Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Walk Along Lake Manapouri

A couple of days ago we walked the local shoreline of this deep blue lake, starting the trek in a magical forest on the edge of our campground.

Called Roto-au (the rainy lake) by early Maori and then Moturau (many islands), Lake Manapouri is the second deepest in NZ at 1456 feet. It has 33 small islands within its meandering shores.

Frasiers Beach is a sandy, rock-strewn expanse, most pleasant on that near-60F day.

Just a powdered-sugar touch of snow up there.

After the beach we turned onto a grassy track toward what we thought was the road, but instead we slogged through mud and ultimately into a well-fenced farm with a lot of friendly goats. (See Art down there checking his phone for location assistance?)

Reminds me of the Bucky Fuller quote: How often I found where I should be going only by setting out for somewhere else. Luckily, I had an orange in my pocket, and this guy got the peels.

Look at that face

We made our way back to the road and the tiny Manapouri township, home to 300 souls.

There are two cafes, this one connected to a pub, and we're more than ready for our flat whites. 

I heard this man in the cafe speaking and couldn't quite place his accent. In NZ you meet people from all over the world--working, living, and traveling. The register at our campground here listed Paris, Germany, Eastern Europe, China, India, and the US, among others. Campgrounds are a regular United Nations.

I asked where he'd been born and he said North Carolina (his soft lilt now more apparent), but that he'd married a woman from Ireland, they'd moved to Dublin, and now they're here on work visas, hoping to stay longer than the year they've already spent. Much longer, if I understood. 

"Do they really dye the river green there for St Paddy's?" he asked.

The cafe looks right out onto the lake and the light is sublime.

Boo hoo. The Queen of Flat Whites could drink another.

In the deep blue mid-afternoon, we walked back to camp.

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