post, Wassalam :)

<< Day 01 - Tekapo To Twizel : A Night Full Of Stars 

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