Lake Tekapo, New Zealand South Island
"Lake Tekapo, the name derives from the Maori 'taka' (sleeping mat) and 'po' (night) suggests that it is a perfect place to roll out a mat and lie beneath the stars.'
South Island (6D)
Christchurch - Lake Tekapo/Mount John - Wanaka - Milford Sound - Queenstown
I always thought about what I would be able to see in this place.
Would it be a sky full of stars? The darkest canvas, spread out miles and miles far beyond our sight, beyond our understanding of the world. And a gazillion stars laid bare on that canvas, as far as the eye could see. As many as you choose to see.
As we descended upon that darkness, on the church beside the lake, it felt a little cold, eerie even. People huddled together in groups speaking in hushed whispers. Was it more of trepidation or out of sanctity for this place? Who knows what lies yonder, beneath its chilly depths? Who knows if we would get separated from each other in the darkness and never find each other again?
I stood there by the edge of the lake, the vast expanse of the icy cold waters stretching before my eyes, not in total darkness, but shrouded in greyish light, and I could only imagine the mountains afar and how far away the lake was from my feet. I turned my head up, expecting the dark universe to be spinning round and round with the stars, and was mildly disappointed to find that it did not.
Morning came and the landscape looked much more welcoming. A white wonderland with green fir trees sticking out from the snow and cheery blue skies above. Our neighbour from across our guesthouse kept a couple of woolly white sheep in her front yard! It was all too amusing and we had a lot of laughter when our little girl belted out one nursery rhyme after the other.
At the Church of the Good Shepherd, the doors to the little church were open and sunlight warmed its chambers, inviting us to step inside. I can see its charm now. We ventured inside and I was overwhelmed by a feeling of peace and thankfulness.
The Lake Tekapo glistened a dazzling blue under the beautiful morning sun, the turquoise-blue colour of the lake created by "rock flour" -- this when the glaciers in the headwaters of Tekapo grind rock into a fine dust on their journey down towards the lake. And in the background, the snowy white-capped Southern Alps extended as far as the eye could see.
We brought our little darling down to the lake and taught her to skip stones across the lake.
Song of the day: Niall Horan - Slow Hands