The weather forecast had had warnings for the past 2 days and overnight the rain arrived in Lake Tekapo although it wasn’t loud enough on the roof of our accommodation to wake us.
However, as daylight increased and the mountain and lake scenery that had been there yesterday didn’t reappear it seemed clear that the rain was going to be with us for a good part of the day.
And so it turned out and finally we had a use for the tin of baked beans we purchased almost 3 weeks ago in Picton.
To date there has only been one day when it rained at lunchtime when we weren’t in transit between towns and for some reason I cannot remember what we did for lunch on that rainy day in Fox Glacier.
Never mind it was good that we had found an occasion to consume half of the tin of baked beans for lunch and so avoiding having to go out in the steady rain to find something to eat for lunch.
Rain which limits or stops sightseeing can be useful at times and a great time for some of that administration that gets put
to one side when there are things and places to visit. And Gretchen had found a book on a local sheep station that caught her attention and was looking very comfortable with her feet up and nose in the book as the rain fell steadily during the morning and into the early afternoon.
We were pleased however when in the early afternoon patches of blue sky did start to appear every so often and the rain became less persistent and we started to plan a visit to the icon of Lake Tekapo, the Church of the Good Shepherd down on the lake front.
The church was built in 1935 as a memorial to the early settlers in the area and is one of the most photographed scenes in New Zealand.
With the lack of overseas tourists we almost had the place to ourselves which is what we were looking for.
In the past when we have passed through Tekapo and visited the church for ‘the photo ‘of the church, lake and snow covered mountains in the distance we have always had to battle with overseas tourists to get a photo that didn’t have people you didn’t
want in your viewfinder.
The other thing that was absent was the throbbing noise of bus engines left running while passengers/tourists were at the location.
Today it was just peace and quiet and apart from one person in a fluro jacket whose husband was wandering around with a rag doll cat in his arms and speaking in tones louder than what was required when the location was so serene with the cloud left over from the recent rain lifting from the lake.
However we got the photos and video we wanted even though you are no longer able to get access to the church itself for the quintessential photo through the window at the front of the church which frames the lake and mountains very well. To get inside the church you have to be able/willing to join in the 4pm Sunday service and even then it would be a bit rude to be taking photos while the minister wanted your attention upfront.
The statue of the working collie dog that made the Mackenzie country what it is as a sheep rearing district was next in line for a photo or two. The statue is just
along the road from the church and was erected by locals in 1968 to recognise the collie dog’s importance to the farming industry.
We were still amazed that we had had the area almost to ourselves as we prepared to head back to our accommodation and it just goes to show how COVID19 has seriously upset our inbound international travel business and of course the main reason why most of the places we have stayed at or passed through were so quiet. Good for us though as we have enjoyed scenery that in the past would have been overrun with overseas tourists.
After dinner it was another dip in the outdoor tub and if our relaxed sleep was as good as last night then it will be another late wake up for us in the morning.
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